Convention Schedule

Tractor logo for Thursday

Join the Kansas Farmers Union Board of Directors as it holds its quarterly meeting and reviews proposed bylaw changes prior to the General Session. During the General Session, members nominate board candidates and national convention delegates, receive a report on organization finances, and begin drafting 2015 KFU Policy. KFU has a rich history of working to protect and promote the interests of family farmers and ranchers by taking a leadership role in advocating for farming, ranching and agricultural interests across the state. Each year, members review past policy, propose and debate new issues, and adopt policy for the coming year. Following dinner, evening activities include a presentation on the Kansas State Budget by Duane Goossen, Senior Fellow for the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, as well as an early KFU history lesson with National Farmers Union Honorary Historian Tom Giessel.

Click on the ‘+Box’ to read the session description.

KFU staff will be located in the pre-convene area for check-in and registration.

The KFU Board will hold a meeting and review proposed bylaw changes.

Call to Order
Distribution of Credentials
Officer and NFU Delegate Nominations
Royce Jannsen, KFU’s CPA presenting the Financial Report
Consideration and adoption of policy and bylaws begins

Recent unprecedented and unaffordable Kansas tax changes have severely undermined the state’s ability to make essential investments in neighborhood schools, strong roads and important supports for vulnerable, hard-working Kansans. Duane Goossen, Senior Fellow with the Kansas Center for Economic Growth, will talk about impacts on Kansas’ budget and expectations for the short and long-term.
Tractor logo for Friday

Friday morning sessions highlights water issues while providing updates from Washington D.C. and news on grain marketing opportunities. Rosanna Bauman gives the keynote during lunch. Renewable energy for farm and home as well as developments with farmer veterans in Kansas are on tap for early afternoon before the election polls open. An interactive session answers questions and advances the dialogue around health and potential changes to the Kansas corporate ag law. The Kansas Local Food and Farm Task Force Report is previewed and the Food and Farm Council initiative is discussed. Cover crop research is shared by a SARE grantee before the final general session and the adjournment of convention. Following the banquet, keynote presenter Robert Gipe shares his insights on rural revitalization and connection through arts and culture and the KFU Foundation Action is held. 

Click on the ‘+Box’ to read the session description.

KFU staff will be located in the pre-convene area for check-in and late registration

The General Session continues with additional time for the consideration and adoption of policy and bylaws.
*Only if Policy is not finalized on Thursday.

Freelance journalist Sarah Green interviewed more than 50 Kansans during the course seven months for the Kansas Health Institute’s News Service series Telling the Story of Water in Kansas. The series explores water issues in four Kansas communities and regions, including how people access water, the economics of water and challenges of drinking it.
EPA Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague will provide regulatory updates on the Clean Water Rule, Clean Power Plan and Renewable Fuel Standard.
Tom Driscoll, Government Relations Representative with NFU, will provide a report on the year’s developments with the national organization.
Rosanna shares how this powerful tool has guided their family into shaping farm enterprises that feed their neighbors and change our world. Rosanna concludes with the inspiration she gained from her recent Farmers Union-supported travel to the International Workshop for Rural Youth and how this global perspective relates to food security in Kansas. From Cedar Valley Farms beginnings as an organic egg producer to opening the only USDA inspected on-farm poultry processing plant, purchasing an Ottawa meat processing plant, and winning Slow Food USA’s 2014 Entrepreneur Showcase for their FeedHub, the Baumans have expanded opportunities for small, diversified family farms to tap into the demand for local food.
Farmers depend on solar for raising their crops, and forages for livestock. Now that the cost to install electricity producing solar systems has dropped 75% in the past 15 years, it makes economic and environmental sense for many farms, businesses and homes to use solar to produce at least part of their electricity. Learn how to tell if solar would make sense for your farm or home.
USDA RD Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) provides guaranteed loan financing and grant funding to agricultural producers and rural small businesses to purchase or install renewable energy systems or make energy efficiency improvements.
Ballots available in the Pre Convene Area beginning at 2:30 p.m. Voting ends at 2:45 p.m.
During the 2013 legislative session, Kansas lawmakers considered amending the current Kansas Corporate Farming Law, which would have removed restrictions for agribusinesses with certain forms of ownership structures (e.g., corporation) to operate in Kansas. The most commonly identified potential impact was an increase in the number and size of swine and dairy operations. The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) conducted a heath impact assessment (HIA) to examine how some provisions of this legislation might positively or negatively affect the health of Kansas residents. This study analyzed six factors related to the expansion in the number and size of swine and dairy operations including employment, property values and taxes, population, water quantity, the amount of waste produced and antibiotic use in animals. The primary author of the study will offer an interactive session to answer participants’ questions and to advance the dialogue around this discussion in Kansas.
SB380 established a Local Food and Farm Task Force that has been meeting for the past year.   This group was charged with the study of local food in our state and was tasked with making recommendations to the Kansas Legislature to enhance this area.   Chairman Ron Brown and State Senator Tom Hawk will share the major information gained from the work of the Task Force and some potential recommendations that will be made to the Legislature.
A number of communities are passing resolutions establishing Food and Farm Councils to make improvements in the local food system. Because of this growing interest in increasing access to healthy local foods, partners from diverse backgrounds will be asked to come together to share their expertise in order to build a food system that works for the entire community. This session will provide you with the tools and information you need to start or engage in a current community Food and Farm Council initiative.

This NCR-SARE Farmer Rancher Grant compared the economics of three, after-wheat cover cropping scenarios in Republic County Kansas: using cover crop mixes without harvesting, grazing cover crops, and haying cover crops. The field was approximately 61 acres and plots were laid out under the supervision of Peter Tomlinson, K-State Extension Agronomist, to ensure replicable results and advice on specific cover crop varieties was provided by Dale Strickler, a widely known cover crop expert. The three scenarios were:
1) A cover crop cocktail consisting of legumes, brassicas, and forage components such as oats planted after wheat harvest in the summer of 2014 on approximately 20.3 acres;
2) A cover crop cocktail planted on approximately 20.3 acres after wheat harvest and 50 head of 400-500 pound steers turned out to graze; and
3) A cover crop cocktail planted on approximately 20.3 acres after wheat harvest and swathed and baled at the optimal time to balance tonnage and protein content.

Voting results will be announced.
Consideration and adoption of policy and bylaws will continue, if needed.

2015 Kansas Farmers Union Convention officially closes.
We hope you will stay on for dinner and the evening event, Robert Gipe.

Ruth Hirsh Award with Donn Teske
Presentation of the annual KFU Ruth Hirsh Award.
Midwest Regional Agency Report with Jeff Downing

Details coming soon.

Sponsored by QBE NAU

Silent Auction Concludes: If you placed a bid on an auction item, please check the bid sheet to see if you won. KFU staff will be available to accept your payment at this time.