Kansas Farmers Union would like to invite the public to their Annual Convention, “The 2012 Farm Bill: A Defining Moment in Agriculture,” on Dec. 2-3 at the Ramada in downtown Topeka.
“The 2012 Farm Bill, being worked during a time of extreme budgeting, will reflect what we as a society expect from our producers in regard to agricultural production stability and stewardship of our earths resources trusted to us,” KFU President Donn Teske said.
Over a day and a half, eight speakers will talk about the local food movement, competitive markets, farm policy and other issues facing rural Kansas.
The convention will start on Friday, Dec. 2 with a free lunch and State Director Herb Bartel sharing his experiences working on the North Slope of Alaska. The delegate session will then be called to order at 1:30 p.m.
Then, at 4 p.m., Mercedes Taylor-Puckett, the local foods coordinator for the Kansas Rural Center, will talk about “Local Food: A Growing Opportunity.”
On Saturday morning during breakfast, National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson will give updates on what’s happening on Capitol Hill.
During lunch, longtime Kansas Farmers Union member Henry Strnad of Republic County will share his family farm philosophy.
After lunch, Mary Hendrickson, University of Missouri rural sociology professor and director of the Food Circles Networking Project, will give us updated data on “the increased concentration in agri-business and food.”
Saturday afternoon will feature Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs, and Fred Stokes, executive director of the Organization for Competitive Markets and President of the Coalition for a Prosperous America. Stokes will answer “Is Independent Family Agriculture about to Become History?” Hassebrook will address the Farm Bill and other legislation to revitalize rural America in his presentation “Policy Choices in the Midst of Economic and Fiscal Crisis: The Decision We Make Today Will Define us and Set Our Course for Decades.”
“The list of presenters at this year’s convention are some of the most knowledgeable professionals in the country. This convention will tell you where ag policy is heading, where it should be heading, and how you might plan your operations future,” Teske said.
The keynote speakers at the convention banquet on Saturday evening will be Political Humorist Jim Hightower and NFU President Roger Johnson. Hightower is an author, radio commentator and former Texas Ag Commissioner, who “has become a leading national voice for the 80 percent of the public who no longer find themselves within shouting distance of the Washington and Wall Street powers at the top.”
Farmers Union members and the public are invited to attend. Registration for the four meals is $60 and is due Nov. 28. For more information and to register, visit kansasfarmersunion.org or call 620-241-6630.