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SLIDESHOW: 2021 Kansas Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemaker David and Sara Combes of Lebo, Kan., share their farming journey.

Jennifer M. Latzke, Editor

June 8, 2022

8 Slides

David and Sara Combes are one of the six couples who have been named to the 2021 class of Kansas Master Farmers and Farm Homemakers.

For almost 50 years, this couple has used ingenuity and calculated risk to build their farm and ranch near Lebo, Kan. By breeding for carcass traits and marketing their cattle with age and source verification, they’re able to capture more value for their herd. They’ve introduced a no-till rotation of corn, soybeans and wheat, with those cattle grazing the crop residue. Their work on the farm and ranch has also inspired their four daughters and their four sons-in-law to make their own marks on Kansas agriculture.

Click through the photo gallery above for more photos and information about this Kansas Master Farmer and Farm Homemaker couple. And be sure to check back as we feature the other members of the class of 2021.

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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