KAAPA Nebraska’s Producer-Owned Ag Development Group
aka Kearney Area Ag Producers Alliance — Established 1996
KAAPA is a farmer-owned cooperative with members, primarily in central Nebraska, but also from across the state of Nebraska, and beyond. Therefore its scope has now broadened beyond the Kearney area, however Nebraska projects continue to receive the greatest consideration.
Over the years, KAAPA has pursued its mission in a variety of ways:
~ It has been presented a wide variety of value-added ag projects from outside sources
~ It has evaluated the resources and needs of its members to identify possible projects
~ it has monitored the industry so as to predict those changes which indicate an opportunity, such as the
introduction of corn-based ethanol production.
Regardless of the way a project gets introduced to the KAAPA leadership, it goes through an initial review, then through a due diligence process, and if the project continues to appear viable, the Board and staff then proceed with the development or analysis of its business plan and/or an investment evaluation.
Individual membership dues of $250 cannot accomplish much alone in regard to the research, support, and development of emerging agricultural opportunities. However, add the memberships together, along with the dedication of the Board of Directors and staff, and you have a strong ag producers alliance that can! It is your membership dues that provide the required resources for KAAPA to be successful at attracting and supporting new ag opportunities.
KAAPA’s efforts have included both those that have been very successful, such as KAAPA Ethanol, and those of less success, like the corn-stover-to-paper-pulp project in which the technology did not meet expectations. However, each effort has led KAAPA to becoming a more professional, more knowledgeable, and more effective ag development group. KAAPA has also developed extremely strong and reliable relationships with governmental agencies and local and State service organizations. Through their support, such as financial grants, these relationships provide KAAPA with the opportunity to leverage your $250 membership into something of much greater value.
The idea to create KAAPA came from the Kearney community’s effort to secure a potato chip processing facility. Due to the economic value such a plant would provide to a community, the competition from other Nebraska communities was fierce. The plant eventually was located in a community other than Kearney. Through this process, it was recognized that if Kearney had had a group of individuals familiar with agriculture sitting at the table as the negotiations proceeded, the results could have been much different. Determined not to ever miss out again on such an opportunity because of this deficit, KAAPA was created. As the story goes, creating a “cooperative” type entity, owned and governed by farmers and ranchers, for pursuing value-added agriculture projects was a concept that came to life in a duck blind as a few community leaders and farmers were mutually enjoying the sport of hunting.