KFU Policy Advocates

Would you like to be better heard in Topeka or Washington, D.C.?

Do you feel as though your voice isn’t heard in Topeka or Washington, D.C.? Maybe you’ve considered visiting with your reps in the past, but felt unsure how to present your perspective clearly and effectively?

Kansas Farmers Union’s Policy Advocates Program provides the skills and experiences to help you become a confident voice for Kansas agriculture.

With support from Farm Aid, KFU’s 2020 Policy Advocates will focus on outreach to local, state, and national representatives to inform and educate on how policy impacts our farms, families, and communities across Kansas.

Advocates receive guidance and support from policy and governmental relations professionals in developing materials and strategies to convey the key points of their chosen issue. Participants also benefit from joining a network of fellow advocates, both in Kansas and D.C..

KFU Policy Advocates will have the opportunity to participate in the 2020 National Farmers Union Fall Legislative Fly-In, in September, as well as advocacy opportunities in Topeka.

Advocates create a topical policy sheet and develop a post on their issue for kansasfarmersunion.org and KFU’s social media platforms.

KFU Policy Advocates are eligible for a small stipend and will have NFU Fly-In travel and lodging covered.

Learn More and Apply Today


Email or call Mercedes for more information on the KFU Policy Advocates Program.
Learn More and Apply Today



Why the Policy Advocate Program is needed

Advocating for policy issues can sound intimidating, especially advocating in DC. But it doesn’t have to be, and Kansas Farmers Union’s policy fellowship equips us with the foundation needed to be a part of a successful Kansas team at this years NFU Fly In.

I’ve been lucky enough to attend two NFU Fly-Ins and to have an internship with the US Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, & Forestry, all of which have been vastly different experiences. These experiences allow me to understand the value of KFU’s policy fellowship and how our participation in it will empower us to be more effective advocates for Kansas agriculture.

When I attended my first Fly In in 2015, I was a 20 year-old, who had just begun what would be a three year break from college, and didn’t have much agriculture or policy experience. I wasn’t sure how to contribute my story–much less if I even had one worth sharing.

KFU’s opportunity to develop my story with other fellows and hear theirs will empower us to recognize the importance of telling our own stories, whatever they may be, and give us the confidence to approach policy makers of all levels.

My participation in the 2017 NFU Fly-In was a vastly different experience. I followed my desire to be more involved in ag and policy and had become the manager of Kansas’ oldest producer-only farmers market and a member of our county food policy council. This time I had lived experiences of our local food system, FMPP and LFPP grant experiences, and first hand understanding of the importance of keeping SNAP in the Farm Bill by way of administering the EBT matching program Double Up Food Bucks. This time I had policies to advocate for and the lived experience to back it up.

In connecting us with policy professionals, KFU’s program helps us find where our stories and beliefs intersect with policy and how to best present policy ideas that further our goals as individuals and members of Kansas Farmers Union.

Interning with the US Senate Ag Committee has allowed me to have experiences on the other side of the table. During the course of my five months in D.C., I sat in on meetings, worked on projects, created memos, and got to know the committee’s minority staff. I understand that it is crucial for advocates to bring printed resources to meetings to act as references and contact points for staffers, allowing them to focus on listening and having a meaningful conversation with you.

KFU’s facilitation of the research and writing of white papers provides a framework and end goal for our work: to create documents to be disseminated to local, state, and federal policy makers that educate and inspire them to take action on policy matters related to each of our white papers and to further the development of policies that support family farms and sustainable food systems.

I wholeheartedly encourage you to become a KFU Policy Advocate. Together WE can make a DIFFERENCE!

2015 KFU Fly-In Team

Joining 275 National Farmers Union members for the 2015 NFU Fall Legislative Fly-In were seven Kansas delegates: David Heiens, Abilene; Jeff Kindel, Aurora; Roy McCoy, Chanute; Don Stull, Lawrence; Olivia Taylor-Puckett, McLouth; Stephanie Teske, Wamego; and Donn Teske, Wheaton. This year’s group were all fly-in first timers, with the exception of Donn Teske who served as team captain.

2017 KFU Fly-In Team

KFU members Kami VanCampen, Tom Giessel, Donn Teske, Rosanna Bauman, and Olivia Taylor-Puckett met with Senator Pat Roberts’ staff during Hill visits in September 2017.

2017 KFU Fly-In Team

KFU’s delegation included KFU President Donn Teske, Wheaton; Olivia Taylor-Puckett, Lawrence; Pawnee Co President Tom Giessel, Larned; KFU board member Rosanna Bauman, Garnett; MRA agent Stacey Addison and her husband, Michael Howland, Syracuse; KFU Office Manager Kami VanCampen, McPherson; and MRA agent and farmer Jeff Kindel, Concordia. Not pictured: MRA agent Richard Boxum, Downs.



National Farmers Union Government Relations team provides tips and strategies for effective advocacy when meeting with members of Congress and their staff.

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