Saturday: Speaker Bios

Complimentary childcare is available on Saturday!

Join the Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition for its 3rd annual Beginning Farmers Day. Featured presenter Cody Holmes of Rockin H Ranch in Missouri explores the evolution of his farm, from conventional crops and livestock to diversified, direct marketing powerhouse. USDA Rural Development, Kansas Forestry Service and Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture address opportunities for both beginning and experienced farmers and ranchers. And we tour the innovative Green Fin Gardens, a pioneering aquaponic farm specializing in pure blue tilapia, figs, and bananas in its fourth season in Pottawatomie County.

Ron Brown

Ron Brown is a farmer in Bourbon County near Fort Scott, Kansas. He has been producing for the Fort Scott Farmers Market for 15 years and has farmed his entire life. His production includes strawberries, blackberries, potatoes, tomatoes, and many other vegetables. His primary crop is pumpkins and fall decorations. He was appointed chairman of the Farm to Food [...]

Larry Biles

Larry Biles is a husband, father, grandfather and a forester. His formal education includes a BS in Forestry from the University of Missouri and a MS in Ornamental Horticulture from Kansas State University. Following two years with the US Army, Larry spent 8 years as a District Forester, Kansas State University; 7 years as the Urban Forestry Coordinator, USDA Forest [...]

Patty Clark

Patty Clark currently serves as USDA Rural Development State Director in Kansas. She oversees five field offices and the state office located in Topeka, Kansas. Rural Development administers and manages more than 40 housing, business, and community infrastructure and community facility programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities. Prior to her current appointment, Clark served as a Division Director for [...]

Kerri Ebert

Kerri Ebert is coordinator for the Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops at Kansas State University. The Center was established in 2001 to emphasize research, education, outreach and marketing for sustainable agriculture and alternative food, fiber, and medicinal crops in Kansas. The Center is based in K-State’s Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Division on the main campus in [...]

Cody Holmes

Cody Holmes left home in 1975 at age 17 with his high school 4-H project of seven cows. That project has grown into what the Rockin H Ranch is today: a 1,000-acre cow/calf operation, on-farm market, cowsmilk and goatsmilk dairy, and cheesemaking operation. Cody and his wife Dawnnell operate an agri-tourism business on top of the base business of the [...]

James Sperman

James Sperman is the owner of GreenFin Gardens, a pioneering aquaponic hatchery & farm in its fourth season in Pottawatomie County, Kansas, specializing in pure blue tilapia, figs, and bananas. For the past several years, GreenFin has been strictly a wholesaler, supplying some of the leading retailers in the industry with blue tilapia fry and fingerlings. This year they have [...]