Winter 2017 2017-07-21T12:24:21+00:00
Kansas Kontact Winter 2017 Cover

This issue’s cover photo features 2016 convention presenter Donna Pearson McClish and her grandson William Bradford McClish on the family farm in Sedgwick County. McClish, founder and director of Common Ground Producers and Growers, Inc., says “Seniors are an overlooked population. In the food desert areas they have limited resources and limited transportation, so the senior residents of Wichita became our target audience. Everyone is benefitting on both ends. The growers are making extra income during the growing season, and the seniors are getting fresh produce at a reduced cost.”

View the Winter 2017 Kontact on ISSUU.
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February 2017

Steve Anderson Advocacy for rural America has lost a true champion. Steve Anderson, of Alma Kansas, was killed in a farm accident. Steve was the real deal. Where I have to temper my passion he flung it out in force. His most recent being a passionate, and accurate, letter to the editor of the Grass & Grain. But there is no doubt that he understood the corruption in agriculture [...]

“I DON’T BUY IT” Steve Anderson’s last, and right on target, letter to the editor in the Grass & Grain

Back in 2014, all the experts, referred to as specialists nowadays, were predicting fantastic cattle prices through 2018. Years of low cattle prices, extended drought and ranchers retiring or just giving up, had reduced the cow herd to near 70-year lows. Farm and ranch publications were packed with rosy predictions by everyone who thin​k​s they are someone. Ranchers, farmers, beginning young couples, independent cattle feeders, and most importantly, bankers, [...]

Convention Delegates Adopt 2017 KFU Policy Priorities

Addressing unprecedented farm income declines through proactive programs supporting farm families and rural communities leads Kansas Farmers Union’s 2017 policy priorities. “Our policy is as grass-roots as it can be. I’m always proud of the commitment our delegates have to creating sound and timely policy and special orders as the below special orders show.” said President Donn Teske, “ it’s also very timely this year in regards to the [...]

Farmers Market on Wheels: Producer fills gap in Wichita-area food desert

by Tom Parker For Donna Pearson McClish, it all started with a question. It wasn’t her question, not then, though it would become hers in the weeks and months and years to come, and uttered in such a way that while anyone in that room could put forth a response, by familial hierarchy the answer was hers alone to give. As the eldest of 12 siblings, it was her [...]

Transition into New Presidential Administration Poses Questions for NFU

by Tom Parker As a new presidential administration prepares to take office following the most divisive election campaign in recent history and with a Congress whose members are increasingly distanced from the realities of common Americans, the National Farmers Union is strengthening its efforts to find solutions for climate change, farm support, trade agreements and corporate agricultural consolidations that promise fewer choices for farmers, less innovation in products and [...]

“Hell of a ride”: GIPSA Administrator Looks Back at Career in Politics

by Tom Parker Larry Mitchell, fresh out of college and back on the farm, was building fence when the phone rang. His father answered, listened for a minute, said he’d be right back. Got a call, he told his son, some farmers want you to represent them at a parity march in Washington, D.C. Mitchell just shook his head. Tell them I’m busy building fence, I don’t have time [...]

Understanding Backwards: Lessons from the 1980s farm crisis

By Tom Parker Prior to a panel discussion on the 1980s farm crisis and its implications for the future, a documentary about the crisis was aired for members of the Kansas Farmers Union during their annual convention in early December. For the audience, some of whom lived through the events, it set a sobering tone to what would follow. For the panelists—Charlie Griffin, Ed Reznicek, Forrest Buhler and [...]

Kansas Farmers Union Honors Three Longtime Agriculture and Farm Advocates with Hirsh Awards

KFU proudly honors the legacy of Ruth Hirsh through its award in her name which is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to agriculture and the efforts of the Farmers Union. Hirsh was a strong advocate for a viable education program in Farmers Union; not only for the children, but also for the general public. She felt if all Americans recognized the challenges that family [...]

Kansas Farmers Union Receives FSMA Education Grant

Kansas Farmers Union was recently selected as a collaborator on the National Farmers Union Foundation’s Local Food Safety Collaborative project funded by a cooperative agreement with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The goal of this work is to provide outreach, education, and training to small local food producers and processors on the Produce Safety and Preventive Controls rules of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). National Farmers Union Foundation [...]

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 [...]