Kansas Farmers Union members gather for convention, pass new policies
Kansas Farmers Union voting delegates attended the 2012 KFU Convention at the Topeka Ramada on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 to vote on policy, elect the 2013 Board of Directors and elect delegates to the National Farmers Union Convention.
"This convention went really well and had something for everyone," Donn Teske, KFU president, said. "Chauncey gave a special presentation that was really appreciated by the audience. The rest of the speakers were all great and covered so much, from the farm bill to climate change. Professor Feddema's report on climate trends was sobering."
Delegates, along with others, listened to some great stories about the history of ag co-ops in Kansas and learned about co-ops and farming in Armenia and Kenya. Attendees got an update on federal politics, the EPA, climate change, the farm bill and Kansas water litigation with neighboring states.
Farmers Union insurance agents joined the convention during the Little Rural Brainstorm with Marci Penner, where everyone talked through issues beginning farmers are having and helped find solutions.
"Marci facilitated a very rousing interaction between aspiring or beginning farmers, experienced farmers and ranchers and the county insurance agents," Mary Howell, KFU membership specialist, said. "Everyone contributed to a great discussion on the benefits and needs of rural communities."
Convention delegates made several new additions to Kansas Farmers Union's policy. Visit www.kansasfarmersunion.org to view the new KFU policy or contact the state office at 620-241-6630 to have a copy mailed to you.
Special orders of business, which highlight the issues that are important in 2012, supported the U.S. Postal Service's rural free delivery of mail, supported interstate shipment of state inspected meat and supported a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing.
The KFU Board of Directors elected by the delegation are: President Donn Teske of Wheaton, Vice President Lavern Potuzak of Agenda. Representing the North District are Chris Schmidt of Oberlin, Gerard Steinlage of Corning and David Heiens of Abilene. Representing the South District are Linda Hessman of Dodge City, Herb Bartel of Hillsboro and Jason Schmidt of Newton.
Delegates to the National Farmers Union Convention in Springfield, Mass., on March 2 to 5, 2013, were also elected. They are Tom Giessel of Larned, Sheryl Giessel of Larned, Jerry Karr of Emporia and Pat Bartel of Hillsboro.