Candidate information includes a brief description of their farming operation, role in that operation, and/or business experience.
Cody Ayres – Garden Plain, KS
I’m a third-generation farmer. I actually started operating a small farm at 16 years old, when my father took a unique stance on compensating his farm labor. Instead of hourly wages, he allowed me to use his machinery and I rented an 80 of wheat. Some years I would do very well and some years I barely broke even. I found out the hard way at a young age what it was like to farm. Over 20 years later and I’m still learning every day. I now grow wheat, soybeans, corn and have a small cow/calf operation. I like to try new things, currently, I’m experimenting with the Wagyu cattle breed. I have a website and I’m marketing direct to consumers. I also own/manage several off-farm companies and help on the family farm as well.
Teresa Bergkamp – Cheney, KS
My husband and I grow dryland and irrigated crops, consisting of wheat, corn, and soybeans. We utilize some of the newer technologies in farming to improve our efficiency and production. My role, in particular, is more administrative. I maintain all of the bookkeeping and market our crops. On occasion, I operate a tractor for the grain cart during harvest or for field tillage. Years ago, I managed the human resources department of a local aviation company that employed 200+ employees. In that position, I was responsible for all the employee recruitment and compensation/benefits policies.
Ty Feldkamp – Lincoln, KS
I manage and operate a family farm in north central Kansas. It’s a cow/calf ranch with some cash grain crops as well.
Dale Maneth – Olmitz, KS
We own and manage a diversified operation focused on cow/calf production as well as backgrounding and finishing phases. We also raise wheat, milo, and corn. Additionally, I have 30 years of experience of managing employees, working with boards of directors, and overseeing the finances of non-profit organizations.
Craig Poore – Alton, KS
Craig and his wife, Heather, have two children and operate a diversified 9,000-acre dryland crop and cattle farm along with his parents. The no-till operation produces grain sorghum, soybeans, corn, and wheat with the recent diversification of food-grade sorghum varieties. Being the sixth generation, sustainability of the farm has been a key focus since joining the farm full time in 2003.
David Stroberg – Hutchinson, KS
Owner and manager of Stroberg Land & Cattle LC, an irrigated and dryland farming and cattle operation located in south central Kansas between Hutchinson and Sterling along the Arkansas River. The crops grown are corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, and grain sorghum. We practice minimum till and no-till utilizing cover crops. The cattle operation consists of Angus cows and calves that are pastured on native grassland. The calves are weaned in the fall and grown on cover crops and wheat prior to going into the feedlot. We practice non-hormone treated cattle to supply a special market. I have been involved in production agriculture for 46 years and am also involved in Stroberg Ag Service Inc., a farm management company.
Dennis Swayze – Coldwater, KS
I am the owner/operator of a dry-land farming operation and a cow/calf operation. I farm about 1,200 acres and run about 350 cows. I am also a crop adjuster for Farmers Mutual Insurance Co.