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Service to others is a family tradition

Rick and Connie Thompson say if you want a thriving community, you need to work to make it happen.

Jennifer M. Latzke, Editor

June 16, 2023

1 Min Read
Rick and Connie Thompson standing in front of farm equipment
SERVICE TO COMMUNITY: Service to others is a Thompson family tradition. Rick and Connie Thompson of Kincaid, Kan., are members of the Class of 2022 Kansas Master Farmers and Master Farm Homemakers. They say if you want a vibrant community with fun activities, you need to make the effort to bring it about.Jennifer M. Latzke

Rick and Connie Thompson of Kincaid, Kan., were once asked, “Why do you volunteer so much?”

Short answer? If no one volunteered, nothing fun would ever happen.

The Thompsons’ approach to farming, raising their family and helping their community is to balance the responsibility of stewardship with a lot of fun and joy. And it’s worked pretty well for them for more than 40 years.

The Thompsons’ commitment to their community is evident in their work to help put on the Kincaid Fair, a local event that draws thousands to the tiny hamlet of Kincaid in southeast Kansas. They’ve also spent many years working at the state level to help youth in the sheep project at the Kansas State Fair. Service to others is part of their family’s tradition. Learn more by watching this video.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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