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The Farm Bill: Food and Hunger in the Heartland

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February 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:15 pm

Hybrid Hybrid Event

The Farm Bill, a massive omnibus legislation covering a wide range of issues from agricultural practices to SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), is on the docket for this coming year’s Congress. The Farm Bill dictates the most profitable and economical practices for Kansas’s largest industry, agriculture, and will shape farming and food stamp policies for the next 5 years. Join us with Senior Agriculture Advisor to Representative Sharice Davids, Zach Helder, and Executive Director of Kansas Farmers Union, Nick Levendofsky, to discuss the prevailing issues, debates, and environmental impact of this highly influential legislation. Karen Willey will lead this semester’s four-part Discussion Group Series.

This program is presented in partnership with the Kansas Farmers Union and the KU Department of Political Science.


This series is presented in partnership with the Kansas Rural Center.



Zach Helder serves as Senior Agriculture Advisor to U.S. Representative Sharice L. Davids (D-KS-03). Born and raised in Johnson County, KS, with proud rural roots in Nebraska and California, Zach has been an advisor to Democratic candidates and elected officials in Washington D.C. and Kansas for nearly a decade. Zach is also a graduate student at Princeton University, where he is the director of the Food and Agriculture Working Group, a collaboration between Princeton faculty and former government officials that studies the use of food as a weapon.

Nick Levendofsky currently serves as the executive director for the Kansas Farmers Union. Nick served as the government relations director for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, director of external affairs for Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, government relations associate for the Wisconsin Farmers Union, and special projects coordinator for the Kansas Farmers Union. He graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in agricultural communications and journalism in 2010.

Karen Willey serves as the Douglas County, Kansas Commissioner for District 3. Dr. Willey holds a BA in Environmental Studies and a PhD in Geography, both from KU. She works as a nonprofit consultant through Futureful, a local company providing organizational health and fundraising support to health, housing, and human services organizations in urban Kansas City. She leverages this social impact work along with her science and entrepreneurship experience in crafting grounded local policy.


February 20
4:00 pm - 5:15 pm
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The Dole Institute of Politics
(785) 864-4900
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The Dole Institute of Politics
2350 Petefish Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
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