Arden Andersen is a doctor, member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves and former teacher and in this Q5, he talks about joining the Democratic gubernatorial primary race.

Arden Andersen is a doctor, member of the U.S. Air Force Reserves and former teacher and in this Q5, he talks about joining the Democratic gubernatorial primary race.

Arden, why are you running for governor?
I am running for governor because I, like most Kansans and tax- payers in every state, am tired of the politics- -as-usual promises of career politicians. I am tired of partisan bickering and deadlock. I am tired of  incompetent  politicians making  ridiculous, inoperable legislation for political favoritism and special-interest profits.
 I am tired of reelection sound bites that never actually solve our healthcare, education, public health and safety, infrastructure, human rights, and environmental problems. I am running because as a family physician, public health professional, farmer and farm consultant, teacher, and colonel in the Air Force Reserves, I have the holistic perspective, training, and understanding how healthcare is connected to agriculture connected to public health and safety connected to infrastructure connected to education and human rights.  The legislature governs/rules by committee and consensus.
The governor has to make executive decisions, has to have the knowledge of the holistic connection of all areas to make the best decision for all people.  I make life-and-death decisions daily.
Many times leaders do not have the luxury of leading by committee, rather, they have to make an executive decision in a crisis.  
If I am not able to make a good decision in an emergency crisis myself, I will not be able to make a better decision with all the information given to me by others.  I am the candidate for governor that has that needed executive decision-making savvy to solve our healthcare, education, infrastructure, and human rights issues, just to name a few.  

How has your wide range of experience in many different fields such as farming, teaching, coaching, military and medicine given you knowledge that will address the challenges that Kansas faces? 
Just as I’ve said for answer 1, plus I am the only candidate that truly has training and experiential holistic perspective on problem solving.

Why is it important for Kansas to diversify agriculture and how would hemp and organic crops help the economy?
Diversification is the only mechanism we have for economic survival. The standard mantra of “international markets” as the savior to Kansas agriculture is really a race to the bottom as far as commodity prices and farm profitability.  We (U.S.) are competing with South America, China, Mexico, highly subsidized EU, and highly sophisticated Australia for the commodity markets. Contrary to the “we feed the world” rhetoric, we produce 108 million metric tons of soybeans. South America produces 130.2 million metric tons. We rank No. 4 in the world for wheat production behind China, India, and Russia. We produce 55 million metric tons of wheat and the other 9 countries of the top-10 producers produce 452 million metric tons. There is roughly 470 million metric tons of milled rice produced in the world, the U.S. produces 6.4 million metric tons. We do produce about 33 percent of the world’s corn and about 20 percent of the world’s beef. Forty percent of the corn goes for ethanol and only 13 percent of corn is exported. We exported about 10.5 percent of our beef production in 2017. Kansas ag relies heavily on corn and beef. Consumer demand is the true driver of agriculture. We need more crops like hemp that also bring probable processing industries with them. We need more organic corn as we import 600,000 acres worth of organic corn from foreign countries at prices two to three times the price of conventional corn. Much of this corn goes for feeding organic beef, pork, chickens, and dairy — all of which also bring much higher pricing, making the Kansas farmer more profitable and sustainable. As governor, I bring the knowledge of how to make this happen on small and large farms.  

Can you describe the GMO and cultured meat products on the horizon and how would they benefit the state economically and environmentally and prove to be a healthy alternative to standard meat products?
Another significant factor that will affect long- term sustainability of Kansas corn, soybeans, beef, pork, and chicken production is GMO meatless “meat” and cultured meats.  Bill Gates, Charles Branson, Cargill, and Tyson are just a few big pockets to invest in both of these technologies.  They are already developed past the restaurant testing stage with great acceptance, thus, the investments by deep pockets.  
Consider these technologies on top of the growing non-dairy milks, cheeses, yogurts, and ice creams plus the animal free “meat” products already growing rapidly via Natural Grocers, Whole Foods, Sprouts, Hi-V, Price Chopper, and even Walmart.
Diversification and differentiation are mandatory for Kansas beef and corn farmers to survive. It is no longer a matter of “if” rather a matter of “when."

What kind of family practice do you have in Leavenworth?
I have a private holistic practice consisting largely of Medicaid and lower socio-economic patients, along with offering DOT physicals, work-related injuries treatment, nutritional therapies, IV therapies, prolotherapy with PRP and amniotic allograft, bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, and osteopathic manual medicine.  My patients range from newborns to elderly. I also consult on high-risk pregnancies for nutritional and hormone therapies. 

What are your beliefs on the the link between soil/human health and climatic issues, public health issues,  preventative medicine and the underlying solutions needed to return harmony and health to all living systems?
I have spent 30 years teaching the direct connection between nutrition and health at all levels from soil to plant to the dinner plate to the consumer and into the doctor’s office and hospital.  Genetics play a roll often in susceptibility, but the fact of the matter is that environment  determines genetic expression.  Charles Northern, MD in 1936 read in the Congressional Record the dire problem of declining nutrient values in foods. Followup testing over the years by the USDA and others have shown steady and consistent decline in the nutrient values of most every food grown today by modern agriculture. It is why it is so important that we properly supply people with nutritional supplements to make up the deficiencies in the food.
Nutrition is the foundation to preventive medicine and the foundation to the reversal of illness. If/when we truly address the nutrition in the soil, not only do we get better production, better profitability, and better nutrient density in the food, we also get increased carbon sequestration - humus - deposition  which increases soil water and nutrient holding capacity. This recedes erosion, reduces drought resistance, and improves soil tilth.  Further, as nutrition improves we have fewer weed, disease, and insect pressures, so the farmer can automatically reduce pesticide use. That improved nutrient density in the crop translates to better health for every consumer, including animals if that crop is going for animal feed. Our environmental, animal, and human health issues are not too complex to fix, just challenging for many to get their heads around it. We must change the belief that nature is the enemy to conquer, but instead the teacher to heed and manage accordingly.  

You have said that your patients have been your constant inspiration in running for governor. What do you think needs to be done to improve the healthcare system?
First, we deprivatize Medicaid and model the system more like the Australian system which spends less that half what Kansas spends per person and delivers better care than our current Medicaid system. Next, we need to develop the Direct Primary Care model for middle class families as a possible option for receiving their healthcare.
Then, we set in place a preventative medicine program for everyone, especially the lower socioeconomic population, and help people with diet, nutrition, shopping, cooking, and lifestyle improvement.
We overhaul our mental health system to ensure that everyone has mental health care available to them.  This means we must fund it enough to bring more mental health professionals into the field  and into Kansas.  
What do the four books you have written address?
"Science In Agriculture" is a foundation teaching on biological soil and plant science; "The Anatomy of Life and Energy In Agriculture" is the primer/introduction on the correlations between  nutrition and weeds, diseases, and insects ; "Real Medicine, Real Health" is an overview of my medical practice from 10 years ago which needs revising (planned for next year); "Food Plague," now in its second edition, is an extensive overview of the problems with the quality and contamination of our food, including over 450 citations of scientific literature. I have written a few other items, but these are the major four.

If elected governor, what will be your top  problems in the state that you will focus on and improve?
1. Overhaul the Kansas Medicaid system and expand it to an additional 380,000 people as soon as possible. 2. Mental health improvement to get mental health services better covered by Medicaid and for lower socioeconomic patients. 3. Education: initially hold three-four regional teacher forums to gather information of what teachers need to achieve in their mission of teaching children, and what they are tasked to teach. Take this information and formulate an education budget for the state. 4. Human rights resolutions: I will elevate the discussions on human rights to the medical and constitutional level, out of the typical social/religious  divisive arena. We must move to resolve these issues in the legal area in order to fully protect everyone equally, fully honor everyone’s constitutional rights, and get on with solving the above issues we face in Kansas. 5. Infrastructure revitalization: revisit all engineering formulas/standards in the state for roads and bridges and move in a direction of improving them so we are not building roads that last for 10 years financed by 30-year bonds. 6. Prison reform and deprivatization of the prison system, revitalization of real inmate rehabilitation, not mixing minor criminals with violent criminals, and legalization of medical marijuana so we reduce the number of non-violent, minor prisoners.
— Rimsie McConiga