Darrel Urban stands in front of a newly-dug pit the size of two football fields laid end-to-end, and ten feet deep. Soon, it will be full of hog waste, and two more large pits will join it.
A site two miles outside of the tiny town of Pfeifer, Kansas, in the northeast corner of Rush County near Hays, is slated to be the new home of a massive hog farming operation. It will be home to thousands of pigs, and their waste. It is a less than a mile from Urban’s home.
Doctors and nurses are obviously essential to any primary care medical team. But when it comes to managing a chronic health condition, a social worker could be the most valuable player from the patient’s perspective.
That’s what some Medicare patients in and around the small northwest Kansas town of Plainville have been discovering since January of last year.
Farmers in western Kansas are worried a spring blizzard that dumped as much as two feet of snow destroyed much of this year’s wheat crop.
Kansas is the No. 1 wheat state in the country. About 20 percent of the nation’s wheat crop last year was grown by Kansas farmers.
The heavy snow and cold temperatures delivered a one-two punch to a crop that had been in good shape. Rick Horton, who farms 3,000-4,000 acres of wheat in southwest Kansas near Leoti, says he’s expecting massive losses.
During a Friday visit to Junction City that included a stop at a food pantry site, U.S. Rep. Roger Marshall said he would work to maintain funding for programs that feed the hungry.
Marshall represents Kansas’ 1st District, which includes two counties — Geary and Riley — with the state’s highest rates of food insecurity. Residents of those counties also are more likely than most people across the country to lack reliable access to affordable, nutritious food.
If President Trump gets his way eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts as he has proposed in his budget, it would be another blow to a Kansas arts community that took a hit when state funding was eliminated a few years ago.
The social and health effects of isolation on some rural Kansas residents spurred three Catholic nuns to convert a storefront in Concordia into a drop-in center where women can find support and resources.
Seven years after the center opened, two dozen women on average come through each day in the town of about 5,000 to socialize, do laundry, get a cooking lesson, or simply connect with others.
Fire crews battled hot spots overnight Tuesday in Reno County, but residents of one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods were allowed back to their houses.
No deaths or injuries were reported in the county, but eight homes were destroyed.
Velera Adams and her husband got the call, along with thousands of others, to evacuate from rural Hutchinson just as night fell Monday. She said they drove to a church parking lot just outside the evacuation zone.
“And we could see the fire, all along north of there,” said Velera Adams. “It was pretty scary.”
The Republican majority in Congress is intent on repealing the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. Freshman Kansas 1st District Rep. Roger Marshall is on board. So he’s gathering input from constituents on how to proceed with repealing and replacing the ACA with what he calls needed “free-market reforms.”
The Great Bend Republican recently mailed a survey to 50,000 households in the Big First.
At a stressful time for U.S. farmers, the government’s efforts at calming the agricultural waters took center stage Thursday, when the heads of the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture Committee left Washington for the Midwest to solicit opinions on priorities for the next Farm Bill.
U.S. Sens. Pat Roberts, R-KS, and Debbie Stabenow, D-MI, heard from Midwest farmers at their first field hearing on the 2018 Farm Bill at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.
A working group charged with finding “Kansas solutions” to the problems surrounding health care delivery in rural Kansas still hasn’t settled on a direction.
Near the end of Rural Health Working Group’s meeting Thursday in Salina, Rep. Jim Kelly of Independence asked the other members to at least consider what he called “the 800-pound gorilla” in the room: Medicaid expansion. Kelly thinks expanding eligibility for Medicaid might help other communities avoid the hospital closure that occurred in Independence.
This year was a very good year for growing wheat, but that means it could be a very bad year for wheat farmers.
There’s a glut on the global wheat market and prices for winter wheat – which is grown all up and down the Great Plains, from Texas to North Dakota– wheat prices this year hit their lowest levels since 2003. Coupled with lower prices for corn, sorghum, and soybeans, many are concerned about the rural economy in the Wheat Belt.
Kansas recorded its lowest-ever infant mortality rate in 2015, when 230 infants died before their first birthday, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
That put the state’s infant mortality rate at 5.9 for every 1,000 live births — a 28 percent improvement since 1996. Nationwide, the infant mortality rate in 2015 was six per 1,000, which is the target for the federal Healthy People 2020 program.
The recent news that Kansas is now the seventh-fattest state in the nation points toward a future of increased health problems, including cancer. In fact, as smoking rates decline and obesity rates rise, obesity is poised to overtake tobacco as the leading preventable cause of cancer.
Kansas lawmakers — at least the majority of incumbents — think college campuses will be safer starting next July. That’s when a law they approved will allow people to carry concealed handguns on Kansas Board of Regents campuses.
But Joey Paz, a student at Kansas State University, said he’ll feel less safe.
“If this law would have been passed three years ago … I would have seriously considered not going to school in Kansas,” he said.
One of every three adult Kansans was obese in 2015, ranking the state seventh in the country in an annual report. Kansas also was one of only two states where obesity rates increased from the previous year.
A new analysis from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says headlines about anticipated premium increases on the Obamacare health insurance marketplace overlook an important point: Most Americans, including two-thirds of Kansans and three-quarters of Missourians, still will be able to find a plan for $75 a month or less.
Rural Americans are gaining health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act at rates outpacing their urban counterparts, according to a recent report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Mark Andes is among those in rural Kansas who have benefited. Andes was living and working in McPherson last year when he began having some scary health symptoms.