Meet the YF&R Committee

Meet the YF&R Committee

District 1 - John White - Pottawatomie County

John White lives in Manhattan and farms with his family in Pottawatomie County. He’s also an operating partner at Double J Construction, which clears pastures, does dirt work and removes snow for clients. John is married to Kotie, who is studying Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University.

District 2 - Mark & Lacey Wray - Franklin County

Mark and Lacey Wray are the District 2 Young Farmers and Ranchers representatives. They live in Ottawa, KS where they run a farming and ranching operation with Mark’s parents on the family farm. Mark and Lacey’s families both have been farming and ranching for many generations, and they look forward to instilling their passion for agriculture in their son, Sage. Their current operation consists of row crops such as soybeans, corn, wheat forage sorghum, beef cows, stockers, and finished cattle. Mark also owns and operates a small seed dealership.

Farming has been Mark’s favorite interest as far back as he can remember. Some of his favorite childhood memories include raising sheep, riding their horses, breaking stubborn 4-H calves to lead, and driving the tractor long before he was old enough. Lacey grew up on her family farm in Uniontown, KS where her father, brother, and uncle still operate the farm. She was raised showing horses, owning cattle and pigs, working with 4-H livestock, and was very involved with the Kansas FFA Association. Lacey is a former ag teacher and now spends her time operating her photography business, raising their son Sage, and helping out wherever she can on the farm. Mark and Lacey love to spend their time together doing anything on the farm and spending their time with their son.

District 3 - Eric & April Castle - Linn County

Eric and April Castle live in Linn county and represent the 3rd district. They own and operate Castle Farms located in Pleasanton, Kansas. The farm includes a 17-sow show pig operation along with a 6-head boar stud that they market throughout the United States. They also fatten out around 15 hogs each year to butcher and sell locally in the greater Kansas City area. In addition to their farm, Eric is the agricultural education teacher and FFA advisor at Southern Coffey County High School and April operates an in-home child care business. Eric and April have one daughter, Bristol

District 4 - Brance & Natalie Boone - Greenwood County

Brance and Natalie Boone are from Greenwood County and are excited to represent the 4th District. Brance and Natalie own and operate Boone Cattle Company, specializing in buying and starting high risk cattle. While Brance manages the ranch and works part time for his family’s diversified cow-calf and farming operation, Natalie works as a business teacher at Madison High School. Brance is the fifth generation of Boones to ranch in Greenwood county and with four boys, Brance and Natalie hope that tradition continues on. Brance and Natalie have four ornery boys, Cooper, Wyatt, Truett and Landree. The boys keep them on their toes always, and when they aren’t working as a family on the ranch they can be found assisting with 4-H, Neal Evangelical Free Church, Greenwood County Farm Bureau, or one of many school activities.

Photo by Nancy Boone

District 5 - Clint & Carrie Fraser - Cloud County

Clint and Carrie Fraser are proud to represent the 5th district and young farmers and ranchers across the state. Residing in rural Cloud County, Clint and Carrie operate a diversified dryland crop and cow-calf operation. Being a first-generation farmer, Clint spends the majority of his time as the operator of their farming operation and also works part time for a rural water district. Carrie is an ag lender and vice president for a community bank. Time away from their own operation and off farm jobs is spent helping Carrie's parents with their crop and cattle operation. For providing the additional labor to her parents, Clint and Carrie are able to borrow equipment and spend quality time contributing to the family operation. Life is kept extremely interesting by their three young sons, Trigg, Lincoln and Hudson.

District 6 - Ryan & Laura Haffner - Ellis County

Ryan and Laura Haffner represent the 6th district. Ryan is the fourth generation to carry on his family’s farming tradition. The couple raises corn, wheat, and grain sorghum utilizing no-till practices.

In addition to the farm, Ryan has international agriculture experience and owns and operates High Plains Agriculture & Transport Inc., which provides custom harvesting and trucking services. High Plains Harvesting travels from Texas to the Canadian border harvesting a vast variety of crops.

Laura currently stays home to raise the couple’s two preschool age children and assists with the family’s business. She is a member of the Ellis County Farm Bureau board where she is the Women’s Chair. She enjoys writing, photography and teaching an online agronomy course for Fort Hays State University.

District 7 - Nick & Jamie Panek - Pratt County

Nick is a 4th generation farmer/rancher primarily based out of Kingman County. Nick co-operates and manages Panek Ranch, LLC, a grazing-based cow/calf operation with crop production consisting of wheat, hay, and forages. In conjunction with farming and ranching, Nick operates a seed dealership and performs custom prescribed burning. He is also a volunteer firefighter for two departments.

Jamie is new to the ag world and is a loan assistant at the Legacy Bank in Pratt. She has recently started a blog, Beefy and Blessed in the Midwest, where she has dubbed herself a "ranch wife by accident" and keeps an account of her ranch wife experiences.

Nick and Jamie have been married 9 years and have a daughter, Oakley, who loves all things farm-related. 

District 8 - Brandon & Jerri Whitley - Ness County

Brandon and Jerri Whitley farm in southeast Ness County and represent the 8th district. Brandon works full-time, in partnership with his family, farming a mixture of dryland and irrigated corn, milo, soybean and wheat crops, in addition to managing a Red Angus cow-calf operation and a Channel seed dealership. Jerri, who was raised on a farm in north central Oklahoma, has been with Victory Electric Cooperative in Dodge City for ten years as the vice president of communications. Both enjoy being active in the community, Brandon on the local NRCS/Soil Conservation and county Farm Bureau boards and Jerri on the Dodge City Main Street board of directors and Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors.

They recently married in December 2018 and plan to build a house and reside on the family farm in rural Ness County.

District 9 - Shane & Andrea Knoll - Finney County

Shane and Andrea are from Holcomb and represent the 9th district. Shane farms full-time with his brother, growing wheat, corn, soybeans and sorghum, and serves on the Finney County Farm Bureau board. Andrea sells crop insurance. The couple was married in 2007 and they have three kids: Taylor, Jake and Adam. The Knolls are a proud 4-H family and enjoy working on their projects together. They also love camping, fishing and hunting and are active in their church.

Photo by Scherrer Images Photography

District 10 - Matt & Jessica Ledbetter - Norton County

Matt and Jessica Ledbetter live in Norton and represent the 10th district. They were married almost 10 years ago with the dream of having their own farm. Neither grew up on a family farm they would inherit, but they wouldn’t let anything get in their way. Seven years ago they started their farm with 12 cows on shares and 63 acres of row crops. Now, they have 65 cows of their own on rented pasture and also rent more than 1,000 acres of farm ground. Their faith is their main priority and has gotten them through the challenges of life and farming. As first-generation farmers, they hope to build something they can pass along to their children.

Photo by Adobe Farmhouse Photography

AFBF YF&R Committee Representatives - Jarrod & Sarah Bowser

In Jackson County Kansas, Jarrod and Sarah Bowser farm with partners, Nick and Jessica Bowser. The diversified grain (corn, soybeans, milo, wheat, barley and forage crops) and valued added cattle production systems are located in NE Kansas just beyond the Flint Hills region. Day to day management is executed directly by Jarrod and Nick, with strategic management integrating vision from all partners to include Sarah. Sarah is the managing director for the Center for Sorghum Improvement housed at Kansas State University. Sarah convenes basic and applied scientists to orient cross-discipline research capacities for the advancement of sorghum demand, yield and value. The couple has two daughters Claire and Cora.

Interested in becoming a committee member?

The KFB Young Farmers & Ranchers committee is comprised of ten appointments, an individual or couple from each district in the state. Members are nominated by their district’s KFB Board representative and are officially appointed by the KFB President. Committee members serve two-year terms. During odd-numbered years, members from the odd districts are appointed and in even-numbered years, even district representatives join the committee. The committee takes the lead on surfacing and discussing issues specific to 18-35 year old members, planning programming for the YF&R audience and conducting competitive and recognition opportunities for YF&R members. One member of the YF&R Committee is also appointed to serve as an ex-officio member of the KFB Board of Directors to share the YF&R voice in organization business. If you’re interested in serving on the committee please complete this form to help us get to know you.