Autumn 20152019-09-24T15:32:35-05:00
Autumn 2015 Kansas Kontact Cover

On The Cover

KFU intern Olivia Taylor-Puckett captured this image of wild flowers during the Cover Crops in Action bus tour stop at Charlie Smies’ ranch.
The one-year old stand of eastern gamagrass includes an array of wildflowers for pollinators and dietary diversity for bison.
Olivia found the Mycorrhizal Fungi Connection workshop and bus tour inspiring, “As a student of sustainable ag and conservation, I felt like I was seeing the future of agriculture. These farmers and ranchers are the rock stars of healthy soil development.”

Letter from Langdon: Farmers Pay the Cost of ‘FREE’ Trade

By Richard Oswald The Trans Pacific trade pact promises us cheaper food with sketchier ingredients. American farmers will face upheaval and more dislocation, while corporate agriculture thrives. If China assembles my Apple iPhone with its global mixture of ingredients, shouldn’t Asians at least eat Washington apples? Maybe not while China produces nine times as many apples as the U.S. And if my chore tractor came from Italy, (Europe is where [...]

Defining ‘Farmer’

Dear Kansas Farmers Union Friends: My main point in the discussion below is that farming and rural communities are suffering from “reverse social engineering” favoring industrial-scale agriculture over family farms. We need to take time out of our busy daily schedules to forcefully advocate for change to reform farm programs so that they fulfill their stated objective of providing a safety net for family farms. This includes every Kansas Farmers [...]

Grassroots Advocacy in D.C: KFU Members Participate in Annual Fly-In

By Olivia Taylor-Puckett “For decades upon decades, Farmers Union members have made an annual migration to Washington to make their case for smarter, fairer farm policies,” said National Farmers Union president Roger Johnson. The annual National Farmers Union Washington D.C. Fly-In is the very definition of grassroots politics. This three-day event draws Farmers Union members from states as far as Alaska and Hawaii to meet with top officials of the [...]

2015 KFU State Convention Set for Dec 10-11

Kansas Farmers Union, the state’s oldest active general farm organization, will hold its annual convention at the Ramada Downtown Hotel and Convention Center, Topeka, December 10-11, 2015. This year’s theme is Cultivating Healthy Rural Communities. In addition to rural revitalization through arts, culture and entrepreneurship, conference sessions will focus on building resilient local food systems in our communities as well as renewable energy opportunities for farm and home. Registration for [...]

Hop on the Bus, Get Schooled on Local Food and Value-Added Production & Processing

Farmers of all experience levels are invited to hop on the bus and gain a better grasp of the opportunities and challenges of our local food systems. The Kansas Beginning Farmer Bus Tour follows convention and a special beginning farmer rate is available thanks to the Midwest Regional Agency. Learn more and register at Since 1910, the Iwig family has been raising cows and producing milk for Kansas families. [...]

Investing in Health of Soil Vital to Future of Farming

By Olivia Taylor-Puckett Workshop & Bus Tour focus on Developing Resilient, Productive Ag Land Through Use of Cover Crops and Mycorrhizal Fungi In creating the Mycorrhizal Fungi Connections workshop and Cover Crops in Action bus tour, Kansas Farmers Union hoped to open the eyes of farmers and ranchers to many different means of investing in health of their soil. The need for investing in soil health – and ways to [...]

Mary Howell receives Mid America Ag Accolade Award

Kansas Farmers Union membership and education coordinator received Streckline’s Mid America Ag Network’s Accolade Award! Kansas Farmers Union president Donn Teske surprised Mary with the award during the lunch break of Amazing Grazing's Mycorrhizal Connections workshop in Salina. The letter accompanying the award says: Dear Mary, Good news doesn’t stay a secret long. We would like to extend our heartiest congratulations for being chosen as a recipient of the Mid [...]

Courtney White featured presenter at 2016 KGA Winter Grazing Conference

Courtney White, author of Grass, Soil, Hope: A Journey through Carbon Country and the recently-released Two Percent Solutions for the Planet, will join Kansas ranchers to teach and share his optimism about scientific observations and what people can do to improve the environment. White will explain how a highly efficient carbon cycle captures, stores, releases, and recaptures biochemical energy, mitigating climate change, increasing water storage capacities in soil, and making [...]

Amazing Grazing: From Mary’s Notebook

In September, Project Director Mary Howell led a six-day, Amazing Grazing road tour across Kansas stopping in Topeka, Salina and Courtland. The three events, featuring Bill Helming and Jim Gerrish, provided a wealth of information for more than 100 attendees – practical information which Mary hopes all livestock ranchers will ponder considering the predicted drop in the market.Mary’s detailed workshops notes cover the key take-aways of each event. We hope [...]

Soil: You Are What You Eat

By Mary Howell One hundred twenty-five people from seven countries and seventeen states gathered in Emporia for the two day workshop focusing on soil health. Attendees were treated to two of the leading authorities on soil health and cover crops, Dr. Christine Jones, Australian Soil Scientist, and Gabe Brown, North Dakota Farmer/Rancher. It was an amazing two days of educational opportunity with presentations and dialogue among the participants. Dr. Christine [...]