Thursday 2016-11-30T11:03:49+00:00

Thursday kicks off with the Washington Breakfast featuring Zack Clark, NFU Government Relations Representative, for a report on the year’s developments with the national organization. Sean Gatewood, Alliance for a Healthy Kansas, discusses the status of Kansas healthcare access and Donna Pearson McClish shares the rapid growth of Wichita’s Common Ground Producers and Growers, Inc. Kerri Ebert provides updates on AgrAbility program while Dale Strickler presents a new vision for agriculture. During lunch attendees hear from Adrian Polansky, state executive director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Kansas, and Rob Larew, NFU Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications. Afternoon sessions explore the ‘80s farm crisis and the current ag economy. Farm Aid’s recently released documentary, Homeplace Under Fire, will be shown followed by a farm crisis pro-active response panel discussion and strategy planning featuring Forrest Buhler, Charlie Griffin, Linda Hessman, and Ed Reznicek. USDA GIPSA Administrator Larry Mitchell will offer the keynote, “Reflections of a Texas Plowboy in Washington, D.C. – AAM, NFU and USDA” during Thursday’s banquet. The evening concludes with the annual Kansas Farmers Union Foundation auction.

Click on the ‘+Box’ to read the session description.

KFU staff will be located in the pre-convene area for check-in and late registration.
Zack Clark, NFU Government Relations Representative, joins us for a report on the year’s developments with the national organization. Sponsored by MRA.
The General Session continues with additional time for the consideration and adoption of policy and bylaws.
*Only if Policy is not finalized on Wednesday.
What to expect from the upcoming legislative session on KanCare/Medicaid expansion and the current KanCare system, how these potential changes or lack of changes will effect rural communities and what we can do to prepare for the session.
Donna is the founder and director of Common Ground Producers and Growers, Inc, a non-profit organization which has developed the idea of a mobile farmer’s market that supplies fresh produce to food desert areas of Sedgwick County. The market currently serves senior residences in Wichita and surrounding towns. Donna shares her journey creating a mobile market that procures local fresh produce from area growers and delivers for sale to senior populations around the county.
AgrAbility is a program that serves farmers, farm family members, and farm employees who experience challenges because of a physical, emotional, or cognitive disability or limitation.
For seven thousand years the methods of agriculture that have been practiced on planet Earth have caused massive soil degradation. If we are to survive as a species on this planet, we will have to either learn to produce more food on degraded soil, or learn to restore soils to their original productivity. Will the agriculture that accomplishes these tasks be based on ever-improved technology, or will it be a mimic of natural systems? Join this discussion for a peek into some possibilities of the future directions of agriculture.

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.

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.

Screening of Farm Aid’s recently released documentary Homeplace Under Fire.
The Farm Crisis of the 1980s drove hundreds of thousands of family farmers into foreclosure. Yet, out of that crisis arose a legion of farm advocates who have refused to stand idly by and watch their way of life go up in flames.
Ordinary Americans taught themselves extraordinary skills. As fellow farmers, farm wives, and rural leaders, they studied laws and regulations, started hotlines, answered farmers’ calls from their kitchen tables, counseled their neighbors, and went toe-to-toe with lenders – giving their all to keep neighbors on their land.
Homeplace Under Fire celebrates these advocates and their remarkable work. Thousands of farmers are alive and on their land today because of them. As Willie Nelson says in the film, these advocates are the best of America.

Ballots available in the Pre-Convene Area beginning at 2:15 p.m. Voting ends at 2:30 p.m.
During financial downturns, stress and difficult decisions often challenge our ability to manage effectively. The session will share tips on maintaining our family relationships, our focus on good management, and our own mental and emotional well being.

A farm crisis pro-active response panel discussion and strategy planning featuring Forrest Buhler, Charlie Griffin, Linda Hessman, and Ed Reznicek.

Voting results will be announced.
Consideration and adoption of policy and bylaws will continue, if needed.

2016 Kansas Farmers Union Convention officially closes.
We hope you will stay on for the banquet and Kansas Farmers Union Foundation auction.

Ruth Hirsh Award with Donn Teske
Presentation of the annual KFU Ruth Hirsh Award.

Midwest Regional Agency Report with Jeff Downing

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.
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2016 Convention: Helping Communities Help Themselves

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