Chris WilsonChris Wilson, of Manhattan, KS, is executive director of the Kansas Aqueduct Coalition, a coalition of interested persons and organizations recently formed to explore potential for water transfer in Kansas. Wilson is also a farmer and rancher and attorney. She and husband Ron and their children operate the family ranch in Riley County. Their operation includes raising purebred and commercial cattle, dairy and fiber goats, horses and llamas. The Wilson’s Lazy T Ranch is a national historic register site, and they regularly welcome visitors to the ranch. They also produce grain and vegetable crops and host an annual fall festival at their ranch. Wilson previously served as Deputy Secretary and General Counsel of the Kansas Department of Agriculture and was the American Agri-Women (AAW) National President from 2009-2011. She is an 11th generation U.S. farmer. Wilson was raised on a grain and livestock farm in West Central Illinois and holds a degree in agronomy from Western Illinois University and a juris doctorate, cum laude, from Washburn University School of Law. As President of Food and Agriculture Network, an association consulting firm, she has worked with numerous regional and statewide organizations in Kansas. In addition, FAN produces agricultural education materials for agriscience classrooms. Wilson formerly served as Assistant to the Director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture and Assistant to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture. At USDA, she was Director of the Office of Public Liaison.

Chris Wilson will be presenting the following on Friday:

9:30 a.m. Water for the Future of Kansas with Mark Rude and Chris Wilson
It is the belief of the Kansas Aqueduct Coalition that a properly developed Kansas Aqueduct Project process is a necessary element in securing economic stability and prosperity for the entire state of Kansas. According to the group, an action to reserve a 4 million acre feet amount early in that process rather than a person or Coalition filing an appropriation is an appropriate and necessary legislative action for Kansas. The revenues generated from agriculture in the western half of the state, and specifically in the areas served by the Ogallala Aquifer, are significant. A significant decline or decimation of those revenues would likely result in economic devastation for the entire state and, on a lesser level, the surrounding states. Kansas is respected as historically being progressive and forward-thinking in its use of water resources and this situation should be no different. The coalition feels the state of Kansas must act now to prepare for the future so as to avoid a water crisis that is almost certainly on the horizon.

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