MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Kansas Department of Agriculture has announced the candidates eligible for commission in the state’s five grain commodity commissions- corn, wheat, grain sorghum, soybeans and sunflowers. Ballots for the corresponding election have been mailed to registered voters in Districts One, Two and Three in the western region of the state.
- District One: Cheyenne, Decatur, Graham, Norton, Rawlins, Sheridan, Sherman and Thomas
- District Two: Gove, Greeley, Lane, Logan, Ness, Scott, Trego, Wallace and Wichita
- District Three: Clark, Finney, Ford, Grant, Gray, Hamilton, Haskell, Hodgeman, Kearny, Meade, Morton, Seward, Stanton and Stevens
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. Also, he has served on the United States Meat and United States Grains Councils. Baalman also proudly played an instrumental piece in the formation of Western Plains Energy in Oakley, Kan.
District Two: Dennis McNinch is a corn, wheat and milo farmer from Ness County. Serving as the Vice-Chair of the Kansas Corm Commission, McNinch is ending his first term. McNinch has also been an active member of the National Corn Growers Association and holds a bachelor’s degree from Southwestern College.
District Three: Steve Rome grows corn and is a resident of Stevens County. A member of Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Corn Growers Associations, 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, from Sherman County, has served on the Kansas Wheat Commission, and is a very active citizen of Goodland. He has served on a various advisory boards such as: city commission, local church board, Oncology Board for the Children’s Hospital in Denver, Co. and as a president of Goodland Ambassadors. Linin graduated from Kansas State University with Cum Laude Honors and continued on to Oklahoma State University to receive a master’s degree.
District Two: Ronald Suppes is a wheat and milo farmer from Lane County. He is a Kansas Wheat Commissioner and is a past chairman of the US Wheat Associates Board. Farmer Direct Foods board member, Kansas Agriculture Rural Leadership Board of Directors and Knights of Columbus are other organizations that Suppes has been an active member in.
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 form Thomas County. He is a member of Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Sorghum Commission, Sorghum Producers Association and the Farm Management Association.
District Two: Adrian Coberly is a fourth generation dry land sorghum farmer from Gove County. Coberly has served on numerous commodity organizations as well as the Kansas Farm Bureau and is a Kansas Agriculture Rural Leadership graduate in 2010. In addition to agriculture related organizations, Coberly is also actively involved in Gove County as a leader of boards and townships. Coberly is a graduate of Kansas State University with a degree in Agriculture Economics.
Greg Graff is a farmer and rancher from Wichita County. He is a member of Kansas corn, wheat and sorghum Associations and well as the Grain Sorghum Commission. Graff is also serves on the Kansas Water Authority, Kansas Farm Bureau and the Knights of Columbus. He graduated from Kansas State.
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, Two and Three: 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
No candidates are running for the commission in any of the three districts. The Kansas Sunflower Commission will appoint these positions.
Eligible voters, who have reached the age of 18, are Kansas residents and have grown corn, wheat, grain sorghum, soybeans or sunflowers during the last three years and are properly registered to vote, will receive a ballot in the mail.
Ballots must be postmarked by March 1, 2015. The elected candidates will be announced mid-March and will take office on April 1. Commissioners for the Commodity groups serve three-year terms.
The Kansas Department of Agriculture administers the annual candidate validation, voter registration and election process for each of the five commodity commissions in the state.
More information is available from the following organizations:
- Kansas Corn Commission at (785) 448-2626 or www.kscorn.com
- Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission at (785) 477-9474 or www.ksgrainsorghum.org/
- Kansas Soybean Commission at (785) 271-1040 or www.kansassoybeans.org
- Kansas Sunflower Commission at (785) 565-3908 or www.kssunflower.com/
- Kansas Wheat Commission at (785) 795-4328 or www.kswheat.com
- Kansas Department of Agriculture at (785) 564-6700 or www.agriculture.ks.gov