KLA members elect rancher, cattle feeder as officers
A Marion County rancher and a Gray County cattle feeder have been elected by members of the Kansas Livestock Association to serve as officers of the organization over the next year. Mark Harms, a seedstock producer from Lincolnville, became KLA president during the group's annual meeting Nov. 30 in Wichita. The new president elect of the 5,500-member organization is Ingalls cattle feeder Jeff Sternberger.
Harms and his wife, Kim, own and operate Harms Plainview Ranch. They raise registered Angus, Red Angus and Charolais cattle. The ranch utilizes leased grass in Marion and surrounding counties. Dryland farm acreage is used primarily for feed production. Harms Plainview Ranch has grown to involve four cooperator herds in Kansas to help supply the business with breeding stock.
The Nebraska native's leadership resume is lengthy. Harms has served as chairman of both the KLA Purebred and Stockgrowers Councils, chaired the KLA Policy & Resolutions Committee for three terms, spent several years on the KLA Executive Committee and represented Marion County on the KLA Board of Directors. He is a member of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association Policy Division Board of Directors. He previously served on the NCBA Federation Division Board of Directors and is a past member of the industry's Joint Advertising Committee.
Harms is a founding member of U.S. Premium Beef. He was chairman of the USPB Board of Directors Nominating Committee for the first six years the company was in business. Harms Plainview Ranch is a qualified seedstock supplier for USPB. The Harmses belong to the Kansas Angus Association, Kansas Charolais Association and the Kansas Red Angus Association. Harms is a past KAA director.
Locally, Harms is a member of St. John's Lutheran Church. He has served on the church's board of education and as vice chairman of the congregation. He is a past director of Marion County Farm Bureau.
Harms graduated with honors from Kansas State University in 1990. His degree is in animal sciences and industry.
The Harmses have three children. Daughter Taylor is a freshman at K-State. Sons Cade and Payton are in eighth and seventh grade, respectively.
Sternberger is the president and manager of Midwest Feeders at Ingalls. He is part of a group that bought the feedyard in 1992. Since then, Midwest Feeders has added ownership interests in CRI Feeders at Guymon, Okla.; Brookover Cattle Company LLC of Scott City; and Waurika Farms LLC, with ranching operations in Oklahoma and South Dakota. Independent from his part in Midwest Feeders, Sternberger and his wife, Colleen, own a wheat and stocker cattle operation in Oklahoma and a cow-calf/stocker business in Mississippi.
His list of industry leadership positions includes serving on the KLA Executive Committee, KLA Board of Directors and as chairman of the KLA Cattle Feeders Council. Sternberger was the co-chair of a special KLA task force appointed in 2010 to consider changes that would deliver more value to members. He currently serves on the NCBA Board of Directors and on the NCBA Live Cattle Marketing Committee.
Sternberger is a member of the USPB Board of Directors and previously served on the Beef Empire Days Board of Directors.
He graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1982 with a degree in agricultural economics. Upon graduation, Sternberger worked in the Farm Credit System, making production loans to Oklahoma farmers and ranchers.
The Sternbergers have one daughter, Robin Aviles, who lives at Derby with her husband, Manuel, and their two children.
KLA is a trade organization representing the state's livestock business on legislative, regulatory and industry issues at both the state and federal levels. The association's work is funded through voluntary dues dollars paid by its members.