Beginning Farmer Workshop a success
Over 30 beginning and aspiring farmers attended Kansas Farmers Union's Beginning Farmer Workshop in Leonardville on Jan. 26. The workshop featured a day full of speakers, including Kansas ag professionals and seven producers.
The first speaker was KFU President Donn Teske, who addressed the financial aspect of farming.
Char Henton and Becky O'Donnell explained their work at KAMS. Henton said many people don't understand what they do. Basically they are here to help answer any question related to agriculture. Simply call their hotline at 800-321-FARM.
Barb Depew talked about Kansas' Farm-to-School program. She said they want to make more local fruits and vegetables available in school cafeterias, offer farm tours for school children and have farmers visit classrooms.
For more information about how to sell or donate your produce to Kansas schools, visit kn-eat.org.
Rhonda Janke, an ag professor in K-State's Horticulture department, talked about what her students are doing with vegetable and fruit production at Willow Lake Farm, a K-State Extension organic garden. They call themselves the Harvesters of Environmental Sustainability and organize work parties during the year to take care of the garden.
Charlie Griffin with the Kansas State University and many other organizations, addressed the thin line between business and family in agriculture.
Bernard Irvine, an ag law attorney from Manhattan, spoke about liability protection and answered a lot of questions from the crowd. He stressed the importance of communication with your insurance agent, "to ensure that everything you are doing is covered."
Geary County Extension Agent Chuck Otte talked about how Extension can help farmers succeed. He said Extension is grassroots, "if counties have a problem, we ask K-State to research it and they get results."
A panel of seven producers with different backgrounds from across Kansas explained their operations and answered questions from attendees. The panel included Warren Sutton of Norway; Chris Janssen of Scandia; Ed Reznicek, Kansas Organic Producers general manager; Dan Kuhn of Courtland; Darrell Parks of Manhattan; Jason Schmidt of Newton; and Dale Strickler of Jamestown.
To read the full story, visit ksfarmersunion.wordpress.com.