The Kansas Department of Agriculture announced the results of the elections held for the five grain commodity commissions—corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat in districts One, Two and Three in the Western region of the state.
KDA provides oversight and administration to the annual election process for the five commodity commissions in Kansas. Deputy Secretary Chad Bontrager serves as a representative on each. “The commodity commissions play an important role in Kansas agriculture. Through check-off dollars, Kansas farmers invest in future research and market development activities.” Bontrager said. “Thanks and congratulations to these Kansas farmers, who give of their time and talents to serve the greater agriculture industry by being elected as a commodity commissioner.”
Kansas Corn Commission
District One: Brian Baalman is a corn farmer from Sheridan County. Currently, Baalman serves as a Kansas Corn Commissioner and as a member of Kansas Corn Growers Association. He has also served on the United States Meat Export Federation and U.S. Grains Council. Baalman assisted with the formation of Western Plains Energy in Oakley, Kansas.
District Two: Dennis McNinch is a corn, wheat and milo farmer from Ness County. Recently, he completed his first term as the Vice-Chair of the Kansas Corn Commission. McNinch has been an active member of the National Corn Growers Association and holds a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern College.
District Three: Steve Rome is a Stevens County corn producer. A member of Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Corn Growers Association, Kansas State University Agronomy Advisory Board and the Kansas State University Experiment Station Board, Rome works diligently to serve Kansas agriculture. He received his bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University.
Kansas Wheat Commission
District One: Brian Linin is a Sherman County wheat, corn and soy farmer. An active citizen of Goodland, Kansas he has served on various advisory boards such as: city commission, local church board, Oncology Board for the Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado and president of Goodland Ambassadors. Linin graduated from Kansas State University with Cum Laude Honors and continued on to Oklahoma State University where he received his master’s degree.
District Two: Ronald Suppes is a wheat and milo farmer from Lane County. He is a past chairman of the U.S. Wheat Associates Board. Other organizations he provides leadership to include Farmer Direct Foods board of directors, Kansas Agriculture Rural Leadership board of directors and Knights of Columbus.
District Three: Jason Ochs is farmer from Hamilton County. Ochs attended Garden City Community College and completed the Primary Leadership Development Course in the United States Army. He is a life member of the Disabled Veterans, American Legion and the National Rifle Association.
Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission
District One: Lonnie Wilson is a farmer and rancher from Thomas County. He is a member of Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission, Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association and the Farm Management Association.
District Two: Greg Graff is a farmer and rancher from Wichita County. He is a member of the Kansas corn, wheat and sorghum associations. Graff also serves on the Kansas Water Authority, Kansas Farm Bureau and the Knights of Columbus. He graduated from Kansas State University.
District Three: Michael OBrate is a corn, sorghum and wheat farmer from Gray County. NuLife Market Board, Kansas Wheat Growers and American Warrior Inc., are a few organizations that OBrate serves on as a member and leader.
Kansas Soybean Commission
District One: Kurt Maurath grows corn, wheat, soybeans, sunflowers, sorghum and has a cow/calf operation in Logan County. Maurath is a Kansas State University graduate. He is an active member of the Logan County Fair Board, Golden Prairie District Board, is an Oakley Christian Church Elder and a Logan County Farm Bureau Member.
Kansas Sunflower Commission
As there was no registered candidate, the Kansas Sunflower Commission will appoint a commissioner in each district.
Commissioners serve three-year terms and the terms begin April 1, 2015.