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2019 Convention Featured Speakers

Featured 2019 Convention Speaker Austin Frerick

Austin Frerick

Austin Frerick is the Deputy Director of the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale University, a newly established antitrust initiative between their business and law schools. He is currently working on a book inspired by an article he originally published in The American Conservative entitled “To Revive Rural America, We Must Fix Our Broken Food System” (republished in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Civil Eats, and The Progressive Populist). This book calls for restoring the balance of power in America’s food system in favor of farmers, workers, and small businesses. Earlier this year he also created & organized the “Heartland Forum” in Storm Lake, Iowa, the first 2020 Iowa Caucus candidate event, which focused on economic concentration’s impacts on rural America. The event was attended by a number of presidential candidates, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro. He’s a former economist at the United States Department of the Treasury and a researcher at the Congressional Research Service. He’s an Iowa native and graduate of Grinnell College and the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Featured 2019 Convention Speaker Rob Larew

Rob Larew

As Senior Vice President of Public Policy and Communications for National Farmers Union, Rob Larew advocates for family farmers, ranchers, and rural communities in Congress and the executive branch. Prior to his employment with NFU, Larew served over 22 years in Congress and USDA working on agriculture policy and communication. Most recently he was the staff director of the House Committee on Agriculture where he oversaw the committee’s efforts during the 2008 and 2014 farm bills. He previously served as the Director of Congressional and Public Affairs at the Food Safety and Inspection Service at USDA and worked as an agricultural aide to Rep. Collin Peterson and the late Sen. Paul Wellstone. Larew was raised on a dairy farm in Greenville, West Virginia. He graduated from Virginia Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Dairy Science and completed graduate work in agronomy from Penn State.

Featured 2019 Convention Speaker Bonnie Lynn-Sherow

Bonnie Lynn-Sherow

Dr. Lynn-Sherow researches and teaches North American agricultural, environmental, Native 
American and Digital History and their intersections. She is the founding director of the Chapman Center for Rural Studies at Kansas State University where she and her students have been helping communities regain and restore their historical identities for fourteen years. Lynn-Sherow received the KSU Provost’s award for Engagement in 2018 and she was awarded a $100,000 NEH Public Access grant also in 2018 for her work with small historical societies. She is the author most recently of Sauble: Stories from the Flint Hills, an oral history of the Sauble Ranch as related to her by Patrick Henry Sauble, the grandson of one of David Sauble, one of the earliest ranchers in Chase County in the Flint Hills. She and her husband Jim Sherow have four daughters and live in Manhattan, KS.

Featured 2019 Convention Speaker Matthew R. Sanderson

Matthew R. Sanderson

Dr. Matthew Sanderson is the Randall C. Hill Professor of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work and Professor of Sociology at Kansas State University. He is a social scientist with interests in population, environment, and development. His recent research investigates how social relations inhibit or allow natural resource conservation. His projects examine how social structures influence groundwater management at multiple scales (from community to global); how social networks shape participation in group decision-making within common pool resource settings; how social factors affect adoption of irrigation technologies; and how culture influences perceptions of the science, knowledge, and information used to make decisions about agricultural adaptations.
Dr. Sanderson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Economics and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from Kansas State University. He earned his Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Utah.
Learn more about Dr. Sanderson’s research.

2019 Convention Sponsors

Midwest Regional Agency
Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops
Farmers Union Insurance

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…

Farmers Union Insurance has always been a community-based insurance provider. The relationships and personalized care provided by our agents, who live, work and support their local communities, are the foundation upon which our company is built. Contact us today for your free online insurance quote. At Farmers Union Insurance we value what’s important to you and your way of life. Whether you’re a driver, homeowner, farmer or business owner, let us show you how we can provide the protection you need. LEARN MORE…