October 22, 2008
Written by Roy Graber
Winfield Daily Courier

Rep. Ed Trimmer has been appointed to serve on the newly-formed Kansas Commission on Rural Policy.

The commission was created to give recommendations for rural economic development, including fostering leadership, youth retention, promoting and financing rural entrepreneurship through the coordination of existing programs, and wealth retention and generation.

The commission has nine members. Three members were appointed by the governor, two by both the speaker of the House and Senate president, and one each by the House and Senate minority leaders.

Trimmer was the choice of House minority leader Dennis McKinney.

According to Trimmer, he wants to focus more on rural issues, and this commission was a way to do that.

"I told (McKinney) I wanted to be involved with anything helping to promote the rural economy," Trimmer said. "We want to keep small rural communities alive. There are a lot of things we'll lose if we don't."

With so many issues affecting rural Kansas, the commission was formed to have people with a broad knowledge of and leadership in one of the following areas:

·Agriculture.

·Oil and gas.

·Aviation.

·Finance and banking.

·Tourism.

·Any other primary, job creating, value-added business sector.

·Fostering leadership.

·Encouraging wealth retention and generation.

·Developing entrepreneurship.

·Retaining youth in rural communities.

·Health care.

The commission is so new it has yet to meet. Trimmer guessed the group would wait until the November election is over to see if that will change the structure of who is on the commission.

Trimmer faces a challenge in his re-election bid by Douglass Republican John Whittington.

Regardless of how the election shakes out, Trimmer wants the rural commission to be productive and to serve its mission in a nonpartisan way.

"I like the structure of this group," said Trimmer. "I hope it doesn't become politicized."

Trimmer considers water, resource conservation, health care, business retention, population retention and telecommunications as some of the top issues facing the rural areas.

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