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Stoskopfs to be honored as Master Farmer-Homemaker


The Stoskopfs were nominated by the Barton County Extension Council Executive Board and Extension agents. The Kansas Master Farmer- Master Homemaker program is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension.

To say that Dean and Mary Anne Stoskopf are involved in their community and in service to agriculture, would be an under statement. Norman Dean and Mary Anne Stoskopf, of rural Hoisington, are among six farm couples state-wide to be honored as Master Farmer-Master Homemaker in recognition of their leadership in agriculture, environmental stewardship and service to their communities.

They will be recognized and awarded for their accomplishments at the Kansas Master Farmer-Master Homemaker Banquet, which will be held at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Junction City, March 20, at 6 p.m. Reservations for the banquet are due by March 16. Tickets are $24 for adults and $10 for children under 12 years of age. Contact Sue Robinson at Kansas State University by calling 785-532-5820.

The Stoskopf family's operation includes more than 2,500 acres of tillable acres and 700 acres of pasture and grass. Another 100 acres is enrolled in the conservation reserve program. Their operation is a Century Farm as designated by Kansas and Barton County Farm Bureau, having been in the family since around 1900.

The couple grow primarily wheat, alfalfa and grain sorghum and have about 120 head of commercial beef cows. Their calves are marketed through the Red Angus Association certification program. This is a busy time for the Stopkopfs as they are in the middle of calving season. Their children were busy with beef projects during their 4-H years.

They have planted and harvested both wheat and grain sorghum variety plots on their farm with Barton County Extension. This has been a community service as well as helping them stay current with technology and crop breeding.

The Stoskopfs have been long term members of Kansas State University's Farm Management Association program. This provides individual consultations from K-State agricultural economists on record keeping, taxes and whole farm planning.

The Stoskopfs are both graduates of K-State and are active in many community and agricultural organizations.

Both were past members of the Barton County Extension Council Executive Board and Dean served as chairman. They served several years as community leaders of the Eureka Homesteaders 4-H Club and they are members of the First United Methodist Church in Hoisington.

Dean has been quite active with wheat organizations. He has been a member of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers for 30 years, serving as president in 2000 and 2001. As president, he assisted in the passage of legislation reorganizing the state's commodity commissions under state statutes, moving to producer-elected commissioners and giving the commissions full budgetary authority over crop producers' checkoff funds.

Since 2002, he has served as an elected member of the Kansas Wheat Commission, serving as chairman from 2006-2008. At the national level, he has served as a member of U.S. Wheat Associates board since 2003 and chaired the long range planning committee the past two years. He is a graduate of the National Association of Wheat Growers Ambassador and Wheat Leaders of Tomorrow programs.

He comes by these activities "honestly," having been a state 4-H winner for wheat, wheat quality and commodity marketing in his younger days.

As president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, he assisted in the passage of legislation reorganizing the state's commodity commissions under state statutes, moving to producer-elected commissioners and giving the commissions full budgetary authority over crop producers' checkoff funds.

In 2003, Dean accompanied his daughter, Julia on an educational tour of Cuba.

Dean has also been on the USD 431 Hoisington School Board since 2004. He is a member of the Masonic Lodge and Shriners.

Mary Anne helped develop educational materials for classrooms, through Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and has been active in Kansas Women Involved in Farm Economics. She received the Kansas Wheat Woman of the Year award from the Kansas Wheathearts in 2001 for her work in educational activities. She is a graduate of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program.

Mary Anne is a former 4-H Extension agent, having worked in McPherson County before marrying Dean. She is a member of the Barton County Planning Commission and has served as chairperson for five years. She has served as secretary-treasurer of Barton County Rural Water District #1 since 1985. She is a volunteer with the Hoisington Main Street project.

They have hosted several international guests, media, industry and government officials on their farm, including delegations from Kazakhstan, Nigeria, South Korea, and South Africa.

They are the parents of two children, Julia (married to Lt. Joshua M. Debes), and Wayne.

Julia received her B.S. degree in agriculture communications from K-State and is scheduled to graduate in May with a Masters of Arts degree in media communications from Florida State University. While at K-State, she was chosen as the 2006 College of Agriculture Student of the Year. She was on the Speech Unlimited Team, competing nationally in collegiate forensics events. While in high school, she was a youth member of the State 4-H Advisory Council and served as a delegate to the National 4-H Conference.

Wayne is studying agri-business in the College of Agriculture at K-State in Manhattan. He is a member of the Kansas State University Foundation Student-Alumni Board, the KSU College of Agriculture Council, and the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity. He has been very active in student government at K-State and was recently elected to the position of Student Body vice president. During his years as a Barton County 4-H member, he was a National 4-H Congress delegate.

The Stoskopfs are the first Master Farmer-Homemaker winners from Barton County since 1975, when Dean's parents, Wayne and Mildred Stoskopf won the award. Other past winners from Barton County and the year they won are as follows: H.A and Gertrude Praeger--1934, W.D. and Clara Essmiller--1935, Harry C. and Ruth Bird--1942, Elmer J. and Bernice Bird--1954, Alvin and Louise Otte--1963, Kasper and Margaret Heinz--1966.

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