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

Sara Goss

Kanopolis, Kansas

Our Farm: alfalfa, chickens

My Work: farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies: sewing, home-improvement projects, exercising, reading, blogging

Ask Me About: food safety

About Me: I have a passion for leadership and economic development, especially when it pertains to rural people and places. I enjoy rural life, and my husband and I have big plans to grow our little farm in the future. Farming has a great story to tell, and I love talking about my favorite farmers — my husband, my father and my father-in-law.

Website: Potted Goose

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.

Karra James

Clay Center, Kansas

Our Farm: alfalfa, beef cattle, sorghum, soybeans, wheat

My Work: farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies: baking, cooking, singing, travel, movies, reading, overall fitness, sporting activities

Ask Me About: animal nutrition and welfare, antibiotics, food safety

About Me: I grew up on a hog farm in central Indiana, graduated from Purdue University with a degree in food science and spent a couple of years working in the meat industry as a quality-assurance inspector and supervisor. Once I left the farm, I realized how much I missed it and wanted to return. I then met my husband, a Kansas farmer, who brought me back to a farm. I’ve embraced living in the Central Plains and wouldn’t want it any other way.

WebsiteFrontier Farmwife

Facebook: Frontier Farmwife

Twitter: @frontierfarmgal

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