Association announces plans to move to Kansas
The American Royal Association announced October 25, 2016 it they has reached an agreement with the State of Kansas and Unified Government to relocate to Wyandotte County, Kansas.
“The American Royal currently hosts more than 50 events annually, attracting nearly 270,000 attendees and has an economic impact of more than $60 million annually,” said Angie Stanland, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the American Royal. “Last year we awarded $1.4 million in scholarships and support to our youth education programs. Our priorities in the due diligence process were to find a regional home that would allow us to fulfill our mission, accommodate our growing events and allow for future growth,” Stanland explained. “We have found the ideal location to do just that.”
The American Royal Association, which began as the National Hereford Show in 1899, has evolved into a comprehensive season of events and outreach including six equestrian shows, a livestock show, youth and PRCA rodeos, agricultural education programs and the world’s largest barbecue competition – the World Series of Barbecue®.
The new complex will include arena space, exhibit space, high-quality barn/expo space, and a new agriculture education center and museum. The agricultural education center will provide a state-of-the-art learning experience, covering all facets of the food and agricultural
industry. The goal is to provide a unique, interactive food and agricultural learning experience, both indoor and outdoor, to instill a higher level of trust and knowledge about modern food and agricultural practices.
“I want Kansas City to be the world leader in agriculture technology and animal genetics,” said Kansas Governor Sam Brownback. “The American Royal will serve as a focal point in helping us continue to build a vibrant animal and agriculture corridor from Wyandotte County to Manhattan, home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility. This strong partnership between the state of Kansas, Unified Government and the American Royal solidifies the reputation Kansas enjoys as one of the world’s foremost producers and exporters of food and agricultural products.”
“Kansas is committed to providing opportunities to encourage additional growth and expansion of agriculture in the state and far beyond its borders” Governor Brownback continued. “A new home for the American Royal complex in Kansas enhances the overall agricultural focus in the state and elevates Kansas’ prominence in the U.S. agricultural industry.”
“I’m excited that the American Royal project, after several years of work, is beginning to come together in some very tangible ways,” said Mayor Mark Holland, Unified Government of Wyandotte County, Kansas. “The new vision for the Royal that has emerged is a hub and showcase for agriculture and animal science. This new hub has the potential to be a game- changer for the Animal Health Corridor and the Midwest.”
The addition of the American Royal in the region will enhance the focus on agriculture that has been supported by the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame (NAC) in nearby Bonner Springs. The NAC board expressed its support of the American Royal’s plans: “This is an exciting opportunity for the American Royal and National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame to work together to increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the state’s leading industry.”
Agriculture is the largest industry, economic driver and employer in Kansas. It accounts for 43 percent of the state’s economy and employs 12 percent of the state’s workforce. In 2014, Kansas exported more than $4.7 billion in agricultural products. Kansas is among the nation’s leaders in the production of wheat, sorghum, cattle and beef processing. Serving as the home for the American Royal will enhance the overall agricultural focus within Kansas and elevate the state’s prominence in the U.S. agricultural industry.