KS Farmers Union Sept/Oct Communications Report

19 10 2010

By Lauren DeMott


Kontact Changes

As you may notice, there has been a lot of changes with the Kontact. So, I would like to bring you up to date on the happenings here in the office.

In an attempt to save money, I switched printers to the McPherson Sentinel and then the Southwest Times. While this proved to save us money, it cost us in quality and headache with mailing it.

This last issue (July/Aug) I was VERY disappointed in the printing quality. I was ashamed to even mail it to you, but I was assured that it looked fine.

We decided it was not worth the cost saving of newsprint to give up the quality.

I started to gather quotes from local printers, when Daryl Larson asked me if we could print it ourselves. So I had a local business give us a quote and presented everything to the board in August.

Donn and I did the math and for a small additional cost, we could print the Kontact in house. We also figured that printing other KFU materials would also add to our savings.

Although, the biggest advantage will be the convenance and my ability to control the quality.    The board voted to buy the printer. So here we are with our first Kontact, printed in the KFU building.

The Kontact has made a second change as well. It is no longer being mailed as a periodical. Now we’ll be mailing in bulk rate, which will save us some postage costs and we can mail it ourselves instead of paying someone else.   Needless to say, the Kontact has experienced a lot of changes and I hope they all work out and make things easier.
KFU Social Media

Kansas Farmers Union has made a jump into the modern world by joining WordPress, Twitter and Flickr. I’ve been updating these sites over the last four months to bring you more Farmers Union news and more often.

In August, when I was updating the blog with Donn’s pictures from Africa, we had a week of 100+ views, topping out at 190.

If there is ever any information you would like to see on the blog or Twitter, please let me know.    Speaking of…PLEASE fill out and return the survey. It will help me give you a better Kontact and website.

I encourage everyone to follow the Twitter account (twitter.com/KSFarmersUnion), because it also notifies you when the blog is updated.

I also encourage everyone to start a Twitter or Facebook account. If you need any help, feel free to contact me.  As farmers on social media, you have the ability to be a great agvocate and help city folks understand how you produce the food they eat.
My Travels

One part of my job I have really enjoyed is traveling.

On my Fort Collins trip, I was introduced to some great Kansas Cattlemen’s members during my two days on the charter bus. You’ve already read about the meeting, so I won’t go into too many details. Just to say I really enjoyed listening to everyone’s opinions of the livestock market. I’m very interested to see what happens next.

In Chicago I spent two days at the AgChat Conference. The group focuses on using social media and the Internet to spread agriculture’s message. I met a lot of great, passionate ag people from across the country.

The Fall Fly-In to D.C. was awesome! We met and listened to so many important people that work in our nation’s capitol.

We ate at Founding Farmers, a restaurant near the National Mall that is partly owned by National Farmers Union. The food and the atmosphere made you feel like you were on a farm and made for one of the best dining experiences I’ve ever had.

Learning more about those behind Farmers Union has given a great appreciation for what I’m doing. I love working in agriculture with all these amazing people!
What’s next

While in DC, Donn showed us a calendar from Minnesota Farmers Union that featured members and local chefs that they produced with Food Alliance.   We started discussing how Kansas could produce something similar.

We tossed around a few ideas of what to feature along with member features, including chefs from local towns (using the Kansas Sampler Foundation’s knowledge), the farm’s favorite recipe and others.

We’re going to start recruiting members and accepting volunteers. If you’re interested, contact me and I’ll set up a time to visit your farm and learn your story.




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