Commodity commission ballots mailed to producers
The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced Jan. 10 that ballots to elect commissioners to the state's five grain commodity commissions--corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat--have been mailed to registered voters in districts seven, eight and nine in the eastern third of the state.
District Seven includes Atchison, Brown, Doniphan, Jackson, Jefferson, Leavenworth, Marshall, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Riley and Wyandotte counties.
District Eight includes Anderson, Chase, Coffey, Douglas, Franklin, Geary, Johnson, Linn, Lyon, Miami, Morris, Osage, Shawnee and Wabaunsee counties.
District Nine includes Allen, Bourbon, Butler, Chautauqua, Cherokee, Cowley, Crawford, Elk, Greenwood, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho, Wilson and Woodson counties.
Kansas Corn Commission candidates
District Seven: Ken McCauley is a corn and soybean farmer from Doniphan County. He currently serves on the Kansas Corn Commission and is an active member of the Kansas Corn Growers Association and National Corn Growers Association. McCauley has an associate degree from Highland Community College, and he also attended Kansas State University. He is married to Mary and has two adult children.
District Eight: Patrick Ross is a corn and soybean farmer from Douglas County. He currently serves on the Kansas Corn Commission and is a member of several agricultural associations, including the Kansas Soybean Association, the Kansas Corn Growers Association and the Kansas Livestock Association. He is married to Mary and has two adult daughters and four grandsons.
District Nine: Randall Small is a Wilson County farmer. He previously served on the Kansas Sunflower Commission and is a member of the National Corn Growers Association, American Soybean Association, Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas Farm Bureau. He is married to Nicole and has two sons.
Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission candidates
District Eight: Jeff Casten is a corn, grain sorghum soybean and wheat farmer from Osage County. He currently serves on the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and is a past secretary of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. Casten graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in agronomy. He has four adult daughters and seven grandchildren.
District Nine: Gary Kilgore grows corn, grain sorghum, soybeans and wheat in Neosho County. He currently serves on the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and is a member of the Kansas Soybean Association, Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas Forage and Grassland Council. Kilgore graduate from Kansas State University with a bachelor's and a master's degree in agronomy. He is married to Lorraine and has three children and five grandchildren.
No candidates are running for commissioner in District Seven. The Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission will appoint this position.
Kansas Soybean Commission candidates
District Seven: James Zwonitzer is a corn, grain sorghum, wheat and soybean farmer in Atchison County. He currently serves as treasurer of the Kansas Soybean Commission and is a member of Kansas Soybean Association, the Kansas Livestock Association and his local rural water district. Zwonitzer has a bachelor's degree in agricultural education from Kansas State University. He is married to Sharon and has a son, a daughter and seven grandchildren.
District Seven: Steven Brey is a soybean, corn and cattle farmer in Jefferson County. He is a board member for Jefferson County Farm Bureau and attended Kansas State University and Washburn University. He is married to Kimberly and has one son.
District Eight: Robert Haselwood is a corn and soybean farmer in Shawnee County. He currently serves on the Kansas Soybean Commission, represents Kansas on the United Soybean Board and is a member of the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Soybean Association. Haselwood has an associate degree from Cowley County Community College. He also is a graduate of the Kansas Agricultural and Rural Leadership class. He is married to Judy and has two children and one grandchild.
District Nine: Mike Bellar raises corn, soybeans and hogs in Elk County. He is currently a member of the Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Soybean Association, Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Pork Producers and Kansas Livestock Association. Bellar has a bachelor's degree in agricultural business from Fort Hays State University. He is married to Peggy and has five children.
Kansas Sunflower Commission candidates
No candidates are running for commissioner in districts seven, eight and nine. The Kansas Sunflower Commission will appoint these positions.
Kansas Wheat Commission candidates
Districts Seven, Eight and Nine: Jay Armstrong is a wheat farmer in Atchison County. He is a member of the Kansas Wheat Commission, Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Farm Bureau. He is also involved in the Atchison County Economic Development group. Armstrong is a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in agricultural economics.
Eligible voters who registered before Dec. 31, 2012, or who voted in the 2010 commission election will receive a ballot. Eligible voters are Kansas residents who reached age 18 before the election, have grown corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers or wheat during the last three years and who have properly registered to vote.
Ballots must be cast or postmarked by March 1. The names of candidates-elect will be announced in mid-March and the elected commissioners will take office April 1. Commissioners serve three-year terms.
More information is available from the following organizations:
--Kansas Corn Commission at 785-448-2626 or www.ksgrains.com/kcc/;
--Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission at 785-341-6433 or www.ksgrainsorghum.org/;
--Kansas Soybean Commission at 785-271-1030 or www.kansassoybeans.com/KSChome.html;
--Kansas Sunflower Commission at 785-565-3908 or www.kssunflower.com/;
--Kansas Wheat Commission at 785-539-0255 or www.kswheat.com; or
--Kansas Department of Agriculture at 785-296-3556 or http://www.ksda.gov/kansas_agriculture/content/152.