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HEMP I have a long-time farmer friend, Rod Flaman, from Regina Saskatchewan who farms a bunch of acres up there in Canada. One of his crops is Hemp. He’s had as many as a thousand acres, this year he has 500. With the Hemp passion flooding the state I’ve been trying to bring him down to our state convention the last two years to share with us the art of farming Hemp, the marketing of the crop, and the fact that it is just another crop in a farmer’s toolbox and not necessarily the miracle crop that will save the farm. It hasn’t worked for him either time.

Rod and his wife Jeanne will be traveling through Kansas next month and he has agreed to present at a series of regional Farmers Union meetings in Kansas. The dates he will be here is October 17th, 18th, and 19th. My hope is this will be an excellent opportunity for county chapters to center around these presentations for their annual county meetings. Stay tuned to our website for information as the meetings come together.

This is an excellent opportunity for our membership, and the interested public, to learn first-hand from a Hemp producer who has been farming the crop for some years now.

FARM BILL The farm bill is being worked in conference today as I write this. Senator Roberts is passionate to get the farm bill finished now. I’m doubtful. There is a huge gap between the House and Senate versions. NFU & KFU are fighting to keep pro-active programs in the farm bill that have been eliminated in the House version such as conservation and beginning farmers, etc.

Next week KFU will have a team of eight walking the halls of Congress fighting for the family farmers in Kansas. My opinion is that neither version has an adequate safety net, and neither version has what’s needed in it to appropriately address the farm crisis we are in.

I do want to express a thank you to Senator Moran for co-sponsoring the “Farmers First” bill. This is a much-needed rural mental health bill addressing the increased stress that is in rural America at this time.

SUMMER TOURS  The “Thinking Outside the Box” summer tours that KFU and the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative crops hosted in July were SPECTACULAR! Thanks to all that attended. There will be a series of stories sharing what the tours taught the attendees. Watch for them.

SHARON KARR  KFU lost a great member of our Farmers Union family recently. Sharon Karr from Emporia passed on July 19th. Sharon served on the state FSA committee under the Obama administration. Sharon and Jerry were a fixture for years at our state and national conventions. I always valued Sharon’s advice and wisdom. I, and KFU, will miss her.