Kansas Farmers Union Convention to feature veterans, international co-ops

13 11 2012

TOPEKA, KAN.- Nov. 12, 2012 – Kansas Farmers Union’s annual Convention will be held Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at the Ramada in Downtown Topeka.

“I am so proud of how this year’s convention came together!” KFU President Donn Teske said. “We are rightfully honoring our veterans that have served our country, we have a great young group starting a Beginning Farmers Coalition, we will be visiting with a wonderful person who is on the other side of the world forming co-ops, we have Marci Penner coming in! There are so many reasons for you to consider attending this year’s state convention! If you are a veteran, please consider bringing with you memories and mementos of your time in service and join us Friday evening and interact with the others and meet Charles Chauncey!”

Officer and NFU delegate nominations, followed by policy and by-laws will start at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 30.

After lunch on Friday a panel will speak about Kansas Co-op History. The panel includes NFU Historian Tom Giessel, KFU Intern Sydnee Adams and Nemaha County Co-op Manager Charles Gabehart.

The session will be centered around Adams’ findings during her internship where she uncovered Farmland Industries’ and Farmers Union history.

Then Pete Lorenz with the National Farmers Organization will talk about grain marketing.

Friday night at 6 p.m. is the big event, where KFU will be honoring those who have served their country. The keynote speaker is WWII Veteran Charles Chauncey, a B-29 pilot who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Come to honor those who served our country or come and be honored!

Saturday morning, Dec. 1, there will be a big change, a breakfast will not be served during the Washington Update with Chandler Goule, NFU Vice President of Government Relations. The Ramada serves an excellent, hot breakfast, which is free for hotel guests.

On Saturday morning participants will also get an update about EPA’s Region 7 from Josh Svaty or Karl Brooks.

Most of Saturday morning will be the Little Rural Brainstorm for Farm Communities with Marci Penner, director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

“Marci energizes every crowd she works with and brings them to life,” Mary Howell, KFU membership specialist, said. “When the focus within the room remains positive, the resulting ideas and brainstorm solutions are great ones!”

The Convention Banquet will be held on Saturday, Dec. 1 at noon. KFU will honor one of its’ members with the Ruth Hirsch Award. There will also be a live auction to benefit the KFU Foundation.

Also during the banquet, KFU will honor Stan Brown, Midwest Agency Manager, who will be retiring next year after around 40 years with Farmers Union Insurance.

“Stan Brown’s decades of work with Farmers Union insurance, and especially with the Midwest Agency, deserves to be recognized. His success with the insurances makes Kansas Farmers Union a better farm organization,” Teske said.

Brown will also talk about the History of Farmers Union Insurance in Kansas.

After the banquet, KFU will highlight the International Year of the Cooperative with a presentation via Skype from Pam Karg in Armenia. She will talk about different co-ops and agriculture around the world.

Karg lives full-time overseas as a volunteer and is in the process of transitioning from Armenia to Kenya. She has served five times as a NCBA Farmer-to-Farmer volunteer in Senegal and Kenya. (the same program KFU President Teske did in Senegal in 2010).

In the afternoon, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt will discuss Water Rights and Litigation Between States. For example, the Republican River Compact.

To end the convention, Dr. Feddema will speak about Climate Patterns in Kansas: What are the trends and where do we go from here?

Dr. Johan Feddema is a professor of geography at Kansas University and contributing author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which received the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with the other members of the climate change panel.

Farmers Union members and the public are invited to attend. Registration is as follows: Friday lunch is $20. Friday supper is $35. Saturday lunch is $25. Registration is due Nov. 23 and can be found at www.kansasfarmersunion.org or by calling 620-241-6630

A block of rooms at $61/night has been reserved at the Ramada through Nov. 26, call 785-234-5400.

For more information and to register online, visit www.kansasfarmersunion.org or “like” Kansas Farmers Union on Facebook.

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