Agriculture was the first industry in Liberal, Kansas. Deep well irrigation, moderate weather, good soil and uninterrupted plains create an ideal environment for raising livestock and producing crops.
Agriculture, food and food processing sectors support a total of 5,064 jobs, or 36% of the entire work force in the county. The total final sales of all products in these sectors is approximately $2.5 billion. More than 3,500 of those jobs are in beef packing.
The beef industry, including the feeding, processing and transporting of cattle, is the largest in the region.
National Beef Packing Company processes 4,800 head of cattle a day.
Pork and dairy production are also thriving area industries, due in part to plentiful crops for feed. Corn and wheat are the major regional crops. Other staple crops include sorghum, hay, cotton and sunflowers.
Liberal has the land, labor and support services needed to expand the agricultural community. Raw products are abundant; the workforce is appropriately skilled; and local infrastructure includes easy highway, railroad and air access along with two municipal industrial parks. Seward County Community College / Area Technical School is expanding its agricultural programs to include Sustainable Agriculture Resources and Food Science and Safety. New construction for these programs include greenhouses and a food science lab.
Scientific research, food processing and by-product manufacturing are just some of the possibilities for growth. The City of Liberal, Kansas welcomes agricultural industry and encourages inquiries into our industrial parks and possible incentives.
Seward County, 8/31/2020 Census of Agriculture
- 282 farms
- 1,279 acres average size of farms
- 360,711 acres in farms
- $424.7 million in crops and livestock sales
- 120,000 cattle and calves
Seward County Crop Production, 2019
- 11,462,000 bushels of corn
- 2,732,000 bushels of wheat
- 1,455,000 bushels of sorghum
- 895,000 bushels of soybeans
- 2,986,000 pounds of sunflower seeds
- 82,500 upland production measured in 480 lb bales of cotton
- 5,300 Hay production measured in tons
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture and KS Department of Agriculture