Since statehood, Kansas has been well-known for a robust agriculture and food industry. Kansas is known as the breadbasket of the United States … a title earned due to Kansas’ consistent ranking as the number one producer of wheat in the United States. In addition, Kansas is known for being the number one producer of grain sorghum and as the home to the one-of-a-kind grain science program at Kansas State University. Kansas also ranks in the top 10 for producing beef, sunflowers, flour, hay, corn and soybeans.
Currently, Kansas is enjoying substantial growth in pork production and dairy production. Being a top producer of valuable commodities and raw materials naturally allows for Kansas’ leadership in value-added agricultural goods as well as a variety of finished foods and ingredients. Today, Kansas is home to literally hundreds of food companies, with such key names as Mars, Cargill, Frito Lay, Sara Lee, Reser’s, Tyson, Hostess, National Beef and Schwan’s. Our food companies range from small, family-owned companies to large, multi-national companies - all call Kansas home for good reason.
Access to raw materials – As a global leader in agriculture, food processors and value-added agriculture businesses have access to the raw materials and ingredients they need. While many macro-ingredients such as flour, meat and milk products can be sourced right here in Kansas, the state’s location in the center of the U.S. and along major rail and highway systems allows for easy access to shipping channels – for both incoming and outbound shipments.
Access to education & research – Kansas is fortunate to have excellent, one-of-a-kind organizations that can provide continuing educational opportunities for companies’ employees and organizations that can collaborate with the private sector on research and development.
Kansas State University
The Kansas State University International Grains Program (IGP) is designed to educate foreign business leaders and government officials about U.S. grains and oilseeds through technical training and assistance programs in grain storage and handling, milling, marketing and processing. IGP supports marketing activities by national farmer commodity organizations. Our partnership with the Foreign Agricultural Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture forms the front line for the American farmers' international grain marketing efforts.
Kansas State University Value-Added Foods Lab
The Kansas State University Value-Added/Product Development Lab, includes facilities, equipment, and instruments for bench top food product development, packaging, and physical, chemical and microbiological analyses of foods. Part of the facility is specifically designated for accelerated shelf-life testing of food products, and is equipped with controlled atmosphere incubators. The Lab’s staff offers food-related businesses, processors and entrepreneurs numerous services. These include the following:
- Assist in the production of new foods or consult on adding value to existing ones.
- Perform a variety of physical, chemical, microbiological and sensory evaluations.
- Conduct shelf-life tests to determine expiration date.
- Review product labels for compliance with state and federal guidelines.
- Prepare nutritional information panels from databases or chemical analysis.
- Offer Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points and food safety training.
- Act as a "Processing Authority," via Food and Drug Administration.
- Suggest suppliers for ingredients, packaging materials, and equipment.
- Answer questions concerning food processing rules and regulations.
- Offer publications on food processing issues, labeling an sanitation.
Kansas State University Food Science Institute
The Food Science Institute facilitates training of traditional and nontraditional undergraduate and graduate students; supports basic and applied research initiatives; and provides technical and scientific information to consumers, the food industry, and governmental agencies.
Kansas State University Grain Science
The K-State Grain Science and Industry program offers college degrees in baking, feed, or milling science and management. The program not only grants Bachelor of Science degrees in these areas, but also Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, as well as degree minors. Students learn the fundamental sciences of their fields, while at the same time gaining hands-on experience in K-State's modern pilot plants and laboratories, which include a bakery, feed manufacturing facility, and industrial scale flour mills. Additionally, they learn business fundamentals, so they leave school well prepared to enter business or industry.
American Institute of Baking
The American Institute of Baking (AIB International) is committed to protecting the safety of the global food supply chain and delivering high value educational and technical programs. AIB provides Food Safety Inspections, Audits, and Certifications, Food Safety Education, and Research & Technical Services. Their renowned School of Baking offers the best educational experience in the baking industry to students from North America and around the world. The commitment of AIB International's staff to provide quality service for every client has secured leadership positions and a reputation for effectiveness and integrity.