Tom Giessel is a farmer in Pawnee County near Larned, Kansas. He raises wheat, corn, milo, and alfalfa in partnership with his brother, Jay. Tom has been active in Farmers Union all of his life, serving as vice president of the Kansas Farmers Union for nearly two decades. He has also served Farmers Union on a national level as chairman of the policy committee, testified at congressional hearings, and participated in the American Farm Project. He currently serves as Honorary Historian for the National Farmers Union and President of the Pawnee County Farmers Union. Tom is active in his community and local church; he serves on the Board of Directors for Ogallala Commons, which is a community resource development organization. He is also the president of the Public Building Commission of Pawnee County. In 1972, Tom graduated from Fort Hays State University with a B.S. on Geology. He and his wife, Sheryl, have three grown children.

Tom Giessel will be presenting the following:

12:00 p.m. Lunch and Early National Farmers Union History with Tom Giessel
NFU honorary historian Tom Giessel will share his historical knowledge and findings on the early years of the Farmers Educational Cooperative Union of America, which grew out of the old Farmers’ Alliance organization. Giessel will speak on the original organizers and their history, how they organized Farmers Union locals and carefully structured the organization politically, how Farmers Union geographically spread across the nation, and how it developed into a modern-day organization. Giessel will also discuss the role of newspapers and newspaper editors in those early years, plus the importance of Cooperation, Legislation, and Education to the the membership.


7:00 p.m. Dinner and Early Kansas Farmers Union History with Tom Giessel
NFU honorary historian Tom Giessel will discuss the early years of KFU, and the major role cooperative education played during that time. Since KFU is meeting in Manhattan, the home of the first land grant college in the nation, Giessel will also discuss the relationship Farmers Union had with agricultural colleges, the legislation regarding agricultural education, and the equal importance of scientific farming taught by the college and marketing skills and knowledge provided by the organization.

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