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Justine Staten new executive director of Kansas Horse CouncilJustine Staten new executive director of Kansas Horse Council

New Kansas Horse Council executive director looks forward to helping advance equine industry in state.

June 30, 2017

3 Min Read
NEW DIRECTOR: Justine Staten has been named executive director of the Kansas Horse Council headquartered in Manhattan. She has a long history of dedicated service to the Kansas equine industry.

By Frank J. Buchman

Horses are a major industry in Kansas, and there’s a new leader to guide that important part of the state economy.

Justine Staten was recently named executive director of the Kansas Horse Council, headquartered in Manhattan.

“I look forward to putting my passion into action by providing leadership, advocacy, management and fiscal responsibility for facilitating advancements in the Kansas equine industry,” Staten says.

“In Kansas alone, considering the needs of keeping even a single horse, it’s easy to see that the economy wouldn’t be the same without this industry,” Staten adds.

Associated with the KHC for a long time, Staten has volunteered for many projects including Equifest of Kansas, the group’s main fundraising effort. She received the Bud Newell Award for her service.

“I want to research and represent the vast equine industry, impact and interests, across the state,” Staten says.

The industry impacts many Kansas businesses. That’s equipment, clothing, feed, real estate, facilities, manufacturers, veterinarians, racing, breeding, trail rides, campgrounds and much more.

“I intend to work closely with the regional directors to facilitate more member interaction and networking across the state,” Staten says.

“It would be fantastic to have a representation of all the different breed associations, clubs and disciplines in some manner at Equifest,” she says. “The general public could see just how much equine activity really is available."

Staten, who has a degree in animal science from Kansas State University, lives near Manhattan with her husband and their two children. She enjoys trail rides and horse shows, as well as football and theater.

Dedicated to cancer research, Staten was oversight manager for the On the Trail to a Cure trail ride. She assisted with the Cattle Baron’s Ball, Couture for Cancer, and Corks & Forks benefits.

A proud “horse show mom,” Staten is treasurer of the Riley County 4-H Horse Project. She coaches the Riley County 4-H Hippology and Horse Quiz Bowl team which has qualified for competition at the 2017 Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio.

Additionally, Staten annually presents equine education at the Riley County Farm Bureau Association’s Ag Kids Day. She’s serving a second term as president of the Black Jack Saddle Club. 

Again emphasizing the KHC mission, Staten says, “We provide the Kansas equine industry with leadership and direction through education, promotion and public policy advocacy.”

Goals include creating and identifying educational opportunities that will enhance the abilities of horsemen and women to further their skills and knowledge of the equine industry.

Furthermore, the KHC works to create and identify opportunities that will promote the Kansas equine industry. This includes supporting development of tourism within the state as related to horses.

“The Kansas Horse Council creates an atmosphere in Kansas through public policy advocacy whereby the equine industry has the ability to grow and prosper,” Staten emphasizes.

Justin Janssen, Alma, serves as the KHC president. Other officers are Jim Thomas, Lyndon, vice president; Cheryl Thomas, Lyndon, secretary; and Rodney Schwatken, Leavenworth, treasurer.

Additional KHC directors include Craig Barnett, Paola; Marty Bloomquist, Tecumseh; Elizabeth Davis, Manhattan; Kallie Emig, Manhattan; Tom Frey, Stilwell; Susan Jaax, Wichita; Joann Kouba, Manhattan; MaRyka Smith, Manhattan; and Jolie Van Petten, Meriden.

Additional information is available at kansashorsecouncil.com.

Buchman is a Flint Hills rancher and writer who lives near Council Grove. He is a frequent contributor to Kansas Farmer.

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