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McPherson Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee Names Friend of Ag, Farm Family of the Year

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By Cindy Baldwin, Baldwin Creative Services, and Chamber Ag Committee member

 

McPHERSON, Kan. – Mike and Cathy Patrick, Lindsborg, have been named the 2022 McPherson County Farm Family from the McPherson Chamber of Commerce Agriculture Committee. The Patricks operate a diversified crop and cow/calf operation between Lindsborg and Marquette that has been in the Patrick family for several generations. Mike grew up on the family farm and, after completing the Diesel Mechanics program at Salina Vo Tech and a brief stint working at a Case dealership in Salina, made the decision to begin farming full time with his father, Duane Patrick.

Mike and Cathy were married in 1989 after being introduced by Mike’s sister, who was a student, along with Cathy, at McPherson College. They live on the farm that was Mike’s grandfathers. They have four children, Chris, Andrew, Benjamin and Alyssa. Chris and Benjamin have joined the farming operation along with nephew Heath Patrick, who recently moved to Lindsborg after retiring from the military. Andrew lives in Washington state and works in the tech field. Alyssa is an elementary school teacher. Over time Mike and Cathy have expanded the farm, taking over ground from retiring family members to allow their children and nephew the opportunity to join the operation.

The Patrick farm and ranch includes pasture, on which they run a 600-plus cow herd, and crop ground. Except for replacement heifers, calves are sold in the fall. Their primary crop is wheat, and they also grow corn, beans, milo, alfalfa, prairie hay and brome. Wheat producers in the county are familiar with the Patricks as they have an Extension wheat plot each year.

The Patrick family has a long tradition of community involvement. Mike’s father served as a McPherson County Commissioner for several terms, and Mike and Cathy also are involved in community service. Mike has served on the McPherson County FSA Board and as the treasurer of Union Township. Cathy has sung in the Messiah at Bethany College for 15 years. The Patricks have volunteered at their children’s schools in a variety of ways, including bringing farm animals – baby goats, baby pigs and calves – for special learning activities. Both Cathy and Mike have assisted Ag in the Classroom instructor Fran Stuckey in several schools in the county since the program began.

The family was actively involved in Monitor Church of the Brethren for many years and are now attending Valley Community Church in Marquette.

The Patricks believe it is important to keep family-owned farms a vital part of the agricultural segment in communities and have positioned themselves the best they can to provide opportunities for their children to farm if they choose. Mike is the only one of the four Patrick siblings who chose to continue farming. He and Cathy are pleased that two of their sons and their nephew find value in returning to the family business and are finding ways to establish their own farming operations. They hope that the next generation of Patricks will find it as fulfilling an experience as they have.

Congratulations Mike and Cathy on being named the McPherson Chamber of Commerce, Farm Family of the Year.

Kim Baldwin Named 2022 Friend of Ag

During the recent Farm Forum event, The Agriculture Committee of the McPherson Chamber of Commerce awarded Kim Baldwin, McPherson, as the 2022 Friend of Agriculture. Kim and her husband, Adam, and their children, Banks and Isannah, live on their family farm near Conway.

kim bladwin mcpherson friend of ag (1)Born in California and living in multiple locations on the West Coast, Mexico City and the Zuni Indian Reservation, her family settled on a small farm in the middle Rio Grande Valley in central New Mexico. Her parents always worked off the farm, but they did establish a small cow herd in New Mexico. Kim’s involvement in 4-H and FFA and in showing and judging animals sparked her own interest in agriculture. While a student in New Mexico, she was an active member of several livestock organizations and served as a New Mexico State FFA officer. Kim graduated from New Mexico State University with dual degrees in Agricultural Extension and Education with an emphasis in ag communications, and in journalism and mass communications. After working as a videographer, reporter, anchor and producer for PBS and NBC affiliates in New Mexico, she transitioned to teaching journalism and language arts in public schools in New Mexico, Missouri and Kansas.

This background has provided her with the tools to actively promote agriculture in a number of volunteer areas, with a focus on educating the general public about agriculture and advocating for the agriculture sector. Shortly after she and Adam were married and she moved to McPherson County, she became active in local and state Farm Bureau networks, serving as past women’s chair and President for McPherson County Farm Bureau. She currently serves on the Kansas Farm Bureau Specialty Crops Task Force and writes a monthly syndicated “Insight” column for KFB published in newspapers throughout Kansas and the U.S. In addition, she volunteers with the Inman FFA program as a coach and mentor for several judging and leadership teams and serves on the Inman FFA Alumni Board. The family has also hosted several international trade teams on their farm.

For a number of years, she has been part of the team of volunteers with CommonGround and CommonGround Kansas, a network of women involved in agriculture committed to engaging in conversations with consumers about food and farming, participating in both statewide and national outreach events.

She was selected to be part of the KARL Class XV leadership program and is a current KARL Board member, serving as the Curriculum Committee Chair. The KARL program mission is to provide leadership training that will positively impact Kansas agriculture and rural communities.

Kim was appointed to the United Sorghum Checkoff Program Board of Directors in 2021. The Sorghum Checkoff board is a producer-funded organization dedicated to improving the sustainability of the sorghum industry through research, promotion and education. As part of that involvement, she serves as a sorghum representative at U.S. Grains Council meetings where the focus is developing markets, enabling trade and improving lives.

Whether it’s on the local, state or national level, Kim believes in the work of promoting agriculture.

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