The Kansas Farmers Union met Friday in Hutchinson for its annual convention. Coping with the economic crisis is on the minds of many. Local farmers are trying to plant ideas to help them get through these tough financial times.
People in every business are trying to find the best solutions in this difficult time. Kansas farmers will tell you that challenges are nothing new. People who took part in the convention Friday heard projections on what impact the economy will have on agriculture. The news is not all doom and gloom.
"We're trying to minimize to the amount of damage to agriculture," says John Hanson, National Legislative Chairman. "At the same time, we're trying to maximize the opportunities to the upside."
Opportunities include expanding into new markets, including alternative energy like ethanol, biofuels, and community wind power.
"Are we going back to the future?" asks local farmer Lavern Potuzak. "Every farm had a windmill on it way back when."
One expert told farmers that they are entering this difficult time with more financial backing than they had 20 years ago. Prices farmers pay for fuel and fertilizer have dropped recently.
Although livestock grain prices are high, the same expert said the real challenge is to look past this economic crisis and focus on managing the food supply.