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UPU Industries, Inc. has received a Pathways to a Healthy Kansas Worksite implementation grant to purchase a water bottle filling station, create an outdoor tobacco free space and provide Farmers Market vouchers as an incentive to promote employee wellness.


The UPU wellness team participated in the WorkWell KS (WWKS) worksite training to receive a grant to improve the health and wellness of the workplace. WWKS, a partner in the Pathways initiative is a statewide program that provides leadership, training, and resources for businesses and organizations to support worksite health. To be eligible to apply for funding worksites were required to send their wellness committee to the WWKS foundation workshop, implement wellness policies and procedures, and complete a development plan for worksite improvement.


UPU Industries manufactures high-performance bale netting for premium crop protection. Founded in Northern Ireland more than 40 years ago, this family-run business provides its range of wrapping products to over 30 countries worldwide and has a sister manufacturing base in Junction City that serves both the U.S. and Canada markets.


The UPU Farmer’s brand specializes in big bale solutions, including net wrapping, pallet netting, and baler twine for hay, straw, stalks, and silage baling. Using innovative production techniques, their net wrap is perfectly flat across the whole roll of netting. Field testing has demonstrated that this guarantees a tighter bale with over-the-edge cover to ensure the most efficient storage and transportation of round bales. Lee Wolf, Konza CEO said the worksite wellness funding will allow them to install a new ice and water dispenser for staff in the breakroom at the Junction City location. “Konza employees work hard to take care of patients; taking care of themselves is just as important,” said Wolf.  “We are thrilled to have community partners like Live Well Geary County and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas.  Because of these partnerships and the dedication of Konza’s Worksite Wellness Committee, we will be able to offer our staff a healthier workplace environment and both a convenient and simple step to improve their health by drinking more water”

Geary County is one of 16 Kansas communities selected to participate in the Pathways to a Healthy Kansas program, which is the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. Live Well Geary County has received a $100,000 coordination grant; Geary County schools, worksites, restaurants, food retail outlets and other organizations have the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation and achievements grants amounting to $400,000 through July 2020.


The Pathways program provides community coalitions, like Live Well Geary County, with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life. Funded communities work in several sectors in order to build and sustain healthy environments for their residents, including community policy, resident/community well-being, food retail, health care providers, restaurants, schools and worksites.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas

For more than 75 years, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas has built a reputation of trust with its members and contracting providers by providing outstanding customer service while quickly and accurately processing claims; fairly administering benefit plans and contracts; offering programs, services and tools to help members improve or maintain their health; and operating under the highest ethical standards while being good stewards of premium dollars. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and is the state’s largest insurer, serving all Kansas counties except Johnson and Wyandotte. For more information, visit