Federally funded infrastructure investments and opportunities don’t stop at state borders. That’s why 10 Heartland states — Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin — are gathering agricultural, transportation and technology stakeholders together for the first-ever virtual Heartland’s HomeField Advantage Conference.
The virtual conference will bring together public- and private-sector leaders in those three sectors at 10 a.m. Oct. 15 via Zoom. The goal, according to the Kansas departments of Agriculture and Transportation, is to “identify strategies for how we can leverage investments in infrastructure and technology to build stronger communities throughout the Heartland.”
This first conference will feature two panels. The first will collect ideas on how to improve infrastructure to increase agricultural profitability. The second will discuss carbon sequestration and identify economic opportunities for farmers and other participants.
The organizers are inviting farmers and ranchers, shippers, precision ag developers and manufacturers, rail and barge operators, internet service providers, carbon credit program managers, city and county economic development officials, transportation logistics industry officials, legislators and local government officials to join in the call.
“The Heartland’s economy — and our nation’s economy — relies on agriculture, transportation and technology industries working well together,” says Julie Lorenze, Kansas Secretary of Transportation. “We know the importance of these industries to the Heartland. With the focus on federal infrastructure funding, now is the time for our region to identify partnership opportunities and regional strategies that generate game-changing results for generations to come. The HomeField Advantage series is an opportunity to learn from each other and plan how to leverage our regional strengths.”
An agenda will be posted soon at ksdotike.org/homefield, and registration can be found at that link as well. Currently, the participation list includes the Kansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin departments of transportation; U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Soy Transportation Coalition; and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.
The Kansas departments of Agriculture and Transportation contributed to this article.