By Dan Voorhis
The Wichita Eagle
Originally published on March 7, 2015

(Donn) Teske is president of the Kansas Farmers Union, a populist farm organization that goes back to 1907. He is mainly a livestock farmer, but does grow some crops on his farm near Wheaton, northeast of Manhattan.

He is passionate about climate change, even testifying about it before Congress in 2007.

“Does climate change worry me? Sure,” he said “It affects all of us. It affects our insurance rates. I have to start planting earlier. I’m planting a month earlier than when I started farming out of high school, and it’s a challenge to get the crops harvested.”

He sees the need for federal action and international agreements. Kansas Farmers Union used to have a program where its members set aside 8 million acres of land for carbon sequestration.

But he acknowledged that his views aren’t often shared by others in his small town.

“I like my neighbors, and I think they like me, but I don’t bring up topics where neither one of us will change our stance,” he said. “So I smile a lot, and we talk about things that don’t cause an argument. Politicians are fair game.”

He, too, regrets that the discussion has become mired in politics, that logic and science aren’t enough to persuade people, but he’s not afraid to say which side he believes to be in the wrong.

“It’s turned into a political thing and that is horrible,” he said. “Climate change doesn’t have parties. It’s something we have to address for our grandkids.”

Read the full article More extreme weather could mean less wheat for Kansas at