Confronting The Continuing Depletion of the High Plains Aquifer in Western Kansas
Jay Garetson is a fourth-generation farmer from Haskell County in Southwest Kansas. Soil and water conservation combined with early adaptation of emerging technologies to agricultural uses are long-standing multi-generational hallmarks of the Garetson family’s Century Family Farm. Jay has a B.S. from Kansas State University in Agricultural Economics and his professional associations have included: Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Grain and Feed Association, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association and the SW Kansas Irrigation Association. In addition, Jay has served on the Kansas Water Authority and the Kansas State Board of Agriculture.
Stan Townsend is a sixth-generation farmer and irrigator from Weskan in Wallace County in Northwest Kansas. In 1988, Stan began farming on his own and he continues to raise corn, wheat, and pinto beans on ground in Sherman and Wallace counties, Kansas, and in Colorado. Stan was instrumental in beginning the 21st Century Bean Processing Facility located in Western Kansas. Stan served on the State Board of the Kansas Farm Bureau as President of the Feed and Grain Council. He has held positions on many local boards and is an active member of the Gideon's International. In 2012, at the request of Senator Pat Roberts, Stan testified in Washington D.C. before the Senate Committee on Agriculture.
Mark Rude is Executive Director, Southwest Groundwater Management District No. 3. He holds a B.S. in Geology from Wichita State University and has worked on water rights and water supply issues in Kansas for 27 years. Mark began in 1987 as an environmental scientist with the Kansas Division of Water Resources, and served as Water Commissioner for southwest Kansas from 1992 thru 2005. Mark is now in his 9th year as the Executive Director of the Southwest Kansas Groundwater Management District Number 3 headquartered in Garden City, where he works for a 15 member elected board of agribusiness and public water users to advise state and federal officials on water policy and water management programs, water conservation services, rules and regulations, LEMA's, IGUCA's, data collection and various studies. He currently also serves as President of the Kansas Groundwater Management District Association, Vice President of the national Groundwater Management District Association and a board member on the National Water Resources Association. Mark serves on the local School Board of USD 457 and on the board of the Finney County Drainage District No.2. Mark’s latest project is providing leadership in a sustainable water supply solution to the unreversed consumption of the Ogallala Aquifer: The Kansas Aqueduct Project.