2017 Convention Keynote Speakers

 Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker

Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker

Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker represented the State of Kansas in the United States Senate from 1978 to 1997. She is the daughter of Alf Landon, who was Governor of Kansas from 1933 to 1937 and the 1936 Republican nominee for president, and the widow of former Senator and diplomat Howard Baker.

She was the first woman ever elected to a full term in the Senate without her husband having previously served in Congress, and the second woman elected to a US Senate seat without it being held first by her husband or appointed to complete a deceased husband’s term. She was also the first woman to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate, and was re-elected to her Senate seat in 1984 and 1990 but did not seek re-election in 1996.

She is an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy. She is also a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One.

In 1996, she married former U.S. Senator Howard Baker, Jr. of Tennessee. He passed away in 2014. Following his death, she moved from their home in Tennessee to the family ranch near Burdick, Kansas.

Erika Nelson

Erika Nelson

Erika Nelson is an independent artist and educator, exploring visionary art environments and the fringes of American culture. When not on the road crisscrossing the country in search of vernacular architecture or immersive art sites, she writes articles for art and travel magazines, creates site-specific temporary art experiences, and acts as a creative catalyst for rural communities.

Based in Lucas, Kansas, she has most recently been found on-site in rural Georgia as part of a folk art preservation team.  Ever elusive, additional sightings have been reported in Minnesota, Idaho, South Dakota, Wyoming, and her adopted home state of Kansas.

See the Schedule

Day One Box
Day Two Box
2015 Convention Bus Tour

Day One: Friday

Join the Kansas Farmers Union Board of Directors as it holds its quarterly meeting and reviews proposed bylaw changes prior to the General Session. During the General Session, members nominate board candidates and national convention delegates, receive a report on organization finances, and begin drafting 2018 KFU Policy. Each year, members review past policy, propose and debate new issues, and adopt policy for the coming year. Following lunch, Sarah Green introduces the theme of Farmers, Bridges and Kansas, and Jason Schmidt shares ways he’s built bridges between idealism and practicality. Kurt and Andi Dale dive into how they’ve worked across generations on their family farm in Southwest Kansas. Matt Perdue, National Farmers Union, delivers an update from Washington D.C. about national farm policy and how the organization is building its own bridges. Wrapping up the day, Erika Nelson presents Make Art, Not War exploring a rich array of protest art – art made to draw attention to a topic of great concern in hope of eliciting change or expanding the conversation. See the details!

Day Two: Saturday

Saturday morning sessions move to the American Legion Post. Barbara Patterson, National Farmers Union, explains the “Food Safety Modernization Act: A Bridge We Must Cross”. A panel discussion “Bridges to a New Farm Bill” is moderated by Bill Spiegel, editor of High Plains Journal. Panelists are Lisa French, Cheney Lake Watershed Inc.; Jim French, Center for Rural Affairs; Sandy Proctor, KSRE; and Sharon Karr, Kansas Farm Service Agency committee member. In the convention keynote, “Thoughts and Reflections on the Farm Crisis of the 1980s, and How We Came Through It,” Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker has a conversation with Nick Levendofsky about her time in the Senate, her role during the Farm Crisis of the late 70’s and early 80’s, women in politics, and how things have changed since she left office 20 years ago. We move back to the Best Western for the annual convention banquet and the presentation of prestigious 2017 Ruth Hirsh Award.
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Day Two: Saturday Afternoon

Hop on the Bus, Get Schooled! Saturday afternoon showcases several area farms with a bus tour for beginning farmers and other interested members. The tour highlights three local farms by Madison: Our Seven Acres has a small-scale family vegetable and fruit operation incorporating hoop houses, small livestock, an a CSA. Hear from Mandy about how she connects with consumers, supports her community, and inspires young farmers. Preston Beeman, is a transitioning farmer south of Madison, who rents his farm from his mother and siblings. After joining Gail Fuller on a tour of Gabe Brown’s farm in North Dakota, he discovered cover crops can be profitable when grazed. Preston has changed his farming practices and now plants cover crops on his farm and custom grazes yearlings. Jacob Knobloch is a young farmer who took over his grandpa’s farm in 2005. He did conventional cropping for the first three years, followed by two years of strip till. Jacob took advantage of some cost share opportunities to try no-till and is slowly making a move to drastically reduce commercial inputs.
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2017 Convention Sponsors

Midwest Regional Agency logo

Midwest Regional Agency provides insurance protection to individuals, family farms and business of all sizes. Through our agents we strive to build better communities by protecting where you work, where you live, what you own and the ones you love. It is our individual and organizational goal to provide quality products and the highest level of customer service to not just meet our customer’s expectations, but to exceed them! LEARN MORE…

The Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops (KCSAAC) was established by the 2000 State Legislature (K.S.A. 76-4, 103), out of concern for the survival of small farms in Kansas. The Center works with state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, environmental groups and producer organizations to assist family farmers and ranchers to boost farm profitability, protect natural resources, and enhance rural communities. LEARN MORE…

KFU Foundation Auction

  • Be like Jim 2015 KFUF Auction Promo
  • Be like Becky 2015 KFUF Auction Promo
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  • Christy Davis and the Symphony in the Flint Hills
  • 2015 KFUF Auction Promo
KFUF logo

The Kansas Farmers Union Foundation was created in 1997 as a 501(c)(3) organization supporting education on rural and agricultural issues and providing resources for rural economic and cooperative development. Through the KFUF, Kansas Farmers Union brings important educational and networking opportunities to all Kansans.

Examples of this programming include Amazing Grazing,Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition, Food Hubs and Co-ops, and our work with Farm Aid and the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Kansas. Much of the Foundation’s work is funded through grants from organizations and agencies like the CHS Foundation, USDA NIFA, the North Central Extension Risk Management Agency, and Farm Aid.

Contributions to the Foundation allow us to meet immediate needs and more quickly respond to emerging issues.
That’s why we need YOU!
Learn more about donating an item to the annual KFUF auction.
Give a tax-deductible monetary contribution to the Foundation today.