The working of our next farm bill is rapidly coming at us. The last farm bill, although well intended when passed, had its funding cut so much it was pretty much useless as a safety net as we have found out so glaringly as the farm economy has collapsed.

We need a new farm bill. We need a new farm bill with teeth that has a strong safety net for times like this. If the tax dollars will not be supplied to have a strong safety net while supplying the abundance of quality, affordable, food that we do, then it might be time to look at supply management again.

National Farmers Union states are holding public Farm Bill discussions across the nation. This isn’t intended to preach to America’s producers but rather to listen. To listen to our producers to find out what you most want and need.

The first week in August Kansas Farmers Union is going to be hosting four Farm Bill discussions. Staff from our national office, the ones who will be on ground zero as the next farm bill is developed, will be here in person to listen to what you have to say to them. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to come and visit directly with the Farm Bill gladiators face-to-face while enjoying a free meal and socializing with neighbors.

This is a rare opportunity for you to visit directly with DC government relations experts as they prepare their strategy to move into the next farm bill debate.

August 1st in Douglas County
6:00-9:00 pm: dinner at 6:30 pm, discussion at 7:00 pm
Juniper Hill Farms, 1547 N 2000 Road Lawrence, KS 66044
Co-hosted by the Thelman family and DG Co. Farm Bureau.

August 2nd in Jackson County
3:30 pm
Prairie Band Casino, 12305 150th Rd, Mayetta, KS 66509
Co-hosted by the Kansas NFO. Attendees are encouraged to stay for a free meal at the org’s convention banquet. Their annual banquets are comfortable and enjoyable.

August 3rd in Cloud County
Coordinated by Cloud County Farmers Union insurance agent Jeff Kindel. Stay up to date as it’s developed by visiting the KFU website. As with the other sessions, there will be a free meal provided.

August 4th in Pawnee County
6:30 pm Meal included.
Knights of Columbus’ Columbus Club, 1216 M Rd, Larned, KS 67550
Coordinated by Pawnee Co. FU president Tom Giessel.

All of your time is valuable, but please make the effort to participate in one of our sessions. DC needs to hear directly from the producers, and that means you…

RSVP at or by contacting Mary Howell:  or  785-562-8726

WHAT DOES THE FARM BILL COVER?  The 2014 Farm Bill included the following 12 titles:

Title 1: Commodities  The Commodities Title covers price and income supports for the farmers who raise widely-produced and traded crops, like corn, soybeans, wheat, and rice – as well as dairy and sugar.

Title 2: Conservation  The Conservation Title covers programs that help farmers implement natural resource conservation efforts on working lands like pasture and cropland, land retirement programs, and easement programs.  The title also includes resource conservation requirements for participation in commodity and crop insurance programs and helps institutions and community organizations provide farmers with conservation technical assistance.

Title 3: Trade  The Trade Title covers food exports and international food aid programs.

Title 4: Nutrition  The Nutrition Title covers the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP] – also known as food stamps – as well as a variety of smaller nutrition programs to help low-income Americans afford food for their families.

Title 5: Credit  The Credit Title covers federal loan programs designed to help farmers access the financial credit (via direct loans as well as loan guarantees and other tools) they need to grow and sustain their farming operations.

Title 6: Rural Development  The Rural Development Title covers programs that help foster rural economic growth through rural business and community development (including farm businesses), housing, and infrastructure improvement.

Title 7: Research, Extension, and Related Matters  The Research Title covers farming and food research, education, and extension programs designed to support innovation, from state university-affiliated research to vital training for the next generation of farmers and ranchers.

Title 8: Forestry  The Forestry Title covers forest-specific conservation, creating incentives and programs that help farmers and rural communities to be stewards of forest resources.

Title 9:  Energy  The Energy Title covers programs that encourage growing and processing crops for biofuel; help farmers, ranchers and business owners install renewable energy systems; and support research related to energy.

Title 10: Specialty Crops & Horticulture  The term “specialty crops” refers to fruits, vegetables, nuts, and nursery crops, including organic produce.  This title covers farmers market and local food programs, funding for research and infrastructure specific to those “specialty crops”, and organic research and certification programs.

Title 11: Crop Insurance  The Crop Insurance Title provides premium subsidies to farmers and subsidies to the private crop insurance companies who provide federal crop insurance to farmers, as well as providing USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) with the authority to research, develop, and modify a variety of crop- and revenue-based insurance policies.

Title 12: Miscellaneous  The Miscellaneous Title brings together advocacy and outreach programs for beginning, socially disadvantaged, and veteran farmers and ranchers; agricultural labor safety and workforce development; and livestock health.