April 20142017-07-21T12:17:24-05:00

President’s Report: April 2014

It was quite a National Farmers Union convention in Santa Fe, a beautiful, historical city that has been on my bucket list for many years. Many thanks to the Kansas members who agreed to be voting delegates for you-all: Herb Bartel, Patrica Bartel, Mary Fund, Chris Schmidt and Sherri Schmidt. They took their responsibility seriously and represented you all very well. Our policy is truly grass-roots. Also, I was surprised and impressed to see our very own Chris Schmidt on the NFU convention agenda as a break out presenter on [...]

Strnad Family Donation to Benefit Church, Community

Henry Strnad, lifetime Kansas Farmers Union member and 2013 Ruth Hirsch Award recipient, passed away February 25, 2014 following a brief illness. This photo was taken in the mid 1970s, during a threshing bee the Strnad family hosted on their farm near Munden, KS in Republic County. The new Munden Community Center and the Zion Evangelical Church will benefit from the proceeds of an upcoming internet-only auction of the tractor donated by the families of Billy W. Strnad, Glen O. Strnad and Henry Strnad, to the Republic County Community Foundation. [...]

Busy year ahead for KFU’s Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition

A few months ago, KFUF was awarded a grant from our friends at Farm Aid to support KFU’s Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition through the Cultivating Connections: Creating a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Network in Kansas project. This project will engage and inform beginning farmers and ranchers through the development of online resources, and encourage producers to explore innovative production, management and finance strategies. This project will empower farmers and ranchers to seek solutions to shared opportunities and challenges while becoming stronger advocates for state and national policies and programs that [...]

Host Cities for 2014 KFU & 2015 NFU Conventions Announced

2014 Kansas Farmers Union Convention: Join us in “The Little Apple” The Kansas Farmers Union board of directors overwhelmingly decided at their April 14 meeting to hold the organization’s 2014 annual convention December 4-6 at the Sheraton 4 Points hotel in Manhattan, KS. Nestled in the heart of the scenic Flint Hills, Manhattan is a thriving center for trade, education, government, health care, and entertainment. The Manhattan area features Kansas State University, fine arts, the beauty of nature, and a wide range of other qualifications and attractions. KFU staff will work [...]

Three Kansas Students Attend 2014 College Conference on Co-ops

More than 135 students from the United States and Puerto Rico representing 35 colleges and universities participated in the National Farmers Union (NFU) College Conference on Cooperatives (CCoC) held February 13-16 in Minneapolis, MN., making it the largest CCoC in history. Three of the students hailed from Kansas, they were: Bart Karls and Roberto Chavez-Juarez, business management students at North Central Kansas Technical College in Hays; and Brandi Smith, sustainability student at Flint Hills Technical College in Emporia. The students learned how cooperative businesses are adapting to changing environments in [...]

Livestock Handling Workshop Attracts Large and Diverse Crowd

On Saturday, April 12th, KFU and the Kansas Graziers hosted a low-stress livestock handling workshop led by Dr. Lynn Locatelli in Salina. Dr. Locatelli, a livestock handling specialist, gave a deep, thoughtful presentation to a full-house eager to learn more about low stress livestock handling. Dr. Locatelli was a veterinarian in western Nebraska for 14 years. During that time she became interested in the Bud Williams method of low stress cattle handling. She’s currently part of a ranch management team based in New Mexico and continues to educate livestock handlers [...]

KFU Members “Spice Up Family Agriculture” at Santa Fe, NM Convention

Kansas Farmers Union President Donn Teske and a group of KFU members recently traveled to the 112th National Farmers Union convention in Santa Fe, NM, which was held March 8-11, 2014. The four-day event drew nearly 600 family farmers, ranchers, and fishermen from across the country, and featured a number of high-profile speakers. KFU members joining President Teske at convention included: Kathy and Stephanie Teske, Wheaton and Manhattan, respectively; Herb & Patricia Bartel, Hillsboro; Chris and Sherri Schmidt, Atwood; Mary Fund, Goff; and Tom Giessel, Larned. Bartels, Schmidts, and Fund [...]

Kansas Legislature Update

The Kansas Legislature wrapped up its regular session Sunday, April 6, two days later than originally planned, following a controversial debate and passage of a school finance bill.  What should have been a clean bill to fund poorer school districts turned into one that narrowly passed both houses after divisive debate over policy issues thrown in at the last minute. Both the House and Senate passed HB2506 – a bill that would put $129 million toward addressing inequities to satisfy a March 7 Kansas Supreme Court ruling to boost aid [...]

KFU out and about

February saw Donn jetting off to Minneapolis for a meeting of the North Central SARE Advisory Committee. The committee made final selections for awards in the Farmer Rancher and the Youth Educator grant programs. Mercedes took part in the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership’s IRS Tax Workshop for Small and Medium-Sized Nonprofit Organizations at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in March. With the changes to the KFU foundation, the board and staff are proactively reviewing best practices for 501(c)(3) management. Fresh off the train from Santa Fe, Nick and Mary [...]

Olsburg Ranch Tour to Highlight Low Stress Livestock Handling

Three Olsburg, KS ranches will highlight working facilities that utilize low stress methods to quietly and effectively process cattle, sheep and goats on May 3, 2014. The tour will begin with registration at 9:30 AM at the Edwards Ranch, 15225 Dry Creek Road, 2.4 miles west of Olsburg and 2.9 south on Dry Creek Road. The working facility designed by Bill, which he can operate alone, will be demonstrated at 10:00 AM. A catered picnic lunch will be served at noon at the Joseph Hubbard Barn, 5025 Highway 16, Olsburg. [...]

Farming Smarter: Roadmap to profitability helps farmers find the hole in their pocket

by Tom Parker, guest writer Richard Wiswall likes numbers. In that he might be an anomaly among farmers, at least where the numbers are concerned. Some of his numbers involve planting rates and seed inventory, tractor hours, and labor costs—categories most farmers are familiar with—but he takes things a step further—okay, many steps further—by calculating, and tracking, almost every facet of his family farm in East Montpelier, Vt. He tallies numbers to an extensive degree; for instance, his greenhouse operation, is broken down by the cost of each flat, the [...]