Convention 2016 2017-01-16T09:42:22+00:00

2016 STATE CONVENTION NEWS

UNDERSTANDING BACKWARDS:
Lessons from the 1980s farm crisis

Farm advocates reflect on the 80s farm crisis
to share knowledge that could prevent farmers,
mediators and advocacy workers from
making the same mistakes again

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PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION:
New Administration Poses Questions

Struggling rural and farm economies,
continued ag business consolidation,
and a push to get started on the next farm bill
are key issues for National Farmers Union.

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“IT WAS A HELL OF A RIDE”
GIPSA Administrator Looks Back

Larry Mitchell’s Reflections of a Texas Plowboy
in Washington, D.C. touches on tractorcades,
lobbying, farm bills, and heading USDA’s
Grain Inspectors, Packers and Stockyards Agency.

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FARMERS MARKET ON WHEELS:
Producer fills gap in Wichita food desert

Everyone is benefitting on both ends.
The growers are making extra income…
and the seniors are getting fresh
produce at a reduced cost.

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Hessman Elected KFU Vice President

KFU Vice President Linda Hessman

Longtime Kansas Farmers Union board member Linda Hessman was elected state vice president on Thursday, December 8 during the organization’s annual convention in Wichita.

Hessman is a generational farmer’s daughter. She married into a generational farm family from Dodge City where she and her husband Jerry farmed and raised a cow herd in a family partnership for 34 years.

She is a Certified Mediator specializing in ag issues as well as a national Farm Aid Advocate. In 2015, Farm Aid honored Linda as one of its 1985 original Farm Advocates during its concert in Chicago. She’s also received the prestigious KFU Ruth Hirsch Award in 2012, and the National Catholic Rural Life Award for her work with farm & ranch families developing programs for rural areas. She served a 4-year term as a Kansas Wheat Commissioner. Rural communities and families, including her own, continue to be her passion.

Bauman Joins KFU Board of Directors

Rosanna Bauman, new member of the KFU Board of Directors

Rosanna Bauman is a farmer and serial ag entrepreneur from Garnett. Together with her parents and five siblings, Bauman has developed businesses that expand opportunities for local food production in eastern Kansas through USDA-inspected poultry and meat processing facilities and a non-GMO feed hub.

At the age of 17, Rosanna became the youngest certified HACCP writer in K-State’s training program. She used those skills when launching ANCO Processing, the only on-farm poultry processing facility in Kansas to process not only the farm’s birds, but also the neighbors. Once the smallest USDA-certified plant in the nation, ANCO has now grown to processing 50,000 birds in 2015. 

In 2014, Bauman was one of 24 farmers selected from the U.S. to present in the National Slow Money Entrepreneur Showcase. Her family’s Feed Hub project was chosen to receive the 1st place, 0% interest loan. This innovative aggregation center for local grains provides non-GMO livestock grains for Baumans’ farm, and other’s in the region. Bauman’s Farm Feeds sold 70 tons of grain in 2015.

KFU members developing policy.
2017 Policy

2017 KFU Policy Statement

Adopted December 8, 2016

2016 Convention Keynote Speakers

Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell

Larry Mitchell is Administrator of the USDA GIPSA and is responsible for a variety of programs that facilitate the marketing of livestock, poultry, meat, cereals, oilseeds, and related agricultural products, and to promote fair and competitive trading practices for the overall benefit of consumers and American agriculture. Prior to serving at USDA in the 1990s, Mitchell held the position of Vice President of Government Relations for the NFU in Washington, D.C., Director of Federal and State Relation for the American Agriculture Movement, Editor of the AAM Reporter and as an independent consultant and writer on American farm issues. Mitchell will share his Reflections of a Texas Plowboy in Washington, D.C. – AAM, NFU and USDA during Thursday’s convention banquet.

Adrian Polansky

Adrian Polansky

Adrian Polansky was appointed as state executive director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Kansas in July 2009. He served in the same capacity from 1993 to 2001. Polansky brings a lifetime of agriculture experience to USDA. He served as secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture from February 2003 to July 2009, and owns a 1,900-acre family farm and wholesale farm seed company, both in Belleville, Kansas. Polansky will provide an update on the Kansas FSA during Thursday’s lunch.

Coming Soon

Tom Giessel

Tom Giessel is a farmer in Pawnee County near Larned, Kansas. He raises wheat, corn, milo, and alfalfa. Tom has been active in Farmers Union all of his life, serving as vice president of the Kansas Farmers Union for nearly two decades. He has also served Farmers Union on a national level as chairman of the policy committee, testified at congressional hearings, and participated in the American Farm Project. He currently serves as Honorary Historian for the National Farmers Union and President of the Pawnee County Farmers Union. Tom is active in his community and local church; he serves on the Advisory Board for Ogallala Commons, which is a community resource development organization. In 1972, Tom graduated from Fort Hays State University with a B.S. on Geology. He and his wife, Sheryl, have three grown children and three grandchildren.

Rob Larew

Rob Larew

Robert Larew is NFU’s Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications. Larew has more than 20 years of public service, working on both Capitol Hill and for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). He most recently served as the minority staff director on the House Agriculture Committee. During Thursday’s lunch banquet, Larew will reflect on how the recent election may impact agricultural policy.

Host Hotel

Hotel at Old Town, Wichita

Hotel At Old Town
First & Mosley, 830 East First
Wichita, KS 67202

To reserve, call 316.267.4800 and refer to GROUP CODE: KFU1216. A room block has been reserved until December 1.

Available Rates:
Queen Single Bed Rooms – $ 95.00
King Single Bed Rooms – $105.00
Queen/Queen Double Rooms – $115.00
King Jacuzzi Suites – $165.00

Register Now!

2016 Convention: Helping Communities Help Themselves

Exceptional speakers and expansive ideas as to what agriculture and rural life can be!
Register Now!

KFU Foundation Auction

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  • Christy Davis and the Symphony in the Flint Hills
  • 2015 KFUF Auction Promo
KFUF logo

The Kansas Farmers Union Foundation was created in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) organization supporting education on rural and agricultural issues and providing resources for rural economic and cooperative development. Through the KFUF, Kansas Farmers Union brings important educational and networking opportunities to all Kansans.

Examples of this programming include Amazing Grazing,Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition, Food Hubs and Co-ops, and our work with Farm Aid and the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Kansas. Much of the Foundation’s work is funded through grants from organizations and agencies like the CHS Foundation, USDA NIFA, the North Central Extension Risk Management Agency, and Farm Aid.

Contributions to the Foundation allow us to meet immediate needs and more quickly respond to emerging issues.
That’s why we need YOU!
Learn more about donating an item to the annual KFUF auction.
Give a tax-deductible monetary contribution to the Foundation today.