Hi, just a few comments, I don’t want to take up precious space in this Kontact with my ramblings….

Sean did a really good job reviewing our legislative session this year in Topeka. He does a really good job for us. One tidbit of gossip I want to share is that I heard through the grapevine that how the stalemate on budget and taxation issues, that stretched our session out so long, was finally solved by the true leaders in Topeka, the women’s caucus. I heard they kicked the men out and hashed out a workable plan, then told the men to vote for it. Good for them! Sounds a lot like my house. . .

Really watch our website as our convention comes together. I’ve turned into an old-fogey and our state conventions have reflected that. I’ve observed that our attendance at state convention has been declining, yet every Beginning farmer event we host has ever larger crowds. This year I’ve appointed a committee of our young leaders to plan and put on our state convention. Their instructions are to plan a convention that they would like to attend and keep me clear out of the planning, nothing’s taboo… They have eagerly taken the task on. So far, we know where and when. Emporia, the first weekend in December. Details are still being filled out but my spies kind of have me excited. I’m confident that it will be fun and educational and I’m really looking forward to it. Heck, for all I know right now it might be held in a bar……. The committee I appointed is Rosanna Bauman, Sarah Green, Nick Levendofsky, and Matt Ubel. Thanks kids….

I’m REALLY excited that Josh Svaty has announced his run for Governor! Josh is a good friend with a really sharp mind and stands for the right things in rural Kansas. He’s young enough and bright enough to do really great things if elected. Kansas Farmers Union doesn’t endorse political candidates, this is one of the few times I regret that. I’ll personally be doing everything I can to support him.

Farmers Union Fly-in is September 10th through 13th in DC. This is the time to be putting our team together. It’s a wonderful first-hand opportunity to experience our nations politics in person. If you have an interest in attending holler at me.

As I type this our own Senator Moran has the nation focused on him. He has become the key vote in the Senate on the proposed Health Care bill reform. This is huge and shows an independence from Senate leadership that is refreshing. It would be wonderful if he places the needs of Kansas, and especially rural Kansas, before that of partisan politics. He’s becoming a true leader in the Senate with this. Here’s hoping he does the right thing for his constituents.

This past week I have been in Jamestown, North Dakota for our summer NFU board meeting. Along with our board meetings we also held our third State-to-State Forum where as many state staff as possible attend to network and learn from each other. This year we were blessed in all three staff attended, Kami, Mary, and Mercedes. It was great for Kami especially because this was her first opportunity, after working for KFU for over a year, to meet and put a face to those she has been working with nationally. It really went well and North Dakota Farmers Union wined and dined us in fine form. I was able to participate in a tour of that agricultural region and it was really interesting to witness the climate changes going on up there. North Dakota has historically had a rainfall in the teens, over the last decade they are averaging rainfall in the mid-thirties. This has dramatically changed the agricultural landscape. Corn and soybeans are common as well as many other crops one wouldn’t think of there. The prairie potholes that are common on the landscape have historically dried up in the summer and could be farmed. Now they hold water year-round and are rapidly increasing in depth. Highways, even the interstate, has had to be raised. Railroad tracks have had to be raised. And their huge 4-wheel drive tractors come from the factory with tow-cables installed…

I guess I ended up rambling as much as usual… Sorry.