Autumn 2017 2017-11-03T13:00:38+00:00
The Kontact Autumn 2017 Cover

This issue’s cover photo features one of everyone’s summer favorites –local peaches! Tom Parker captured this photo of Produce Farm Twilight Tour participant Tee Huang at Meadowlark Farm, a you-pick orchard operated by the Brown family.
KFU kicked-off its partnership with NFU’s Local Food Safety Collaborative with this August farm tour. We’re partnering with KSRE and other orgs to educate fruit and vegetable producers on the upcoming implementation of the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule. See Page 9 for details on the numerous workshops available in both KS and MO!

Photo credit: Tom Parker

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November 2017

The family farmer loses again…the trashing of the Farmer Fair Practice Rule When Secretary of Agriculture Perdue announced that the USDA will move forward with trashing the newly implemented “Farmer Fair Practice Rule” I feel he sent a clear message to America that the USDA is solely on the side of the four major chicken giants in America: Tyson, Perdue, Pilgrims, and Sanderson Farms. The Farmer Fair Practice Rule was a very small victory that would have provided the [...]

Next It May Be You: Tyson Poultry Complex in Kansas on Hold but Not Gone

By Mary Fund Mary Fund is Executive Director of the Kansas Rural Center, a non-profit research, education and advocacy group supporting a sustainable agriculture and food system. She edits KRC’s quarterly newsletter, Rural Papers, as well as KRC’s Weekly Policy Watch E-Updates during the Kansas legislative session. She is a member of Kansas Farmers Union, Kansas Organic Producers, and chair of the Organic Farming Research Foundation board. She and her husband Ed Reznicek own and operate a certified organic [...]

WILL A TYSON CHICKEN PLANT BE GOOD FOR KANSAS?

By Don Stull Don Stull is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Kansas and coauthor of Slaughterhouse Blues: The Meat and Poultry Industry of North America. He is member of the Kansas Farmers Union, Vice President of the Organization for Competitive Markets, and on the board of directors of the Socially Responsible Agriculture Project. Fueled by steady increases in domestic consumption and exports, poultry companies are increasing production and expanding into new territories. One of those may [...]

Kansas Farmers Union Participates in Senator Moran’s Conservation Tour

By Mary Howell U.S. Senator Jerry Moran, held his 2017 Conservation Tour to learn more about conservation efforts across the state on Thursday, September 21st. This year’s annual tour, based in the Manhattan area and the Flint Hills, focused on water and soil conservation, grassland prairie preservation, and river sustainability.  Sen. Moran has held regular tours across Kansas to observe conservation practices. This year’s tour was the twelfth that Sen. Moran has held, highlighting conservation efforts supported by the U.S. Department [...]

Give the Gift of a KFU Membership This Holiday Season

Kansas Farmers Union has a wonderful collection of longtime members in our family. Here is a question that I ponder frequently. We are the family farm organization that is passionate about keeping families on their farm. We advocate for the policies that our members believe strongly about and want to see continue. Here is what I don’t understand. Why don’t I see members of your family (your kids) on the membership list? Surely, they share the [...]

2017 KFU State Convention Set for Dec 1-2 in Emporia

By Mary HowellMake plans to attend the Kansas Farmers Union Convention, December 1-2, 2017 at the Best Western, Emporia, KS. Special guests for the two-day event are Senator Nancy Kassebaum Baker, Erika Nelson, Kurt & Andi Dale, and Jason Schmidt.This year’s theme of “Bridges” appears many times as we discuss ways to make connections: finding the perfect fit, bridging the gap between generations, connecting rural to urban, and farmers to consumers. Other topics include: food safety, the new Farm Bill, [...]

CHASING THE FLAVOR: Produce Farm Twilight Tour highlights specialty crop farms and basics of post-harvest handling

By Tom Parker “Peaches,” Tom Brown said. “For five years I asked hundreds and hundreds of people in the Wichita area about what kinds of produce they would pay a premium for, and, I’m serious, I think 99 percent of them said fresh peaches.” That’s because a fresh-picked, straight-off-the-tree peach is a succulent explosion of tangy sweetness that simply cannot be experienced when plucked from grocery store shelves. Like other kinds of vegetables and fruits which have been [...]

Fly-In Elevates Farm Voices

By Olivia Taylor-Puckett As the 2014 Farm Bill nears expiration in 2018, many farmers and ranchers are concerned with the contents of the next Farm Bill and how long Congress will take to craft it. The importance of access to affordable healthcare, concerns of potential cuts to funds for a strong farm safety net and renewable energy drove over 320 Farmers Union members to Washington D.C. last month to visit all 535 Congressional offices. September’s National Farmers Union Fall [...]

Kansans Testify on Behalf of Ag Mediation Programs

By Donn TeskeOn September 14th, I accompanied Forrest Buhler, of the Kansas Ag Mediation Service, to Hill briefings in Washington DC. The briefings were held on both the House and Senate sides informing and educating Congressional aides about the Ag Mediation program, which is currently active in 41 states.We were two of five representing CAMP (Coalition of Agricultural Mediation Programs) that addressed the briefings and shared with the attendees how the program works, the need for the program, and the [...]

NFU execs listen to local farmers’ Farm Bill concerns

By Mike Gilmore LARNED -- After a scary start, the wheels have begun to slowly turn on the 2018 Farm Bill. Farmers and their governing agencies are in agreement that the last Farm Bill – though well-intentioned – failed as a producer’s safety net due to drastic funding cuts in a plummeting agricultural economy. President Donald Trump’s first budget request to Congress proposed to cut $3.6 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years. The budget, as submitted, [...]

DESERTION AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL

Former GIPSA official speaks out on Packers & Stockyards Act Years after passage of the Sherman Act (1890) and the Clayton Act (1914), the Packers & Stockyards Act (PSA) (1921) was passed to regulate packers and poultry companies and to provide greater protection for farmers and ranchers against unfair, unjustly discriminatory, and deceptive practices as well as undue or unreasonable prejudice and disadvantage. Even the threshold for proof is less, not competitive injury but likelihood of competitive injury. The PSA [...]

Telemedicine available for Farmers Union Members

The medical world is constantly changing. Technology now plays a big role in the medical domain and as doctors regularly look for better ways to treat people, technology has brought great advances to that field. Thanks to technological advancements such as telemedicine, you can obtain access to medical services or information that might normally be unavailable. Telemedicine has been around for over 40 years and is a rapidly growing field. Getting appointments with primary care doctors and specialists can [...]