Volunteers

Have you ever wondered who is growing your food and if it’s safe? The families of CommonGround can help you find the answers.

CommonGround is a national group of women farmers having conversations about the food we grow and how we produce it. As volunteers, we share our personal experiences from our farms and ranches, as well as science and research, to help our fellow consumers sort through the myths and misinformation surrounding food and farming.

We welcome you to join the conversation – and to enjoy your food without fear.

Kansas CommonGround Volunteers

KimNew150x150Kim Baldwin
McPherson, KS
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A native of New Mexico, Kim moved to Kansas to marry her husband. With her unique career background as a television news professional and teacher, Kim helps keep the family farm running smoothly while blogging about her new life as a farmer.  Learn more about Kim.

 

Lana BarkmanLana Barkman
Circleville, KS
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Animal lover Lana married her college sweetheart, Caleb. She shares their adventures on social media as the “Barkman Bunch” on their farm near Circleville, KS. She studied animal science at Kansas State University and loves horses. Learn more about Lana.

 

Jenny Burgess
Sterling, KS
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Jenny and her husband Geoff are a first-generation farm family farming near Sterling, KS. Geoff emigrated from England to pursue better opportunities in the United States. Together, they grow corn, soybeans, wheat, sorghum and cover crops. Learn more about Jenny.

 

Molly Drimmel
Wakarusa, KS
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Molly and her husband David raise corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, sorghum, chicken, beef cattle, pigs and goats on their farm near Wakarusa, KS. Molly has a busy full-time job off the farm as a field testing agronomist and is passionate about helping families understand where food comes from. Learn more about Molly.

 

Frances Graves
Bartlett, KS
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Frances was raised in the city and spent her 20s consuming a vegetarian diet. Today, she and her husband raise children and cattle on their ranch, where they are the fifth and sixth generations on the family homestead.  Learn more about Frances.

 

Laura Handke
Atchison, KS
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Laura worked in the food safety and regulatory industry before finding her passion and embarking on a career in agriculture advocacy and education. She and her husband Chris have a daughter, Audrey Ann. Laura and Chris have a cow/calf herd in both Missouri and Kansas. Learn more about Laura.

 

Aly McClure
Garden City, KS
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Growing up on cow-calf and grain farm in Ohio, Aly is the fourth generation in her family to carry on the love of cattle through her daily life. After moving to western Kansas, Aly met her husband, TJ. Together they raise approximately 11,000 head of dairy heifers along with a growing tribe of little people and dogs at home. Learn more about Aly.

 

Krystale Neitzel
Lawrence, KS
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Krystale and her husband Lowell run a fourth-generation farm just outside Lawrence, KS, raising corn and soybeans, and operating a small beef cattle feedlot. They operated a garden market for many years and enjoy clearing up the confusion on food labels about farming practices. Learn more about Krystale.

 

Kelsey Pagel
Wetmore, KS
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Kelsey and her husband, Matt, are living their dream as farmers near Wetmore, KS. They work with Matt’s parents raising corn, soybeans, wheat, cover crops, chicken and beef cattle. Kelsey and Matt are constantly learning more about how to use more sustainable practices on their farm. Learn more about Kelsey.

 

Janet Phillips
Cherryvale, KS
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Janet and her husband Caleb raise corn, wheat, soybeans, and cattle on their family farm near Cherryvale, KS. Their growing farm includes Caleb’s father and grandfather, each farm operating financially independently but sharing in equipment and workload. Learn more about Janet.

 

melissa.hildebrand.reed150x150.jpg

Melissa Hildebrand Reed
Abilene, KS
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Melissa works alongside her family at Hildebrand Family Dairy near Junction City, KS. The farm raises 150 dairy cows, bottling and selling the milk to more than 90 grocery stores across the state and through their on-site retail store. A mother of two young sons, Melissa is especially knowledgeable on local foods. Learn more about Melissa.

 

Katie SawyerKatie Sawyer
McPherson, KS
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Just outside of McPherson, KS, Katie and her husband Derek raise cattle, wheat, corn, soybeans and grain sorghum. Katie works full-time off the farm as District Director for U.S. Congressman Roger Marshall and advocates for the agriculture through various platforms. Learn more about Katie.

 

Lesley Schmidt
McPherson, KS
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Lesley is part of the fifth generation on her family farm near Park City, KS. She works with her brothers and parents raising cattle, alfalfa, oats, sorghum, soybeans and wheat. She enjoys sharing her farm’s story and showcasing the care and dedication that go into the food that is put on the dinner table. Learn more about Lesley.

 

Janna Splitter
Lyons, KS
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Food safety and sustainability are high priorities for Janna as she raises two girls on a farm in Lyons, Kansas with her husband, Matt. Janna grew up on a first generation farm and met her husband through the 4-H program. They went on to study at Kansas State University and are growing their farm operation. Learn more about Janna.

 

LaVell Winsor
Grantville, KS
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LaVell lives and farms in Grantville, Kansas, with her husband, Andy, and their two sons. She helps with merchandising and management of grain sales and farm financial records. She also is employed off-the-farm with a consulting service that provides farmers with business recommendations and risk-management tools. Learn more about LaVell.

 

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