Who We Are

who_we_are_image3The Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) program is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, educational organization dedicated to developing leaders for agriculture, business and rural communities.

KARL graduates are on every major commodity association board, several commissions and multiple boards, advisories and councils from the local through national level. Our graduate pool has seen many state agricultural leaders rise to service:  President of the Kansas Farm Bureau (Steve Baccus); Kansas Livestock Association (Larry Jones, David Cross, Mark Smith, Mark Harms); Kansas Wheat Growers (John Thaemert, Jerry McReynolds, Kendall Hodgson, Gary Millershaski); Kansas Soybean Commission: Bob Haselwood; Kansas Dairy Commission: Dennis Metz; and No-Till on the Plains Chair (Doug Palen, Josh Lloyd). The first national president’s office of a commodity organization was earned by Class I graduate John Thaemert for the National Association of Wheat Growers and Jerry McReynolds served as president in 2010-11. Ron Suppes served as Chairman of the US Wheat Associates 2007-08. Longtime policy staffer at Kansas Wheat, Dana Peterson, was named the chief executive officer of the National Association of Wheat Growers on Jan. 8, 2010. Gary Harshberger was appointed to the chairmanship of the Kansas Water Authority in 2011. The first graduate to serve in the Kansas legislature was Don Schroeder from Hesston; the second was Class IX graduate Susan Concannon from Beloit.

Click on available links to view full board member and staff  bios as a PDF.

Board of Directors of KARL, Inc.

Executive Committee

    •  Michael Leitch (Chair) Downs
    • Jerry McReynolds (Vice Chair)
    • Jerrod Westfahl (Treasurer) Manhattan
    • Jesse McCurry (Secretary) Scott City
    •  Gary Doane( Past Chair – Advisor) Long Island

Board of Directors

    • Blake Angell, Ellis
    • Kenny Graves, Bartlett
    • Carolyn Harms, Derby
    • Heather Hartman, Beloit
    • Michael Leitch (Chair), Wamego
    • Tracey Mann, Salina
    • Jesse McCurry, Colwich
    • Jerry McReynolds, Woodston
    • Kent Ott, Mulvane
    • Scott Poor, Wichita
    • Ken Roberts, Great Bend
    • Charlie Sauerwein, Cimarron
    • Chris Tanner, Norton
    • Jerrod Westfahl (Treasurer), Manhattan
    • Dick Works, Humboldt
    • Sarah Farlee, Lawrence
    • Shawn Alloway, Edna
    • Steve Baccus, Minneapolis