The Kansas Department of Agriculture has announced the result of the elections held for the state’s five grain commodity commissions — corn, grain sorghum, soybeans, sunflowers and wheat — in districts Four, Five and Six in the central region of the state.
KDA provides administration and oversight to the annual election process for the five commodity commissions in Kansas. Deputy Secretary Chad Bontrager serves as a representative on each. “Kansas farmers continue to invest in growth in the form of research and market development activities through check-off dollars. The commodity commissions play a valuable role in this investment in Kansas agriculture,” Bontrager said. “We appreciate these Kansans who serve the greater agriculture industry in this role, and we congratulate them on being elected as a commodity commissioner.”
Kansas Corn Commission
District Four: Mike Brzon is a corn, soybean and wheat farmer from Republic County. He currently serves on the Kansas Corn Commission, acting as past chairman. He also previously served the industry as a director for the U.S. Grains Council. Brzon has worked on state water issues and regulations in the Republican River Basin and has been actively involved in several associations and advisory boards, such as the Lower Republican Water Association, Farmway Cooperative Inc., Kansas Wheat Association, 21st Century Dairy and KSU Research Field.
District Five: Terry Vinduska is a corn farmer from Marion County and currently serves on the Kansas Corn Commission. He is a past officer of the U.S. Grains Council and is a current member of several organizations, including the National Corn Growers Association, Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Farm Bureau. Vinduska has a bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in agriculture. He is married to Cindy and has three adult children.
District Six: Kent Moore is a corn and soybean farmer from Pratt County. He is a member of the Kansas Corn Growers Association and Kansas Livestock Association, and currently serves the Kansas Corn Commission as chairman. Moore received his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University in agriculture economics. He is married to Suzanne and has two adult children.
Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission
District Four: Stephen Bigge grows sorghum in Rooks County and is the current chairman of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission. He is a sixth-generation Rooks County farmer and a member of National Sorghum Producers, Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association and Kansas Farm Bureau. Bigge was a member of the first class of Leadership Sorghum, sponsored by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program. He is married to Melissa and has one son.
District Five: Clayton Short is a sorghum, wheat and soybean farmer in Saline County. He is a member of the Kansas Farm Management Association, vice chairman of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and past chairman of Saline County Planning and Zoning Commission. Short graduated with an associate degree in agriculture from Colby Community College and a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Kansas State University. He is married to Louanne and has three children.
District Six: Jay Zimmerman is a grain sorghum, wheat, soybean and cotton farmer from Sumner County. He is a current member of the Kansas Grain Sorghum Commission and was a director for six years for the U.S. Grains Council. He is an active member of several local, state and national organizations, including the Kansas Grain Sorghum Producers Association, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and Kansas Farm Bureau. Zimmerman graduated from Kansas State University with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He is married to Glennis and has four children and eight grandchildren.
Kansas Soybean Commission
District Four: Ronald Ohlde raises soybeans, corn, wheat, sorghum and beef cattle in Washington County. He previously served as chairman of the Kansas Soybean Association and is a member of several associations including the American Soybean Association, Kansas Livestock Association, National Corn Growers Association, Kansas Feed and Grain Association and Kansas Farm Bureau. He is married to Anita and has two sons.
District Five: Kent Romine grows soybeans in Barton County and is a fifth-generation farmer. He is a past chairman of the Kansas Soybean Association and Kansas Soybean Commission and is actively involved in several local, state and national organizations such as American Soybean Association, Kansas Farm Bureau and Barton County Fair board. Romine graduated from Kansas State University. He is married to Valerie and has two sons.
District Six: Dennis Gruenbacher grows soybeans, corn and wheat in Sedgwick County. He is very active in several associations and has served in numerous leadership roles and on several advisory boards, including the Kansas Soybean Commission, Kansas Farm Bureau and the National BioDiesel Advisory Board. Gruenbacher is a graduate of Newman University and received a bachelor’s degree in accounting with a minor in economics.
Kansas Sunflower Commission
No candidates are running for commissioner in districts Four, Five, and Six. The Kansas Sunflower Commission will appoint these positions.
Kansas Wheat Commission
District Four: Michael McClellan grows wheat in Rooks County. He currently serves the Kansas Wheat Commission as vice chairman, as well as Plains Grain Inc., in the same capacity. McClellan graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from Kansas State University. He is married to Tammy and has four daughters.
District Five: David Radenberg grows wheat in Barton County where his family farm has been active for more than 100 years. He is a member of Barton County Farm Bureau, Central Plains Coop and serves as the current secretary-treasurer for the Kansas Wheat Commission. Radenberg graduated with his associate degree from Barton Community College and with his bachelor’s degree from Kansas State University.
District Six: Scott Van Allen is a fourth-generation wheat farmer in Sumner County. Following in the footsteps of his father, Darrel, he has served nine years as a Kansas Wheat Commissioner and is a past president of the Sumner County Farm Bureau. Van Allen is married to Donna and has two children.
Commissioners serve three-year terms and the terms will commence on April 1, 2017.