The Kansas Corn Experience:

An Intern’s Inside Look at the Kansas Capitol

Blog by Tarra Rotstein, Communications Intern

The dome of the Kansas Capitol.

The distinctive copper dome, located on the east side of Kansas ,is the home to Topeka’s most notable landmark, the Kansas Capitol Building. As a Kansas transplant, I had not known the building to be anything, but that copper hue. Josh Roe, Vice President of Market Development and tour guide for my Topeka visit, remarked how he was more familiar with the dome being green as it was green his entire life up until the recent cleaning in 2013.

Up and down those wooden stairwells we went as Josh gave a quick tour of the Capitol Building. It is easy to spot those who frequent the Kansas Statehouse because they are all familiar with one another. This proved true on my quick tour, as each time we turned a corner Josh was introducing me to someone new. Josh is well versed in a multitude of Kansas issues and has been involved with agriculture matters on a state level for many years. The Capitol Building holds a lot more than just meetings for the executive and legislative branches of the government, it is filled with Kansas history and artifacts ranging from the murals on the wall to the swords on the ground floor.

On this day, the Capitol Building was bustling with agriculturalist as the Kansas Farm Bureau was facing their health insurance hurdles. The room was packed for the hearing on SB 32 in the House Insurance Committee, to the extent that there was only standing room at the rear of the room for us to listen. This topic was a major concern for many farmers in Kansas and they came to show their approval of SB 32.

It is imperative to note that there are often a multitude of guests coming to Topeka to show their support or opposition for different topics. Many organizations have their lobbyist and government relations professionals present at the capital each week. Having professionals present to monitor what is happening at the state level is essential and it is just as needed for Kansans to share their apprehensions or support for topics to their representatives. As I enter my career in the communications field it is crucial to know about the discrepancies happening at both the state and national level to clearly convey this information to the public.