Our Community


Love for the land, our families, our friends and our food – that’s what fuels our CommonGround community. Scroll down to learn where our volunteers are located, or Contact Us to get involved.

CommonGround Kansas

Kim Baldwin

McPherson, Kansas

Our Farm: corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, wheat

My Work: farmer, wife, mom, high school English and media teacher

My Hobbies: photography, videography, digital design, blogging, traveling and attending high school and Kansas State sporting events

Ask Me About: dryland and no-till farming practices, conservation and GMO foods

About Me: I’m originally from New Mexico, and worked in television news prior to becoming a teacher and marrying a farmer. I utilize my blog and Facebook page to share stories about life on our farm while providing photos and videos. I’m passionate about educating individuals – whether it’s in my classroom at school or in the middle of a wheat field. 

Facebook: Alive and Well in Kansas

Twitter: @kimray02

Blog: Alive and Well in Kansas

YouTube: Kim Ray-Baldwin

Lana Barkman

Wamego, Kansas

Our Farm: beef cattle, chickens, produce

My Work: farmer, wife, extension program specialist

My Hobbies: running, overall fitness, rodeo

Ask Me About: sustainability and conservation, animal nutrition, welfare and antibiotics

About Me: My husband and I met at Kansas State University. We had a lot in common because we were both animal science majors. In my free time, I enjoy training horses for rodeo competitions. I also love dogs and currently have four dogs in the Barkman Bunch: Charlie, Rex, Ruger and, most recently, Gunner, a malnourished stray we adopted.

Twitter: @LanaBarkman

Jenny Burgess

Sterling, Kansas

Our Farm: corn, sorghum, soybeans, wheat

My Work: farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies: baking, blogging, cooking, fitness, photography, writing

Ask Me About: food safety, GMO foods, sustainability

About Me: My husband moved from England to the United States for better opportunities. Together we raise crops and our two beautiful children in Kansas.

Facebook: Burgess Hill Farms

Instagram: @BurgessHillFarms

Pinterest: BurgessHillFarms

Blog: https://farmwifetransparency.wordpress.com/

Frances Graves

Bartlett, Kansas

Our Farm: beef cattle

My Work: farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies: baking, blogging, cooking, hiking, travel

Ask Me About: antibiotics and animal health, animal welfare, hormones in meat and milk

About Me: I have a unique perspective as a farmer because I grew up in the city. I spent my 20s as a vegetarian and young urban student and professional. I made the big switch to rural life in my 30s to raise children and cattle with my family. And I’d love to tell you all about how we do our very best to raise cattle responsibly. We care for our land through no-till techniques, water management and grass rotation. And we care for our animals through daily care and low-stress handling.

Facebook: Frances Gorman Graves

LinkedIn: Frances G

Laura Handke

Atchison, Kansas

Our Farm: beef cattle

My Work: farmer, wife, mom, graduate student

My Hobbies: team roping, ranch horse competition, outdoor activities

Ask Me About: food safety and food policy

About Me: I am very passionate about my family. No matter how big or small, family is what shapes who you become and your influence on society. When I am not with my family working on the farm or doing my graduate work, I am a coalition coordinator for a non-profit group that focuses on obesity awareness and tobacco cessation.

Melissa Reed

Abilene, Kansas

Our Farm: dairy cattle

My Work: farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies: baking, cooking, reading

Ask Me About: local and organic foods

About Me: Our family raises 150 dairy cows west of Junction City, Kansas. We bottle and sell the milk to more than 90 grocery stores across the state in addition to our on-site retail store. We host events and farm tours that allow consumers to see how their milk goes from the farm to the bottle and then to their local grocery store. Once we began selling our product directly to consumers, we instantly became educators. I receive e-mails daily from customers wanting information about how their food is produced and processed. We welcome the discussion and enjoy sharing what we do.

Website: Hildebrand Farms Dairy

Facebook: Hildebrand Farms Dairy

Katie Sawyer

McPherson, Kansas

Our Farm: beef cattle, corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, wheat

My Work: farmer, wife, mom, TV host and director of career services at a local college

My Hobbies: running, reading, photography, gardening, riding horses, Kansas State University basketball and football games, traveling and spending time with family and friends

Ask Me About: conserving land and natural resources

About Me: While I am a Kansas native, I was a foreigner to agriculture until after I graduated college and began dating a local farmer and my future husband. I moved to the farm in 2010 after we married, and, since then, my love of farming has grown. I love sharing the story of agriculture and how our family works to create safe and affordable food for people around the world. I hope to share our story and others through CommonGround.

Website: Sawyer Land and Cattle

Facebook: Katie Stockstill Sawyer

Twitter: @Sawyerfarm

Blog: New to the Farm, Kansas Beef Chat

Pinterest: Katie Stockstill Sawyer

LaVell Winsor

Topeka, Kansas

Our Farm: brome and grass hays, beef cattle, corn, soybeans

My Work: farmer, wife, mom, consultant

My Hobbies: reading, cooking, landscaping and gardening, volunteering and spending time with family and friends

Ask Me About: GMO foods, succession and estate planning and the finances of farming

About Me: As a farm wife, soccer mom (literally), daughter, sister, aunt, friend, taxi driver, consultant, volunteer, cook and bottle washer – life goes at a fast pace. I work hard to grow my kids, grow my crops and grow for tomorrow. I enjoy sharing with others about how we live on our family farm.

Facebook: Growing for Tomorrow

Twitter: @growing4tomorro

Blog: Growing for Tomorrow