July 6 program: Irrigation in Kansas

“On the Plains,” CC Image courtesy of Smiles Are Free of Flickr

Water irrigation made Kansas an agricultural powerhouse, but it also opened the floodgates for unintended consequences. The Franklin County Historical Society invites the community to “Irrigation in Kansas,” a free program and discussion led by historian Jay Antle on Thursday, July 6, 7 p.m. at Neosho County Community College, 900 East Logan, in Ottawa, Kansas.

From ditches in Garden City, to center-pivot units across the state, to new plans to divert Missouri River water to Goodland, this presentation encourages Kansans to consider how the past can inform present-day discussions of water usage in the state.

Jay Antle will speak about the history and future of irrigation on July 6.

The program’s speaker, Jay Antle, teaches history and serves as executive director of the Center for Sustainability at Johnson County Community College. He holds a Ph.D. in American environmental history from the University of Kansas and an M.A. in Western history from Arizona State University.

“When you study the manipulation of water, you study not only crop yields and acre-feet, but you also study power relationships between people,” Jay Antle said.

Antle’s presentation is part of a series of programs offered in conjunction with the Old Depot Museum’s summer exhibit, Crossings: Getting Over, Around, and Through Water in Franklin County, which is made possible thanks in part to a Water/Ways partner site grant from the Kansas Humanities Council. Support for the Water/Ways initiative has been provided by the Sunflower Foundation.

Founded in 1937, the Franklin County Historical Society strives to preserve, present, and promote the history of Franklin County, Kansas. For more information, visit www.olddepotmuseum.org.

“Irrigation in Kansas” is made possible in part thanks to the Kansas Humanities Council, which conducts and supports community-based programs, serves as a financial resource through an active grant-making program, and encourages Kansans to engage in the civic and cultural life in their communities.

For more information, contact the Old Depot Museum at (785) 242-1250 or e-mail manager@olddepotmuseum.org.

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