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Kansas Farmers Union elects officers


It will be an experienced team leading the Kansas Farmers Union in 2009. Delegates to the organization's state convention held Jan. 9 and 10 in Hutchinson have voiced their support of recent board action by returning a full slate of incumbents to the board of directors.

Donn Teske, Wheaton, was elected to his ninth term as president of the organization. Teske and his wife, Kathy, operate a crop and beef farm in north central Kansas which has been certified organic on the cropping enterprises since 2002. He currently serves on the national Farmers Union Board of Directors and has been involved on a number of national-level Farmers Union committees. In addition to participating in Farmers Union fly-ins to Washington D.C., he has also been called on to testify before House committees regarding rural health care options and energy and global warming. Teske also is on the board of the Midwest Agency, the corporate entity for the Kansas and Nebraska Farmers Union Insurance Companies. He serves on the executive committee of the Kansas Rural Center and was appointed in 2008 to the Kansas Wind Working Group. Other involvements have included serving on the state advisory committee for the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program through Kansas State University Extension and the Ogallala Commons Board. He is a member of the Kansas Organic Producers Association.

Daryl Larson, McPherson, was elected to his second term as vice president. Larson and his wife, Velita, operate a diversified dryland grain and cow/calf operation in partnership with his brother. He is a third-generation farmer in McPherson County. Larson currently serves as the McPherson County Farmers Union president. He has participated in national Farmers Union fly-ins. Other involvements include serving on the board of the Kansas Cattleman's Association.

Those elected to the board of directors include: John Fairbanks, Onaga, representing district three in northeast Kansas; LaVern Potuzak, Agenda, representing district four in north central Kansas; Linda Hessman, Dodge City, representing district six in southwest Kansas; Herb Bartel, Hillsboro, representing district seven in south central Kansas; and Raymond Fowler, Emporia, representing district eight in southeast Kansas. The board position for district five, which includes counties in northwest Kansas, was not filled as the district did not have a quorum for its nominating caucus. That position will be filled by appointment at the next board of director's meeting.

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