South Central Kansas Residue Alliance, “A Framework for Change” One Producer, One Farm at a Time!

2012 Annual Report for FNC10-808

Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2010: $17,920.09
Projected End Date: 12/31/2013
Grant Recipient: Sowers Farm
Region: North Central
State: Kansas
Project Coordinator:
Leon Sowers
Farmer, Project Coordinator

South Central Kansas Residue Alliance, “A Framework for Change” One Producer, One Farm at a Time!


Work Activities

The SCKRA mobile display was used at Harper County Fair as a pass-through educational piece, we estimate that over 600 people viewed this display; additionally, the Sumner County Conservation District, at their Annual Awards Banquet, used the mobile display as an educational piece with approximately 135 people in attendance.

We had wonderful success with the 2012 Summer Farm Tour which was held in Harper County, Kansas with 117 people in attendance including one of our US Senators, Jerry Moran, along with other local and State Representatives. The video team was in attendance of this activity and the camera was rolling. Grant funds were used for this activity.

Two “Coffee Shop Talk” meetings were held with approximately 50 people total in attendance. These meetings were held in two different locations throughout the alliance area. Grant funds were used for this activity.

The SCKRA 2013 Spring Soil Improvement Workshop/Field Day was held in Pratt, KS with 122 people in attendance. Featured speakers included Ray Archuleta, Jon Stika, and Rick Haney. Grant funds were used for this activity.

Now, with the GOOD progress above to be reported, we have other NOT-so-good news to report. On December 19, 2012 we requested a year extension for this project due to extenuating circumstances. We received the extension, but on April 29, 2013, another hammer fell. We got an email from Mr. Monte Haxton, Chaparral high School teacher and video team instructor that he had resigned from his position effective the end of the school year. This was unexpected but explained to some extent why we were not getting the progress in editing that we felt should be coming down the pipe. So in early May the SCKRA Board met to decide what we were to do. The options considered were to 1) cancel project, or 2) find another videographer that could finish the project. The vote was close but it was decided to move forward due to availability of the Kiowa Co. Video Center and the services they had to offer.

Currently a contract has been signed with the Kiowa Media Center for a 20-30 minute DVD video depicting a snapshot into the steps and effort required in how the move from conventional farming to a more sustainable method of farming was accomplished by some members of the SCKRA and others using time-tested and research-oriented principles and techniques that will provide for a healthier and improved soil resource base. We are still on target with a grant completion of March 31, 2014.

It has been an interesting time thus far. We have served lots and lots of producers and have more work to do. The DVD will be a great tool for helping others consider making the necessary changes in their old ways of thinking about farming for the generations to come. We know that change comes hard for a lot of people and that we cannot and will not be able to convince everyone that a more sustainable approach is the better approach to how we farm, but we look at it as though we are doing what we love to do and that is "plant a seed" in the minds of others.

Fom here on out and until the completion of the project, our whole attention will be focused on getting the DVD video completed and distributed. All remaining funds which were made available by this grant, will be needed to pay for the sevices of Kiowa Co. Media Center which in turn will help us get the professional DVD video that both SARE and the SCKRA expect.

The DVD video will be distributed broadly and made available to anyone requesting a copy. YouTube will also be used as an outlet for distribution and dispersal.