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Four people were reappointed, and one new member was announced.

Jennifer M. Latzke, Editor

March 11, 2024

1 Min Read
Kansas State Capital building
AGRICULTURE BOARD: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced four reappointments and one new appointment to the advisory Kansas State Board of Agriculture. fotoguy22/Getty Images

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced appointments to the state Board of Agriculture on March 1.

The board of nine serves in an advisory capacity to the governor and Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam. Members are selected from around the state and from a variety of agricultural sectors. They review and make recommendations on department legislative initiatives, and proposed rules and regulations, according to the Governor’s Office.

Four members were reappointed: Bill Pracht, Westphalia, District 2; Thad Gieger, Troy, District 2; Tracy Brunner, Ramona, District 1; and Michael Springer, Neodesha, District 4. Marsha Schilling, Edson, was the new appointed member, representing District 1. These members’ terms will expire Jan. 8, 2027.

Current board members with terms expiring in 2025 include Janis Lee, Hays, District 1; Scott Thellman, Lawrence, District 2; Scott Strickland, Leawood, District 3; and Donna Pearson McClish, Wichita, District 3.

According to the Kansas Department of Agriculture, one member is appointed from each congressional district, and the remaining members are appointed at large. No two members can reside in the same county at the time of their appointment, and no more than five can be members of the same political party. The regular term of office is four years.

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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