CommonGround Farmers

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

Back to Our Farmers

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


Molly Drimmel

Wakarusa, Kansas

Our Farm:  alfalfa, beef cattle, chickens, corn, goats, pigs, sorghum, soybeans, wheat

My Work:  farmer, wife, mom, agronomist

My Hobbies:  baking, cooking, hunting

Ask Me About:  biotechnology, animal care, family farms

About Me:  My husband and I both grew up on a farm. We wanted to raise our children the same way, so we moved back to my family’s farm after living in town for seven years. In addition to farming, I am an agronomist where, I test new genetics before they are available for sale to farmers. Since not everyone has regular access to a farm, I think it’s important for us to show what we do on the farm and help answer consumers’ questions about how food is grown.

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.

Aly McClure

Garden City, Kansas

Our Farm:  dairy

My Work:  farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies:  baking, cooking, photography, traveling, writing

Ask Me About: animal care, sustainability and conservation, animal antibiotics, family farms
About Me:  Farmers can be a great resource to help answer questions about food and how it’s raised. I’m happy to share my perspective from our Kansas farm. When I’m not working on the farm or caring for my family, I love to share agriculture with people who do not have the opportunity to experience it in their regular, day-to-day life.  I am the coffee drinker and content creator behind, and I love everything Jesus, Bovine and coffee.

Twitter: @alymcclure

Instagram:  @alymcclure

Facebook:  Aly McClure

Krystale Neitzel

Lawrence, Kansas

Our Farm:  beef cattle, chickens, corn, soybeans, vegetables

My Work:  farmer, wife, mom, insurance agent

My Hobbies:   baking, cooking, fitness, arts and crafts, reading, hiking, 4-H

Ask Me About:  biotechnology, sustainability and conservation, family farms

About Me:  My husband and I farm with my parents and my brother and sister-in-law. I care a lot about the food I feed my family. I started reading food labels closely about six years ago. Some of the labels that talk about how food is grown can be confusing – especially for those who aren’t connected to farming. I want to be a resource for people who have questions about how food is grown and help them feel more informed as they make food purchasing decisions for their families.

Facebook:  Bismarck Farms/Gardens

Kelsey Pagel

Wetmore, Kansas

Our Farm:  corn, soybeans, wheat, chicken, beef cattle, cover crops

My Work:  farmer, wife

My Hobbies:   blogging, fitness, writing

Ask Me About:  biotechnology, sustainability and conservation, animal care, local and organic foods, food safety

About Me:  My husband and I are living our dream on our family farm. We care deeply about our animals, the environment, the land and the safety of the food we grow. We eat the food that comes from our farm and work to produce safe and healthy products to feed both our family and consumers. We use sustainable practices on our farm, including cover crops, to help care for the land, the water and the soil around us.


Facebook:  Sustainable Bites LLC

Instagram:  @sustainablebitesllc

Janet Phillips

Cherryvale, Kansas

Our Farm:  beef cattle, corn, soybeans, wheat

My Work:  farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies:  cooking, photography, blogging, running, gardening

Ask Me About:  animal agriculture, sustainability and conservation, hormones in meat and milk, family

About Me:  My husband and I farm along with his parents and grandparents in southeast Kansas. I am passionate about farming, raising our four kids on the farm, cooking, gardening, canning and my faith. I understand that people have questions about food and farming. I blog and connect with other moms and consumers on social media to give them a glimpse into life on the farm and to show them how food is grown on family farms like ours.

Website:  A Farm Wife’s Life

Facebook:  A Farm Wife’s Life

Twitter:  @afarmwifeslife

Instagram:  @afarmwifeslife

Pinterest:  Kansas Farm Wife

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

Lesley Schmidt

Park City, Kansas

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

My Work:  farmer; civil planning, cartographer and permitting specialist; track and field official

My Hobbies:  baking, fitness, gardening, outdoor activities, reading, sports, traveling

Ask Me About:  animal care
About Me:

I am part of a fifth-generation Kansas family farm where I work alongside my brothers and parents raising crops and beef cattle. Through my other work in civil planning and as a track and field official, I have many opportunities to interact with friends, co-workers and other fitness enthusiasts who are not connected to farming. I enjoy talking with them about how we raise animals and crops on our farm. There are many parallels between our passion and commitment to ongoing improvements in work and athletics to our pride and commitment to continuous improvements on our farm.

Janna Splitter

Lyons, Kansas

Our Farm:  corn, sorghum, soybeans, wheat

My Work:  farmer, wife, mom

My Hobbies:  arts and crafts, baking, photography, reading, traveling, writing

Ask Me About:  biotechnology, family farms, food safety, sustainability and conservation
About Me:  My husband and I met as kids and then attended Kansas State University together. After college, his family turned the family farm over to us. That day, we became the fifth generation responsible for caring for that land. Sustainability is a top priority for us because now we think about the day that we might turn the farm over to our children. We want it to be a gift for them, and that requires focus on conservation and the best practices to preserve our soil and water.

Twitter:  @jannasplitter

Instagram:  @ksfarmmama

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