LAWRENCE, Kan. — Kansas Farmers Union – the state’s oldest farm organization – will hold its annual convention at the DoubleTree by Hilton, Lawrence, December 4-5, 2019. Early Bird discount ends November 18.
Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 9:00 AM CST
Thursday, December 5, 2019 at 3:00 PM CST
DoubleTree by Hilton
200 McDonald Drive
Lawrence, KS 66044
The General Session begins with the distribution of credentials and seating of chapter delegates. Members nominate board candidates and national convention delegates, receive a report on organization finances, and begin drafting 2020 KFU Policy. Each year, members review past policy, propose and debate new issues, and adopt policy for the coming year.
During lunch, Senior VP of Public Policy and Communications for National Farmers Union Rob Larew delivers the Washington Update with news about national farm policy and the organization.
Following lunch, Olivia Taylor-Puckett leads a panel exploring how Boomers, GenXers, Millennials and Z-gens differ on perceptions of climate change and eagerness to act. The Rural Problems and Prospects session, moderated by Jim McLean, is a deep dive into the challenges and opportunities facing Kansas’ rural communities, from population changes to rural healthcare and farming and food access. Next moderator Tim Carpenter asks a panel of legislators and lobbyists to grab a crystal ball to try to predict the hot topics during the upcoming legislative session.
The evening banquet includes the presentation of the Ruth Hirsh Award and the chartering of a new KFU chapter in South Central Kansas, as well as Lt. Governor Lynn Rogers‘ keynote focused on the new Office of Rural Prosperity.
View Wednesday’s schedule
Thursday begins with final 2020 Policy review and adoption by delegates. Next, Chelsea Matzen, National Farmers Union, updates members on the Local Food Safety Collaborative and the Food Safety Modernization Act implementation.
We’ll dive deep in an effort to answer: “What would a truly progressive farm program look like and how do we make it happen?” President Donn Teske moderates an exceptional panel with diverse specialties that will provide historical background and inspire discussion. Panelists are: Austin Frerick, Deputy Director of the Thurman Arnold Project at Yale University; Rob Larew, NFU Senior VP; Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, Director of the KSU Chapman Center; Matthew Sanderson, Rural Sociologist at K-State; and KFU’s own Tom Giessel, NFU Historian.
Our lunch keynote explores the stories of Kansans who worked to stop forces of intolerance in the state. John Burchill, author and criminal justice historian who teaches at Kansas Wesleyan University, presents “Four Horsemen and a Sage.” We’ll learn about a rabbi, two priests, and a minister and their travels around Kansas to dispute a Senatorial candidate who bolstered anti-Semitic and Nazi sentiments.
Our final panel takes a look at Industrial Hemp in Kansas. Farmers across the state were enthusiastic about this new crop. With a season of research hemp production under our belts, what have we learned and where are we headed?
View Thursday’s schedule.