Meet Joshua Svaty

State Representative at Age 22

I won against a Republican incumbent in a deeply Republican district — and was re-elected 3 times.

  • Helped craft and pass the last constitutional school finance plan during a special session

  • Crafted a 10-year comprehensive transportation plan and was named Legislator of the Year by the Disability Caucus along with my fellow freshmen legislators in 2002 for our work to improve funding for the disability community

  • Served on the Public Safety and Corrections Budget Oversight Committee when we made significant increases in the salaries of our Highway Patrol officers

  • Helped pass in-state tuition for children of undocumented immigrants

  • Was one of a handful of legislators who fought against the "marriage amendment" that defined marriage as between one man and one woman only

  • Served on the Kansas Energy Council to create long-term energy policy

  • Helped draft a Kansas renewable fuels standard

Secretary of Agriculture

I put my experience as a 5th generation farmer to work for my fellow Kansans.

  • I fought hard for our farmers and agriculture industry, and worked with farmers and communities to address economic concerns, sustainability and water rights.

  • We conducted one of the largest stop animal movement exercises in the history of the state to practice crisis management in the event of an outbreak of hoof and mouth disease.

  • I instituted a quarantine on the movement of walnut across state lines in an effort to protect our black walnut trees, Kansas' most valuable timber crop, against infectious disease invading from the west.

  • I managed the agency's finances during the great recession and had to do both reductions in force and layoffs but maintained services to the best of our abilities.

  • I introduced legislation that would include conservation as a beneficial use of water, which would protect the state's water supplies and private property rights at the same time — the most forward-thinking water-conservation effort by a Secretary of Agriculture.

  • I supported the prosecution of Kansas v. Nebraska, the successful Supreme Court case awarding Kansas millions in damages for Nebraska's overuse of water supplies in the Republican River Basin.

  • We instituted family-friendly policies in the office, allowing new mothers to bring their infants to work with them until 6 months of age. This policy proved popular with mothers and babies, fostered retention of quality employees and was incredible for office morale. I would work to make it standard across state government.

Family Roots in Kansas since 1864

I'm a 5th generation farmer from Ellsworth, and my wife Kimberly's family goes back six generations in Kansas City and Johnson County.


My great-great grandfather arrived in the U.S. from Germany in the 1850s. A strong abolitionist, he fought for the Union in the Civil War before settling on the Ellsworth/Saline County line to start our family’s farm. My mother’s Italian family arrived in the late 1800s and settled in Osage County to work the coal mines. I attended Sterling College like my grandfather, mother, three siblings and 10 cousins.


After graduation, I returned to our family farm and decided to run for the Kansas House of Representatives. I beat a Republican incumbent in a Republican district, and went on to win re-election three times before being appointed Secretary of Agriculture.


My wife Kimberly’s family has been in the Kansas City area since the 1840s and has been in Johnson County for three generations. Kimberly and I were married at Village Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village in May 2007. Today, we have four wonderful children, Jackson, Mariner, Evelyn and Calla Marina.


Committed to Kansas Farming

Farming is in my blood and informs my personal and political philosophies. In 2010, Kimberly and I started Free State Farms, a diversified farming operation including both owned and leased ground in Ellsworth County.


I’m proud to be the 5th generation of Svatys to farm in Ellsworth County. A portion of our farm is just a half mile from the original Svaty homeplace. We’ve grown our farm into a fully diversified operation that includes wheat, sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers, and a cow/calf operation. I’m excited that our children will grow up with a strong connection to the land.


I’ve dedicated my career to serving my fellow farmers and our state’s agriculture industry. As Senior Adviser to EPA’s Region 7 Administrator, I supported farmers across Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa, the country’s most productive agricultural region. I led constructive dialogue between farmers, ranchers and the EPA. I believe we have to talk about both productivity and responsible land and water management.


After a decade in public service, I became Vice President of the Land Institute, a renowned agricultural research nonprofit in Salina. The prairie ecosystem can inform what the future of our grain production looks like, and The Land Institute has been leading cutting-edge research and thinking for decades. I'm grateful for the opportunity to learn around such incredible plant geneticists and ecologists.


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Joshua Svaty for Governor

(785) 783-2340
PO Box 4745
Topeka, Kansas 66604

© Svaty for Kansas. Paid for by Svaty for Kansas,
Shirley Jacques, Treasurer