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discovering rural america

A Leader

IN THE FIELD by Courtney Daniel

Q&A with SEN. CAROLYN McGINN KANSAS STATE SEN. CAROLYN McGINN has served in the Legislature since 2005. There she has worked to balance rural and urban needs, and advocate for transparency in budgeting and campaign finance. But outside of her legislative duties, she also operates a


family farm with her husband, Mark, close to the town


You are a state leader and a family farm operator. How are the two roles different or the same? “Both require a lot of focus and dedication, and both are driven by passion to do what is best in our business and for the state of Kansas. In our business, decision-making is more independent and based in long-term goals. In the Legislature, making decisions is part of a process that builds relationship coalitions with colleagues that have diverse constituencies.”

of Sedgwick, Kansas. The McGinns farm irrigated corn, soybeans and dryland wheat. They also have a small vineyard and raise Katahdin sheep and sell eggs to their local market. The McGinn family has been farming for five generations in their community. Sen. McGinn is chair of the Kansas Senate Ways and Means Committee and was a CSG 2010 Henry Toll Fellow.

How has farming changed since you began to today? “There is now better technology, but fewer farmers. When my husband and I were starting out, agriculture was at the eve of the 1980s farm crisis. While I always complained about the challenges of used equipment, being frugal was how we survived. Today, technological advances now drive tractors through the field and satellites give precision rain data information. Efficient irrigation pivots with low pressure nozzles help conserve our most precious natural resource, water.”

Capitol Ideas | May, June 2018  

Discovering Rural America

Capitol Ideas | May, June 2018  

Discovering Rural America