Policy & Legislation
Kansas Farmers Union has a rich history of working to protect and promote the interests of family farmers and ranchers by taking a leadership role in advocating for farming, ranching and agricultural interests across the state.
To be effective on our members’ behalf, it is essential that our members be involved in the organization, become knowledgeable on the issues that impact their work and lives, and communicate their needs to us.
Through grassroots policy and local involvement, our members and staff play a key role in bringing concerns, issues, and needs to the attention of local, state, and national decision makers. KFU’s state and national policy document is proposed, discussed, and ratified each year at our state convention.
KFU 2024 Policy
Kansas Farmers Union's grassroots policy is determined by KFU members.
During the legislative session, we identify and track key legislation that affects agriculture, rural communities, consumer interests, the environment, and tax policy, and advocate for our KFU policy on behalf of our members.
Our activities include visits with legislators, meetings with state agencies, providing legislative testimony during committee meetings and hearings, and connecting our members with their legislators.
NFU 2023 Policy
On the national level, KFU is represented by the National Farmers Union. We are one of 33 state or regional members of NFU. You can learn more about NFU’s current priorities at their website.
“It is impossible to repeat too often or to impress too deeply upon the minds of your members this truth… My organization demands equity and justice for agriculture, not more and nothing less. We mean to secure this on its own merits, not through corrupt political wire-pulling and party patronage, not through exchange of influence among our membership or political consideration; but by clean, never-ending determination and convincing argument until ‘the powers that be’ in government have been brought to a realization that the Farmers Union program is the only just and equitable program for agriculture.”
-Esther Ekblad, NFU Education Director
About the Campaign
NFU’s Fairness for Farmers campaign brings the devastating impact monopolies have had on family agriculture into the national spotlight. Launched in September 2021, the campaign calls for actions including reforming the Packers and Stockyards Act (PSA), improving price discovery, diversifying marketing opportunities and antitrust enforcement.
Every family farmer and rancher can talk personally about how corporate consolidation has negatively impacted their family, their business, and their local community. NFU has dedicated time and resources to collect these stories across the country and ensure they are heard by those in positions to force change.
NFU has given a voice to family farmers and ranchers, and they are being heard. For the first time in decades, Congress, regulators and the Administration are paying attention and taking action.
Industry consolidation and monopolies have resulted in:
Excessive costs for farm inputs, including seeds and fertilizer
Supply chain vulnerabilities
Higher consumer prices
Limited options for meat processing
Increased farm equipment costs and reduced repair options
The devastation of rural communities
Due in part to corporate consolidation, the farmer’s share of every dollar consumers spend on food has fallen from 50 percent in 1952 to less than 16 percent today. The people doing the hard work of growing and harvesting our food see scant returns from their labors.
How Monopolies Impact Consumers
The strain felt by farmers and ranchers is directly placed on consumers, as they see higher prices and fewer options. And in some cases, like during the pandemic, empty shelves.
With less diversity across the agriculture industry, multinational corporations have too much control over pricing and offerings. This makes the food supply chain vulnerable to bottlenecks and breakdowns. With limited protection against supply chain shocks, in dire times like the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers were met with companies being unable to meet demand. Competition in the industry keeps our supply chains resilient and our food fairly priced.
How Monopolies Impact Rural Communities
Corporate monopolies are slowly erasing our rural communities. If family farms and ranches can’t stay in operation, their loss will impact everyone in that rural area. After all, family farmers and ranchers:
Would you like to be better heard in Topeka or Washington, D.C.?
Do you feel as though your voice isn’t heard in Topeka or Washington, D.C.? Maybe you’ve considered visiting with your reps in the past, but felt unsure how to present your perspective clearly and effectively?
Kansas Farmers Union’s Policy Advocates Program provides the skills and experiences to help you become a confident voice for Kansas agriculture.
With support from Farm Aid, KFU’s 2023 Policy Advocates will focus on outreach to local, state, and national representatives to inform and educate on how policy impacts our farms, families, and communities across Kansas.
Advocates receive guidance and support from policy and governmental relations professionals in developing materials and strategies to convey the key points of their chosen issue. Participants also benefit from joining a network of fellow advocates, both in Kansas and D.C..
KFU Policy Advocates will have the opportunity to participate in the 2023 National Farmers Union Fall Legislative Fly-In in September, as well as advocacy opportunities in Topeka.
Advocates create a topical policy sheet and develop a post on their issue for kansasfarmersunion.org and KFU’s social media platforms.
KFU Policy Advocates are eligible for a small stipend and will have NFU Fly-In travel and lodging covered.