June 2024 Volunteer Spotlight: Kansas Secretary of Agriculture – Mike Beam

The Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation (KFF) is pleased to present this month’s Volunteer Spotlight: Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Beam. Secretary Beam has volunteered with KFF during Boots and Bling since 2019.

Mike Beam initially became involved with the Foundation after being appointed to his position as Secretary of Agriculture and the spot on the Kansas State Fair Board that accompanies the position. He was invited to participate in Boots and Bling and gladly accepted. He has enjoyed volunteering during the Live Auction and attending the event ever since.

One of the most obvious qualities of Secretary Beam is his passion for agriculture and for Kansas. He sees the Kansas State Fair as a way to benefit Kansans, as well as a gathering place for many people from across the state who share a passion for agriculture.

I’ve always enjoyed attending the Kansas State Fair and I enjoy working on committees and/or boards who have a mission of making improvements that benefit a large number of Kansans. I especially remember representing my county in the 4-H livestock judging contest and meeting my peers all across the state who share a passion for agriculture.

Secretary of Ag, Mike Beam

Secretary Beam enjoys working with the Foundation because he knows success of the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation means success for the Kansas State Fair. Regarding the Fair and the Foundation, Beam said he enjoys collaborating with Foundation Board Members to address the infrastructure needs of the Kansas State Fairgrounds. 

Looking to the future, he is excited about witnessing the completion of new and impressive Fairgrounds projects, including those currently in the planning phases. One such project is the Bison Arena Ag Innovation Center. The State of Kansas has designated funds for the initial exterior work required for the project, but additional significant funding is still needed to bring the entire vision to life: Significantly expanding the Kansas Largest Classroom by creating the best gold-standard destination for agri-tourism and agriculture education in the state of Kansas.

The largest building project on the State Fairgrounds since the Prairie Pavilion in 2004 is the new 1861 Club. This event venue being built by the Foundation with donated funds will be completed in time for this year’s Fair. The goal for the 1861 Club is to be an additional revenue source for the Foundation to continue important work on the Fairgrounds. The Grand Opening for the 1861 Club is the first day of the 2024 Kansas State Fair, Sep 6, 2024.

It’s a showcase of all things Kansas. In addition, it’s a wonderful experience for our state’s youth who attend, exhibit and participate in State Fair events.

Secretary of Ag, Mike Beam on the Kansas State Fair

Like many others, Secretary Beam’s favorite thing about the Kansas State Fair is the people. He described it as, “similar to one big family reunion.” He said he enjoys seeing Kansans he’s been fortunate to meet during his career. 

As a closing message, Secretary Beam had this to say, “I hope we can encourage youth to actively support the fair so we can sustain it for future generations.”

Do you share Secretary Beam’s passion for Kansas? Sign up to volunteer with the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation today!

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