TOPEKA, KS.- The public is invited to a screening of the documentary The Farm Crisis at 6:00 P.M. Saturday, January 4, 2014 in the Grand Ballroom of the Topeka Ramada, 420 SE 6th Ave.

Narrated by NBC News reporter Harry Smith, The Farm Crisis examines the tragic circumstances faced by farmers for most of the 1980s, when thousands were forced into bankruptcy, land values dropped by one-third nationally, and sky-high interest rates turned successes into failures seemingly overnight.

“For those of us who farmed through that time, it is never forgotten,” relates KFU president Donn Teske. “People’s lives were drastically changed, sometimes violently. Multi-generational farms fell by the wayside to be sacrificed like straw out of the back of a combine. What’s really sad is, those discarded farms & farmers were judged to be the failures in society when the events that took them down were out of their control.”

The program features interviews with policymakers, business owners, economists, and farm families, including Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad, Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Tom Harkin (D-IA), former Rep. Jim Leach, the late Iowa farm news broadcaster Mark Pearson, former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD), Iowa State University economist Neil Harl, and recording artist and Farm Aid Founder Willie Nelson.

A panel discussion will follow at 7:30 P.M. featuring National Farmers Union president and former director of the North Dakota farm crisis hotline Roger Johnson, agricultural mediator and early farmer advocate Linda Hessman, director of the Kansas Rural Family Helpline Charlie Griffin, director of Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services Forrest Buhler, and former Kansas Rural Center farm financial counselor and Nemaha County, KS farmer Ed Reznicek.

A buffet meal will be served prior to the film at 5:00 P.M. Meal cost is $25 per person. Please register by by December 30 to reserve a meal for the evening. Online and mail in registration available by visiting  kansasfarmersunion.org or calling 620-241-6630.

If you would like more information about the documentary, or wish to schedule an interview with Donn Teske or a farm crisis panelist, please call Nick Levendofsky at 785-527-0941 or email Nick at kfu.nick@gmail.com

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Photo: “A screening of the documentary The Farm Crisis, with a panel discussion to immediately follow, are planned for Saturday, January 4.” available here.
Photo: “National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson is scheduled to participate in the panel discussion following the screening of The Farm Crisis.” available here.