On The Cover:
John Craft plowing with team of Haflinger Horses
C o n t e n t s: Features:
Publisher: Mark Kern Lawrence Business Magazine, LLC Editor-in-Chief: Ann Frame Hertzog Art Director: Rory Harms Graphic Designer: Charles Lewer Chief Photographer: Steven Hertzog Featured Writers: Anne Brockhoff Mark Fagan Emily Mulligan Daisy Wakefield Liz Weslander Editorial Support/Ad Coordinator: Claudia Kressig Contributing Writers: Hank Booth Margo Bogossian Megan Gilliland Joe Monaco Sally Zogry Contributing Photographer:
Interns: Cord Cunningham, Kiara Williams
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Farming Starts with Seeds Alpacas, Friendly & Furry Herbs & Tinctures Keeping the Hive Alive Putting the Fun in Fungus A Family Affair Horse Power U-Pick Berries, a Sweet Success Non-Profit: Just Food Garden Design in Baldwin Traditional Farming is Big Business Where Farmers Get Their Goods The Business of C.S.A.s Haskell Indian Nation Growing Downtown in Focus Business on the Hill Professional Spotlight City of Lawrence Boomer Perspective Lawrence Memorial Hospital Why Local Newsmakers Local Scene New Business
Lawrence Business Magazine: Telling the stories of people and businesses making a postive impact on Lawrence & Douglas County. @LawrenceBizMag /lawrencebusinessmagazine SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION: LawrenceBusinessMagazine.com/SUBSCRIPTIONS
DOWNTOWN IN [FOCUS] by SALLY ZOGRY photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
ou might not think of the heart of the city when you think about local agriculture, but local products are on display here year round, especially during peak growing season. Many Downtown restaurants feature locally produced ingredients on their menus, and their number is growing as more area farmers increase their offerings to meet the demand for fresh, local food. Pachamamas (800 New Hampshire) and its chef/owner Ken Baker has been on the forefront of the local food trend since they opened in the late 1990’s. Coowners Michael Beard and Matt Hyde of 715 Restaurant (715 Mass.) have worked with over 30 local purveyors, not just for meat, dairy, and produce, but also for coffee, bread, and beer since they opened. While these two mainstays of Downtown dining have promoted the importance of local food connections, there are several other restaurants, some new to the neighborhood, which are also part of this movement.
In recent years the local foods and farm to table concept has become more popular, and Kate and Rafael Gonzalez have adhered to this since opening Global Cafe (820 Mass.) in 2007. They have always included as many local ingredients as possible on their extensive breakfast and lunch menus. Kate and Rafael have made supporting and sustaining the local economy a priority and feel it completes the loop. “We buy from local farmers and they come and eat here. We’re all supporting each other. It just makes sense,” says Kate. Global Cafe presently works with 14 local purveyors, for vegetables, dairy, eggs, meats, tofu, bread, and coffee, and Kate makes all of the sweets herself. She grew up preparing and eating homegrown food on a farm outside of Tonganoxie and is passing that tradition on to their two daughters. Another reason for keeping things as local as possible is that it’s good for business. As Rafael explains, “we can get better, fresher, and healthier food and it shows in our dishes and our
customers’ reviews. We have people tell us that our eggs are the best they’ve ever eaten. We love working with these farmers and seeing what they will bring us each season.” TK and Emily Peterson of Merchant Pub + Plate (746 Mass.) have been getting rave reviews for their 30 craft beers on tap since opening in September 2013. Their menu features items from 20 different local purveyors. Providing the best, freshest food while supporting the local community is of paramount importance to them. Emily puts it simply, “we want to support Lawrence and the surrounding area. We love it and want to impact it. If we can support local vendors, we can support the larger community.” The Petersons even help their purveyors expand their businesses. They work with several farmers who grow and raise products especially for Merchants. Hundred Acre Farm in Ozwakie is growing San Marzano tomatoes for the panzanella salad on the summer menu and Sweetlove Farm in Oskaloosa raises
Kate & Rafael Gonzolez Global Cafe
chickens and eggs just for Merchants. Emily explains “more and more new producers are coming in, starting relationships with us, and gaining traction for their business. It’s exciting to see the industry grow and see that consumers are more interested in where their food comes from. We love the customer reactions to the map on the back of our menu that shows where everything is grown.” Another newcomer to Downtown Lawrence is Ramen Bowls (125. E. 10th St.) Owners Shantel & Tim Grace returned to their Kansas roots from Hawaii last year and decided to open the state’s first ramen restaurant. While they fly their specialty noodles in from Hawaii, they use local ingredients in their dishes as well. Mushrooms from Wakarusa Valley Farms are a big hit on their menu. Shantel explains why they work with this farm. “Last week my husband and I went to Kansas City to pick up supplies from Restaurant Depot. We saw a new shipment of shiitake mushrooms, so I grabbed a big box just in case our order from Wakarusa wouldn’t get us through Mother’s Day weekend. Later that day, I opened the box and stared down at this sad bunch of mushrooms. They were tired, dead looking, and I thought to myself, ‘these guys are begging me to throw them in the sauté pan and just get it over with.’ That’s the difference between local, farmraised produce and the stuff we buy in bulk from a distributor. When we sauté a handful of mushrooms from Wakarusa, the mushrooms do a little dance—they bounce around the pan as if to say, ‘pour some butter and garlic on me and dress me up for dinner!’ And flavor...there’s no comparison.”
TK Peterson of Merchant Pub + Plate
What Shantel really likes best about working with local farms is that it’s a reciprocal relationship. They buy from local farms and the farmers eat dinner at Ramen Bowls. The farmers provide them with fresh ingredients as well as education about the products, and they provide them with veggie ramen (with extra tofu). “See what I mean? This cooperative exchange is what makes the local food scene in Lawrence so special. I’m just glad to be a part of it.” ■
Merchant Pub + Plate
BUSINESS on the [HILL] by JOE MONACO photos by LARRY SCHWARM
Research Looks at Farmers ’ Decisionmaking amid challenging conditions in Kansas
Circle irrigation system, Reno Ks
he future of agriculture in Kansas could be daunting as global climate change and resource depletion stemming from industrial farming take hold over coming decades. Now, researchers for the interdisciplinary, National Science Foundation-funded Biofuels and Climate Change: Farmers’ Land Use Decisions group at the University of Kansas, led by Dietrich Earnhart, a professor of economics, are looking at what drives decision-making by Kansas farmers confronted with these tougher conditions. Through an unprecedented survey and interviews with hundreds of Kansas farmers, the researchers wanted to know if harsher prospects for agriculture in the future affect how farmers make decisions today. Benjamin Gray, a doctoral student in anthropology, has been involved in collecting and analyzing the interviews. “Sustainability can be a tricky concept to define,” said Gray. “If something is sustainable, does that mean that it can be done the same way 10 years from now, 50 years from now or in perpetuity? Many of the farmers we interviewed consider themselves to be practicing sustainable agriculture. And they are absolutely correct in some senses. They have been farming the same ground for decades and have every expectation of being able to farm the same way tomorrow.” But Gray cited KU research conducted in 2008 by Nate Brunsell and Johannes Feddema suggesting that Kansas farmers in coming years could face hotter weather, stronger storms and higher rates of evaporation from the soil and transpiration by crops. Moreover, on the Kansas High Plains, farmers today are drawing water from the Ogallala Aquifer faster than it can be recharged — causing the water table to plummet. Other practices today also could make farming more precarious in the coming years.
“The herbicides and pesticides used in industrial agriculture can lead to problems such as reduced biological diversity of soil life, soil acidification and reduction of soil organic carbon — all of which undermine fertility and so necessitate additional chemical inputs,” said Gray. Part of the Climate and Energy track of Kansas EPSCoR, funded by the National Science Foundation, the interdisciplinary BACC:FLUD team investigates farmers’ decision making under conditions of climate change and expansion of the biofuel industry in the state of Kansas. Along with the extensive surveys and interviews to identify the factors behind farmers’ decisions, BACC:FLUD researchers at the Kansas Applied Remote Sensing Program used satellite remote sensing to develop a database of how land is actually used across Kansas. As an anthropologist, Gray relies on “Actor-Network Theory” to help understand why farmers use practices that are industrial or sustainable in nature. “Actor-Network Theory is a method of analysis that considers how environmental, social and technical factors both enable and constrain decision making,” he said. “It asks questions about the ways that people initiate and sustain action. It is a useful approach for asking questions in situations where there are numerous, and sometimes disparate, groups involved in a complex enterprise, as is often the case in industrial societies.” With Jane Gibson, associate professor of anthropology, who leads the interviews group, Gray recently published findings based on Actor-Network Theory in the peer-reviewed journal Culture, Agriculture, Food and Environment. They found that the industrial agricultural network “entrenches unsustainable production practices making it difficult for farmers to do things in other ways.”
“Industrial agriculture is called such because it uses the products of industry in its own production process,” Gray said. “Animal and human labor are replaced with machinery and chemicals. This definition has nothing to do with scale but instead refers to the manner of farming. So in a general sense, I think that industrial agriculture can continue as long as the fossil fuel, fertilizers and pesticides on which it depends are available and effective.” “However, farmers are already dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds, and there have been reports in Kansas of corn rootworms that have become resistant to Bt endotoxin-producing corn, a type of GMO corn that produces its own pesticide,” he said. “In some cases, the technologies we use to address agricultural problems have created new problems. This can lead to a tricky treadmill where innovation may eventually fail to keep pace with emerging problems.” Gray said he and Gibson found that farmers take seriously their roles as responsible guardians of the environment, but they can be ill-served in this mission by the networks and techniques tied to modern industrial agriculture on which they depend for their livelihoods. “Our research showed us that farmers care very much about being good stewards of their land and resources,” he said. “The specter of the Dust Bowl looms large in their collective memories, and they are vigilant about controlling soil erosion from the wind and rain. However, economic imperatives and the technological transformation of production sometimes constrain their practices in ways antithetical to long-term agroecosystem health.” ■
Sandstorm south of Holcomb, Ks, with Sunflower Electric Plant in the distance
PROFESSIONAL [ SPOTLIGHT ] What is your company’s most important commodity or service? Bulk Landscape Supplies Other than monetary, what is your company’s most important priority? Customer Service What has been some of the most important aspects of your success? Customers & Staff and building relationships with others How many people does your business employ? Three full-time & three to four part-time How do you and your business make a positive impact on the Lawrence community? We are here to provide products that can beautify our community through the efforts of do-it-yourselfers & landscapers in the area. What is do you see as your personal responsibility and your company’s responsibility to the community? To be involved, support our community, and give back when and where we can. What would you change about doing business in Lawrence? Continue support of small/local businesses in our community by providing economic incentives to on-going small businesses. With new technologies and changing expectations, how have you managed to remain relevant and profitable? Or, how has your business changed over the years to remain relevant? Try to carry quality, affordable products at competitive prices and strive to give superior customer service. How do you manage your day-to-day stress of business? Let Go & Let God! We are not in charge – everything we do is His and he can get us through the daily stresses! How do you reward excellent work performance? How do you manage poor performance? We try to have quality, trained staff that possess good personal skills so that they represent our company in a positive manner. What is the biggest challenge you feel your company faces? Trying to stay competitive in today’s marketplace and trying to keep up with the ever changing and increasing amount of licensing and regulations. Over the course of your career, what has been the single largest change in the Lawrence business environment? It has become a more urban population, which has caused our business to evolve to allow us to remain part of the small business sector in Lawrence What do you foresee as being the biggest challenge for your business currently and in the future? Are there going to be enough rooftops to continue to support our business. On a local level? Keeping small business competitive in today’s marketplace. ■
uying local products at locally owned businesses keeps money circulating closer to where you spend it. A recent USDA study showed that for every $1 spent on locally grown food, $1.63 is generated in other local business sectors. In Lawrence and our region, there are thousands of small businesses throughout our local food chain - from the small or mid-sized farmer who sells at the farmers’ market to the restaurant chef who buys local food for seasonal menu specials. Supporting these food and farm entrepreneurs is one of the key tasks of the Douglas County Food Policy Council.
Jessi Asmussen & Kevin Prather of Mellowfields Urban Farm sell their produce at the Lawrence Farmers Market. photo-Meg Williams
Douglas County Food Policy Council Supports Local Food Economy by EILEEN HORN, Douglas County & City of Lawrence Sustainability Coordinator
The Douglas County Food Policy Council is a joint city-county advisory council that advises commissioners on the policies and programs we can undertake locally to build a robust local food system. The Council was formed in 2010, and has 23 stakeholder-members who represent various aspects of the food system. Members represent small farms, large farms, health agencies, agriculture organizations, environmental groups, school districts, restaurants, grocery stores, and nonprofits. In the four years since its creation, the Food Policy Council has been busy working on policies and programs that support our local food economy, and help make healthy local food more accessible for our citizens. The Douglas County Food Policy Council has emerged as a regional leader in this work, and was recently recognized by the USDA as a “Community of Innovation” for other communities to follow our example. A few of the council projects include: 1. A “food hub” feasibility study to analyze the market potential for food system infrastructure such as aggregation, storage, and distribution. A food hub would link our farmers with new markets, and make it easier for grocers, chefs, and cafeterias to access locally grown food for their customers. 2. Revised Commercial Incubator Kitchen policies to reduce the cost and extend the hours of the KSU Douglas County Extension Incubator Kitchen on the fairgrounds. This incubator kitchen is a certified commercial kitchen where food entrepreneurs can test their recipes and design new products.
Rita York, General Manager of The Merc, shows a shopper the variety of local products available.
3. A SNAP matching program to provide dollar-for-dollar matching of SNAP (food stamps) benefits at our regional farmers markets. This program not only helps low-income consumers access the healthy local food at the market, but helps the farmers and market vendors reach new customers. 4. The Common Ground community garden and urban agriculture program supports young farmer entrepreneurs at our Common Ground Incubator Farm at 24/40 and 59 hwy, just north of Lawrence. This 5-acre site provides land leased to four farmer-entrepreneurs who are building their businesses. To learn more about the Douglas County Food Policy Council or to attend one of our upcoming meetings, please visit: www.douglas-county.com/sites/fpc
Regional farmers markets feature 100+ local vendors. photo-Rick Martin
by EMILY MULLIGAN photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
hen Dan Nagengast and Lynn Byczynski started their company, like any other new business owner, they needed seed money. Unlike other entrepreneurs, though, their seed money was actually being used to purchase seeds – a whole company’s worth.
“Everybody always says, ‘They’re Italian, will they grow in the United States?’ People don’t realize almost all seeds are grown outside the United States. And Italy has almost as much climactic variation as the U.S. Plus GMOs are banned in the European Union – that is a big issue for most of our customers,” Byczynski said.
These aren’t just any seeds, though, because they come all the way to Douglas County from northern Italy (after first passing through Homeland Security and then the USDA). Former organic farmers Nagengast and Byczynski bought their company, Seeds from Italy, about three years ago. They are the national distributor for the Franchi Sementi brand of seeds through their website and seed rack displays in stores from the Rockies to Ohio. And the whole business is run from their southern Douglas County home.
Nagengast and Byczynski do not run a retail store from their home, but they maintain a Franchi seed rack at Cottin’s Hardware in Lawrence. Their basement has transformed into a distribution center, with racks of the seeds lining the walls, rows of shelves filled with boxes and a mailing and packaging center for the orders. Between the retail racks and the website orders, business is going well.
Their customers include home gardeners, large-scale organic farmers and smaller farmers who sell at farmers markets and to restaurants. Franchi, a family-owned company based in Bergamot, Italy, since 1783, provides seeds for fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers – many of which are hard-to-find varieties or produce that is unique to Italian or European cuisine.
Nagengast says that many local farmers and growers plant the seeds, so it is helpful to see how the seeds grow in soil and climate here and where the products end up, from CSAs to restaurants.
“Whatever the opposite of saturated is, that is what our market is right now,” Nagengast said.
“This business has a lot going for it, with cutting-edge culinary things right now, including eating more heirlooms and more fresh produce. There is a movement toward eating more greens for health, as well,” Nagengast said.
They found out about the company through Byczynski’s work as the publisher of Growing for Market magazine, which she has done for 23 years. The seed company’s previous owner, who lives in Massachusetts, advertised in the magazine and contacted Byczynski when he was thinking about selling the company. She and Nagengast, who is the former director of the Kansas Rural Center, were running Wild Onion Farm, but Nagengast had a hip injury and could no longer farm. They knew the opportunity could work well for them. “It is the perfect business for us, because it fits in with what we have known and practiced for 25 years as organic gardeners. I’ve always been self-employed, so for us it doesn’t feel that different from what we’ve always done,” Byczynski said. They worked with the Small Business Development Center in the spring of 2011 and put together a cash-flow model. Before the purchase of the company was finalized, they went to Italy to meet the Franchi family and see the business firsthand. The purchase was finalized in July 2011. “It was an incredibly steep learning curve, but I’m past it now. I had two years of learning to think in Italian, the metric system and Euros, all at the same time,” Nagengast said. In late summer each year, Nagengast tallies an “enormous work order” for Franchi of the seeds he would like to order for the coming growing season. He usually receives the shipment between Thanksgiving and Christmas. His peak work season is between December and May, when he fulfills orders from growers nationwide and establishes and refreshes the seed racks in stores. A few times during the year, he receives additional shipments as farmers request them, as well. Because of a reciprocity agreement with the European Union, the seeds are inspected in Italy before they are packaged and sent to the U.S. All seeds are organic, except for garlic and fava beans, which must be fumigated in Miami before they can be sold in the U.S. “We’re probably one of the few places you can get European garlics, because we go through the rigmarole,” Nagengast said. Seeds from Italy sells seeds from a few other small Italian seed companies in addition to Franchi, and Nagengast also sells items such as Italian soaps and garden gloves. The other businesses he works with are family-owned like Franchi – something that is important to his Italian-American customers. “I talk to Italians all day long, and they say their greatgrandfather brought something over to the U.S., but they lost it. And we usually have what they are looking for,” he said. Nagengast said that the U.S. Postal Service was his main partner in the business – he estimates that he ships 10,000 packages per year all over the United States, so it’s no surprise that he knows his letter carrier by name.
KVSP leader Dan Bentley
Kansas Seeds What Seeds from Italy is to Italian seeds, the Kaw Valley Seeds Project (KVSP) is to northeast Kansas seeds – preserving the heritage of a particular region’s agriculture and culture through seeds. A project of the Kansas Area Watershed Council, the KVSP maintains a reserve and provenance of flower and produce seeds that have been grown in northeast Kansas for years, some even for generations. The mission of the KVSP is to “create a local living seed reserve by fostering a network of people committed to growing, eating, sharing and bartering, buying and selling primary seed varieties of the Kansas River valley.” Through its annual Seed Fair in February, the KVSP seeks to have a meaningful exchange of seed varieties that have stood the test of time in local climate and soils. No hybrid or genetically modified seeds are accepted, and the seeds must be grown with organic methods or practices. “We want to be tracking – are these locally adapted seeds better for our area, or do we need to be looking at something else?” said KVSP leader Dan Bentley. “Our founding fathers were looking at what they were doing. We should all be doing that. What does well in what kind of soil and what we’re doing to the soil?” Bentley said that the seeds allow for a way to track global climate change, which he has taken to calling “climate chaos” so that it loses its political implications. He said that local growers are feeling the effects of the “climate chaos,” so the dialogue and exchange about seeds is more important than ever. The KVSP reserve also seeks to preserve the provenance, or history, of the seeds it contains. Some seeds were brought from abroad in previous generations; others have been grown
Laurel, Dan Nagengast, Lynn Byczynski & Angus
in the area since the contributors’ grandparents or greatgrandparents time. Bentley said the KVSP was born from the Central Prairie Seed Exchange, which dates back to 1981. Although most members of that group have passed away, the idea and purpose of the organization has morphed into the KVSP and comes to life each February at the Seed Fair. Anyone can submit seeds to the reserve. The KVSP requires detailed records about the species and its growth characteristics, which are maintained with the seeds. KVSP members and the general public may obtain seeds to grow, but the Project requests that the grower harvest seeds at the end of the season and return them to the reserve to continue it for future generations. ■
P.O. B om Italy ox 3 Lawre nce, K 908 S6 (785) 748-0 6046 959
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Ad Astra Alpacas 168 E 1700 Rd Baldwin City, KS 66006 785-594-6767 email@example.com
ne day while Claudia Hey was searching the internet, she happened across some alpacas for sale. After some deliberation, and almost no preparation, Claudia and her husband, Bob Hey, ordered a trio of the wooly South American creatures. “I strictly went on the idea that they were cute,” says Claudia. “This is not the way to pick alpacas. I would not do this again.” Bob and Claudia stumbled into the business of alpaca ranching, but Claudia grew up on the former dairy farm that is now home to their alpaca ranch, Ad Astra Alpacas. She and Bob moved back to the farm site near Baldwin City in 2003, and Claudia says it didn’t take long before she started fantasizing about bringing the farm back to life. “I had wonderful memories of growing up on the farm, and it made me sad there weren’t any animals here,” says Claudia. “I wanted to have something to look at, but I knew didn’t want to milk cows, and I didn’t want to raise anything I’d have to kill, because that would just break my heart.” Despite their lack of knowledge about alpacas, it turns out they were a good choice for the couple. Claudia and Bob have since remodeled the dairy farm to suit alpacas, and currently have a herd of 58 alpacas. Each May, the couple shears the herd, and Claudia then spends the summer cleaning and sorting the fiber. They send the fiber off to be made into yarn and apparel, and then Claudia sells the finished products at her store on the farm from October through March.
by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
“Alpacas are wonderful animals for people who do not have livestock experience,” says Claudia. “They are very easy to take care of. They don’t require a lot of feed, they respect the fence, and they are gentle.” Claudia, who is retired, says the alpacas are personable creatures, each with a distinct personality. She has taken alpacas to visit children at the library and to nursing home to visit residents – always with positive results. She also says the business side of the operation is starting to turn some profit. Bob works full-time as the president of Hey Machinery Company in Baldwin. “It’s kind of the best of both worlds,” says Claudia. “I get to have this experience with these animals, and now the products pay a little.”■
Blessed Thistle Farm 17309 37th Street, McLouth (6 miles up Wellman road) blessedthistle.net
by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
ometimes, farming is just about following your bliss. This is certainly the case for Audrey Klopper, owner and operator of Blessed Thistle Farm.
Audrey specializes in medicinal herbs and grows more than 50 varieties in her circular garden near McClouth. “I don’t plant in straight rows,” says Audrey “My garden is sort of like a mandala. I’m an artist, so my garden is my artwork in the summer.” Audrey also forages a number of medicinal herbs – including ginseng, burdock root, and mullein – from the 10 acres of forest that surround her home. She uses the herbs she grows and gathers to make medicinal liquids called tinctures, which she sells at the Lawrence Farmers Market and The Merc Co-op. Audrey says that when she founded Blessed Thistle Farm in 2007, medicinal herbs were not in high demand. “I’m not a very competitive person,” says Audrey. “I just felt herbs were my niche. People used to have no idea what I was selling, but now the interest is growing and a lot of people stop to look.”
The process of making a tincture involves placing harvested herbs in alcohol, which extracts their medicinal qualities. Audrey says the herbs stay in the alcohol for an extended period, where they “age like a fine wine.” After pressing and straining, the tinctures are bottled in small amber bottles that are equipped with eyedroppers. Audrey’s tinctures address a variety of issues including immunity, allergies, insomnia and women’s issues. People typically add tinctures to water or tea, or simply swallow them straight. Audrey first began learning about medicinal herbs from Native American healers while living in the mountains of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico more than 20 years ago, and has continued to study herbalism through reading, listening to others and simply observing the plants. “I believe the plants speak to us,” says Audrey. “I learn a lot from being around the plants.” Audrey, who is also an art therapist, says her 16 year-old son helps her with the work at Blessed Thistle Farm, but that she is also looking for an apprentice. ■
Blossom Trail Bee Ranch 669 E 2100 Rd Baldwin City, KS 785-615-1548
ichard Bean has been working with bees since the Nixon era. That may seem like a long time to some, but Richard reckons that 40 years is a relatively short amount of time when you consider the significant amount of changes he has seen during his beekeeping career. “You used to be able to look at a hive that had died and know what had happened,” says Richard. “Now, there are so many things going on that you look at the hive, and you shake your head because you don’t know what happened.” Richard attributes the challenge of maintaining healthy bees to changes in climate and to an increase in non-native beetles and mites that decimate hives. That said, Richard does not use pesticides or herbicides on any part of his 5-acre Blossom Trail Bee Ranch in Baldwin City. Instead, he chooses to focus on careful maintenance of his 60 honey-producing bee colonies. This includes removing pests by hand and adding a new queen to colony when one goes missing. “Beyond that, If the bees are going to make it, they are going to make it on their own,” says Richard “I don’t see the longterm benefit of using something that they can’t manufacture on their own.” Richard sells honey from his bees – along with eggs and produce from his farm- at the Lawrence Farmers Market. Both
Lawrence HyVees also carry Blossom Trail Bee Ranch honey. While honey may be his bread and butter, it is safe by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG to say that Richard’s higher calling is breeding healthy bee colonies and teaching the increasingly challenging art of beekeeping to people interested in maintaining their own hives. “Interest has increased,” says Richard. “People are much more aware of the situation that honeybees are in and I’m only glad for that. I feel like I’m fulfilling a need.” Richard is quick to clarify that although a lot of people show an interest in beekeeping, the number of people who are actually up to the task is limited. “It’s not just setting up a hive and checking it a few times summer,” says Bean. “You have to be mindful of the colonies and look at them regularly to see how they are doing. There’s a lot to know and a lot to do - so many things that keep you on your toes.” ■
Oak Ridge Farm 1895 N. 500 Road, Baldwin City, KS 66006 785-594-2620
by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
ost people would be hard-pressed to conjure up a mental image of a shitake mushroom farm, but according to Alan Terry, a peaceful patch of woods, and lots and lots of logs is about all there is to it. Alan Terry has been cultivating shitakes on his 40-acre Oak Ridge Farm in Baldwin City for more than 25 years using a traditional Japanese method that his late wife first read about in a magazine. “She saw an ad in a magazine about growing shitakes in oak logs,” says Alan. “I had never heard of shitake mushrooms. I don’t think a lot of people had back in the 80’s, but we had just finished building a house and had lot of oak log around the property.” The process of cultivating shitakes in oak logs starts with drilling one-inch holes into logs, and then plugging the holes with a shitake mycelium. The “inoculation sites” are then sealed with wax, and the logs are stacked in a shady spot – in Alan’s case, it’s a grove of cedars on his farm. About year and a half later, the mushrooms push aside the wax and emerge from the holes. Alan says the log method of cultivation is the hard way to grow shitakes, and that most commercial shitake farmers grow them on a synthetic substrate. “People ask what I do, and sometimes I joke that I’m a log wrestler,” says Alan. “But I enjoy it, it gets me out in the woods. I like to get out there in the morning when it’s quiet the birds are singing. It’s very meditative.”
Alan, who also works in property management, has 3000-4000 logs on his farm that produce 1000-1500 pounds of shitakes a year. He sells the mushrooms to a number of local restaurants and occasionally sells at the Lawrence Farmer’s Market when he has a surplus. He says he finds the social aspect of the business satisfying. “You get to know the restaurants and the chefs,” says Alan. “It’s always nice when you deliver the first box of the season and the mushrooms look beautiful and everyone is happy to see you. Of course, it’s really the mushroom they’re happy to see, but you get a little of the rubbed-off glory.” It is possible to speed up the cultivation time of the shitakes by soaking the logs in water overnight and covering them with a light plastic. This process will yield mushrooms in just a few weeks. For people who want to try their hand at growing shitakes using this method, Alan sells inoculated logs at The Holiday Farmer’s Market and at The Merc Co-op. It’s fun for people to buy the log, watch the mushrooms grow and then eat them,” says Alan. “They make good gifts - I put a bow on them and sell quite a few at the holiday market.”■
Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch 785-843-2459 firstname.lastname@example.org
n 1975, Janet and Larry Schaake’s four children took on a humble 4-H horticulture project that included growing some pumpkins. Forty years later, Schaake’s Pumpkin Patch is a local institution where thousands of children and families go each fall to pick pumpkins and take in a little slice of farm life. Janet Schaake says that running a U-pick agritainment destination was nowhere on the radar when her kids took on their original 4-H project. “They just had a few extra pumpkins and didn’t know what to do with them,” says Janet. “So they put them in the back of the truck and tried to sell them by the side of the road.” The kids successfully sold pumpkins out of the truck for a few years, says Janet, but as the U-pick concept started to gain in popularity in the agriculture community, the family decided that having people come to them might be easier than hauling the pumpkins to town. They were right. Schaake’s 30-acre farm, located just east of Lawrence on N. 1500 Road, currently grows close to 100 different varieties of pumpkins and squash in every different color, shape and size imaginable, says Janet. The four Schaake kids put themselves through college using money made from the pumpkin patch, and all of them continue to help operate the farm. Janet and Larry’s daughters, Shari, Sheila and Sharla, all still live within a mile of the farm with their families. Their son, Scott,
by LIZ WESLANDER
is an Associate Professor of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University and lives in Westmoreland, Kansas with his family. Janet says that the entire family, which now includes 10 grandchildren, pitches in at the farm in October when the pumpkin patch is open to the public. The family also gets together regularly throughout the year to keep the operation going. “We make sure the pumpkins are in ground by July Fourth,” says Janet. “Everyone in the family owns a hoe, and we have a lot of family gatherings out there hoeing in the patch. It’s definitely been fun.” ■
SURROUND YOUR BUSINESS WITH A COMPLETE BRANDING STRATEGY
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John Craft 1551 N. 1550 Rd. Lawrence, KS
by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
illing Horse Farm is truly an apt name for John Craft’s five acres of farmland just east of Lawrence. John tends his land almost exclusively with horse-drawn machinery powered by his three Austrian Haflinger horses. It a method that he says is built on a trusting and rewarding relationship with the animals. “It is no mistake that I call the place Willing Horse Farm,” says John. “The Haflingers have always been bred for great dispositions and they enjoy working. They like to cooperate.” John grew up riding tractors on his family’s small dairy farm in central Kansas, but only tried farming with horses after he began growing vegetables on his current land in 2000. One of the horses staying on the land happened to be trained for a harness, so he thought he would give it a try. “The first time I started working behind a horse, I was surprised at how enjoyable it was compared to riding a tractor,” says John. Since discovering the joy of horse-drawn farming, John has gradually collected, restored, or built from scratch a nearly complete collection of horse-drawn machinery that includes both walk-behind and riding plows and cultivators, a row planter, a harrow and a hauling wagon. Farming is a part-time gig for John, who also works as residential contractor. He has grown a variety of vegetables
over the years that he has sold at the Lawrence Farmer’s Market, the Cottin’s Farmer’s Market, and The Merc Coop. This year, John will grow a few fall crops for markets, but will concentrate most heavily on sweet sorghum, which he will process into sorghum syrup using a horsedrawn sorghum press. Sorghum syrup is a sweetener the color of dark honey that is common in the southern United States. “Some people mistake it for molasses, but it is much more mild than molasses,” says John. “A lot of people have grown up with it and tell me they are quite excited to have it here.” Willing Horse Farm does not use any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. The horses provide fertilizer in the form of manure. While John says that his farming methods are more sustainable and personally satisfying than methods that rely on petroleum, he says the economic advantages are negligible. “I’m not going to argue that I make more per hour because of the horses,” says John. “Doing it this way is more challenging, requires more skill, and takes more time. It’s really a quality of life thing. I enjoy doing it this way, and I make a profit.” ■
Wohletz Farm Fresh 1831 N 1100 Rd, Lawrence, KS 66046 (785) 331-3468
using a method called plasticulture, which replaces mulch and other ground cover with plastic. Although this method does not protect against harsh spring frosts, it does keep weeds down and holds in irrigated moisture. by LIZ WESLANDER photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
ohletz Farm Fresh specializes in u-pick strawberries, but they are also in the business of creating sweet childhood memories – which is just how Jane Wohletz wants it. It was Jane’s own fond childhood memories of strawberry picking that made her want to plant a strawberry patch when she and her husband, Jerry, bought their farm just south of Lawrence in 1996. Unfortunately, unpredictable Kansas springs do not naturally lend themselves to strawberry growing, so the Wohletzes initially decided to stick with more sure-fire options like tomatoes and broccoli. The Wohletz family had enough success growing vegetables that they started selling at the Lawrence Farmer’s Market in 2003. “We quickly realized the benefits for our two older kids,” says Jane. “Working on the farm and working with the public at the market was great experience for them.” Jane never let go of the strawberry patch idea, and in 2006, she and Jerry decided to try growing 200 strawberry plants
“It cuts down on watering, cuts down on fertilizer, and cuts down on pests,” says Jane. Plasticulture worked well for Jane and Jerry, and the following season they planted 15,000 strawberry plants. By 2010, they were ready to open the farm for u-pick. The Wohletzes now have 32,000 strawberry plants covering 2 acres. They still use row cover in the spring to protect the plants from frost, but say plasticulture has allowed them to fulfill Jane’s dream of having a strawberry patch. “I love every bit of it,” says Jane. “The memories that I had, now other people can have them.” Jane also works part time at a preschool and Jerry works fulltime for UPS, but the couple anticipates continuing to build the farm after retirement, says Jane. Their older children are now in college, but their son still maintains the farm’s website, and their daughter helps with accounting. Their 13 –year-old daughter helps with the farm and has developed her own cut flower business. “She gets to use 20 percent of what she makes for mad money,” says Jane. “The rest goes into the college fund.” ■
NON- [PROFIT ]
Cooking class at Just Food
Jeremy Farmer & Leah Charles checking out the Just Food Garden by DAISY WAKEFIELD photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
he first and last time, Lawrence Business Magazine talked with Jeremy Farmer, Executive Director of Just Food, the fledgling director had been on the job for four months. His staff consisted of himself and a handful of volunteers. The yearly budget was a Spartan $139,000, and Just Food had just been pulled back from the brink of closure the previous year. At that time, the measurement of success revolved around numbers like tons of foods dispersed and number of people served.
A lot has changed in the last two and a half years. The nonprofit food bank now has three full-time staff, a small army of volunteers, and a $1.8 million annual budget (including in-kind services and goods). It has joined forces with the other major food banks in the area to reduce duplication of efforts. In 2012, it moved into a bigger building and received several large pieces of equipment that significantly aid in logistics. And, it has distributed more food each succeeding year, from 200,000 pounds of food in 2011 to 2 million pounds of food expected this year. But Farmer says those things, while well and good, are no longer how he measures the success of the organization. “In the summer of 2012, we underwent a survey and an evaluation of the organization. And we discovered that we were doing good work, but not really helping people. We were just a band-aid. We needed innovative initiatives to impact peoples’ lives. So we started changing everything.” They started with the kinds of food they were providing. While the pantry did stock some meats and fresh produce, most of the supplies were in high carbohydrate, high sugar foods that contributed to clients’ health issues like obesity and diabetes.
They revamped their shelves and concentrated on adding lowsodium, low sugar, high nutrient items. They started asking for specific food donations, like peanut butter or vegetables. And they adopted a choice-based system called “Choose My Plate,” which allows clients to choose a certain number of grains, vegetables, and other goods based on their family size. “We are caring a lot more about health,” says Farmer. “That’s something that our clients needed us to care about. Our clients were both malnourished and obese. We were solving people’s hunger issues, but not addressing the need for nutrient dense foods, foods that kids especially need to grow and develop.” To that end, Just Food has built a sizeable garden at their site. With donated supplies and seeds from Earl May Nursery, the garden produced 2 tons of food last year. The garden is another tool for empowerment and education, as clients learn how to produce their own nutritious food. With the produce from their garden, as well as donations from local farmers and people with backyard abundance, Just Food distributed 20 tons of fresh produce last year and is expecting to do twice that this year. Another major part of Just Food’s mission to empower clients is the Just Cook Adult Cooking classes. In
2012, they partnered with Ricky Martin, former executive chef of Free State Brewery, to develop a curriculum and teach their first cooking class. The feedback was very enthusiastic, and in January 2014, they started regular weekly class sessions. Each Tuesday and Thursday, between fifteen and twenty people gather and make a recipe together under the guidance of a volunteer chef, whom Martin trains. The volunteers are local chefs or veteran cooks. The students, who range in age from elementary age kids to mature adults, learn basic cooking skills over five weeks’ time. They learn that cooking is an attainable skill, and that making healthy, nourishing recipes can be done for under $2 a serving.
And that is how Farmer would like to measure success: by measuring how many people they can help to achieve selfsufficiency. “That’s a game changer. If we can save 20% of a person’s income by teaching them how to cook at home and how to grow their own food, then we’re not just putting a band-aid on their problems or throwing food at them. We’re getting to the point where we measure success by how many people don’t need us anymore. We want to extend a ladder to help people get out of poverty, rather than just being a safety net to fall into. ■”
Leah Charles, AmeriCorps volunteer at Just Food, says, “Learning a few skills translates into so many different recipes. The class gives people the confidence that they can create meals at home and shows them that cooking can be fun. It’s a joy that is accessible to them regardless of their situation.” Even more compelling is the fact that out of the 150 graduates of the cooking class, 93% have indicated that taking the class has made them more self-sufficient. Also, 28% of the classes have said that they are relying on Just Food and other food pantries less. Cooking class at Just Food
Garden Design Grown in Baldwin by SCOTT D. SCHULTZ photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
learfield Farms Has a Green Design all its Own.The color green and the agribusiness industry have dominated Larry Limberg’s destiny.
Rising to the rank of Group Account Manager serving the agriculture divisions of prominent clients such as the National Pork Producers, Eli Lilly and Case IH, Limberg was formerly a Vice-President at Bozell Inc., an international advertising firm based in New York. His job for the first half of his career was to produce green money by marketing agricultural products to both members of the ag community and consumers. A long way from the halls of his beloved Michigan State and its proud green and white Spartans, Limberg had carved out a position that would make his classmates green with envy. But in his early 40s, he set aside glamour and fortune to pursue a different kind of green, his own agricultural venture as owner of a retail nursery that prominently features both his green thumb and his savvy salesmanship.
Clearfield Farms is Born With a love for agriculture and horticulture, it was a natural for Limberg to move from a career in agricultural marketing to forming Clearfield Farms. Following three years of independent consulting for companies including Ortho, Larry, his wife Barbara and friend Natalia Howard had Clearfield’s retail nursery center open for business September 1, 1995. The nursery is nestled in the Vinland Valley of eastern Douglas County next to the Clearfield School, which for 70 years hosted meetings of The Grange, a fraternal organization that encouraged families to band together to promote the economic and political well being of the community and agriculture. They enjoy growing flowering plants, and had put in the requisite work on their in-depth retail business plan, drawing on Limberg’s graduate degree in economics and Howard’s
horticultural experience. However, providence would intervene to take the business in an unexpected direction.
come from who you are as a person, or it will be perceived as phony,” Limberg says.
While Limberg typically incorporates tremendous humor in his conversational style, he turns very serious for a moment as he contemplates the lessons of 40 years in sales and marketing.
Almost from the outset, retail customers purchasing plants from Limberg requested assistance in placing and planting their finds. “It started as a complimentary service in 1996, but by the end of that season we began charging $50 to travel to the customers’ homes and consult with them,” Limberg recalls. By 1997, the garden design business had become a line of business for Clearfield. “After only 30 to 40 requests in the first eight weeks by customers to come to their homes, it finally dawned on me this might be a business opportunity,” he laughs. So, Limberg has spent the past two decades cultivating the garden design business, primarily in residential backyards in Johnson and Douglas Counties, but also working in both the greater Kansas City area and as far away as Lake of the Ozarks. “We like to control all aspects of the project, including irrigation, lighting, containers, soil conditioning and the construction of structures including fences, patios, walkways and decks,” he adds. A finished garden is so much more than the plant material, it’s the total environment.” Limberg said he most enjoys it when a customer has a theme in mind. “I love it when we are assigned a theme for the garden, such as Italian, contemporary, Zen, English traditional, or French traditional, for example. One of my favorite projects was a whimsical garden in Lawrence that incorporated figurines, old mannequins, colored bottles and several other off-beat objects.” A moon garden was another favorite, designed for a professional couple to unwind in after long days. This garden features plants that bloom after dark, using a white color scheme visible in the evening moonlight.
Sales and Marketing Design There is not only an art to designing gardens, but Limberg sees the need to design a program for sales and marketing as well. “You need to contemplate how you sell,” Limberg explains. “It is critical to consciously identify and attempt to perfect your own style. Good salesmanship is a combination of techniques; it may be in being outgoing, or presenting data, or demonstrating enthusiasm. You need to demonstrate all of these qualities but the trick is to mix them to match your personality. The businessperson must understand and address the prospect’s needs, and become proficient and effective in communicating that information, but it must be genuine. “To understand how you sell is very important to understanding how you can improve how you sell. It comes from who you are, not from what you have learned. Your sales approach must
“Conversational humor is usually present in an honest sales story,” says Limberg. “Honesty comes from casual conversation, humor and communication, while dishonesty tends to be presented in a more rehearsed and serious presentation.” “When you are genuine, the good, the bad, and the mistakes typically surface during a true give and take conversation with the prospective customer. Canned presentations can be full of twisted half-truths,” Limberg says.
Being Flexible in Your Business Design Limberg says the best advice he’s been given over his career is to be flexible. “I set out to be in retail, but when people offered me the opportunity to design their gardens with the plants we grew, garden design became our core line of business. And we don’t have to work as many weekends.” Asked if he has a succession plan, Limberg said he is not the type to wake up in the morning with nothing to do, so Clearfield Farms will be beautifying gardens for some time to come. For those who enjoy his gardens, his sense of humor and his trusted advice, that is very good news. ■
Traditional Farming is
Big Business by EMILY MULLIGAN photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
ansas is known as the traditional “bread basket” for the nation, and that moniker is surprisingly as fitting for Douglas County as it is for rural Kansas.
According to the USDA Census of Agriculture, in 2012 there were 945 farms on 210,676 acres in Douglas County. The number of acres is about 5 percent less than in 2007, but sales for farms increased 6.3 percent between 2007 and 2012, to $43.9 million in 2012. Traditional farming is a big business in this area, and neither the rough economy nor the severe drought seem to have affected overall sales and productivity in recent years for local row-crop and cattle farms. A good deal of credit goes to the farmers themselves, who have kept their perspective on farming’s impact. “We are trying to feed a hungry world,” said Jason Flory, who grows corn, soybeans and wheat on 2,000 acres in southern Douglas County and raises Angus cattle. “We’re trying to make a living, trying to pass on something that’s worth passing on.” Brenna Wulfkuhle, who owns a farm with her husband, Mark, said that most people in the area are familiar with the farmer’s market, so they don’t understand why the Wulfkuhles would sell their beef to a large processor, when the emphasis is on eating locally grown food. “We’re all farmers, we’re all intertwined. We’re all trying to feed people – I’m just feeding people on a larger scale, probably globally,” she said. Cattle and row-crop farming require the farmers to know how to do a lot more than just drive a tractor. “Farming now is a big business – we spend three hours in the office per one hour we spend in the fields. A farmer has to be a businessman, marketer, Board of Trade expert, veterinarian and an agronomist all rolled into one,” Flory said. And those roles do not take into account scientific advances of genetics and technological advances from smartphone weather apps to more precise sprayers, all of which farmers need to maximize efficiencies.
Farming is really the only business that Mother Nature is at the helm, and agriculture is such a part of this nation’s economy. -Jason Flory
Family Businesses Flory is the fourth generation on MayWay Farms, just west of Baldwin City, which was started 80 years ago. He and his wife, Wendy, also from a farming background, began working on the farm in 1989, shortly after they got married. The farm had been producing crops and dairy cattle since the 1950s, but the Florys dispersed the dairy herd in 1991 in favor of beef cattle and row crops, which they have raised ever since. In addition to the 2,000 acres of row crops, they operate about 2,000 acres as hay and pasture land. They have three children, including one in college and the youngest who is 16, and it remains to be seen if the farm will make it to the fifth generation. Jason’s dad, Stanley, still helps on the farm, and they have an employee of 25 years, Todd Howard, as well. His relatives, Mike and Cheryl Flory, help with the row crops part-time. Mark and Brenna Wulfkuhle have worked on their farm, Rocking H Ranch, founded by Mark’s parents, since they got married in 1992. Brenna grew up on a dairy farm, so she had previous experience with livestock. They own and rent a total of about 3,500 acres in western Douglas County, and raise corn, wheat, soybeans and alfalfa, in addition to cattle. They have a cow-calf herd in which they retain ownership from the calf to the plate, and they sell primarily to Tyson Foods, formerly IBP. There are three full-time employees, and they work with a crop consultant and marketing consultant, in addition to their accountant and lawyer. Their three children are still at home, two in high school and the youngest in sixth grade, so they help on the farm as well. The Economy Both the Florys and the Wulfkuhles said that the country’s rough economic situation for the past few years did not have large effects on their operations. Jason Flory said that the economic downturn had been preceded by an agricultural uptick, which continued despite the worsening economic state of the country.
“The economy didn’t affect us in agriculture as it did people in other businesses,” said Mark Wulfkuhle. As it turns out, even in the most difficult times – or, possibly, especially in the most difficult times – people need to be able to purchase food to feed their families for a reasonable price. “We’re in a consumer-driven business. We’re here 24-seven, and we’ve still got to figure out how to feed the cattle,” Brenna Wulfkuhle explained. A big factor in both families’ success during the economic downturn is that they have diversification – not just in crops, but also in business.
Grazing Cattle at Rocking H Ranch
The Florys own rental properties in the area, and Jason works with his extended family as an auctioneer. The Wulfkuhles operate a custom fertilizer and chemical business for farms. Drought That is not to say that those otherwise tumultuous years were boom times for Douglas County farmers – to the contrary, because along with the economic slump came one of the biggest droughts these farmers have known. It is always about the weather for farmers, and this drought was a force to be reckoned with. “Sometimes, even though you have your pencil sharp and all the technology, you just have to accept what’s dealt,” Jason Flory said. “It’s how you manage those ups and downs. 2011 was tough, going into 2012. It has been more financially rewarding at times, so it balances out.”
Silos At May-Way Farms
Mark Wulfkuhle said that the drought forced them to liquidate some cattle and pay higher prices to feed the cattle they kept. Brenna Wulfkuhle said that farmers’ routines incorporate planning for the unexpected like a drought. That is what silos are for, she said, to salvage crops and put them in silage form to use for a feed shortage. Of course, all of those things take time and cost money. The Wulfkuhles also have rural water service at all of their fields, so they can water the
Rocking H Ranch
cattle if the wells run dry. “We live by Clinton Lake, so we can look at the lake and see the water down,” she said. Jason Flory says that no amount of worry can turn a drought around, so the farmer has to stay focused on what can be done in times like that. “The first 30 days of drought gets to you, and you have sleepless nights. But there comes a tipping point when you just break and see that it’s a disaster,” he said. “In 2013 we got good moisture and raised a good crop – that helped heal up the wounds.” Both the Florys and the Wulfkuhles say that farmers find creative ways to use their resources, because one of their biggest resources is not renewable: land. Although big agriculture often is criticized for misusing the land or polluting by over-fertilizing, both families emphasize
that negatively impacting land works against their own best interests. “Farmers try to be really good stewards of the land – you can’t create more, so it’s important that you care for it. Whether we own it or manage it, we treat it all the same, give it the same care,” Brenna Wulfkuhle said. Each time it is up for renewal, the federal Farm Bill generates discussion and controversy. Both farms receive subsidies: $512,000 to May-Way from 1995-2012 and $644,000 to Rocking H Ranch in the same time period. But Mark Wulfkuhle emphasizes that the subsidies are such a small part of his operations - the Farm Bill’s main purpose for farmers is to provide the protection of crop insurance. “People see the big numbers tied to the Farm Bill, and it doesn’t really go to people in agricultural production – it is helping a lot of other people and providing food security and farm security,” he said.
Both he and Jason Flory said that the Farm Bill ideally should be split, because many categories are unrelated to producing agricultural products. But they pay close attention to it because without crop insurance, they and almost every other farmer cannot survive a disaster. “Personally, I like the parts of the Farm Bill helping with crop insurance and risks,” Mark Wulfkuhle said. The ramifications of farms failing are too widespread even to contemplate, they say. “Farming is really the only business that Mother Nature is at the helm, and agriculture is such a part of this nation’s economy. We don’t need the government as a crutch – their business that is left is backing federal crop insurance,” Jason Flory said. Both farms relied on crop insurance after the drought in 2012. A Day in The Life So those are the financial, climatic and political aspects to running a large-scale traditional farm in Douglas County. What is a typical day like? Brenna Wulfkuhle set the scene for a routine day in late May at their farm. Most of the main farm work starts around 8 a.m. Workers begin by feeding the cattle with a feed truck. It takes about an hour and involves calculating different rations for different cattle groups. While on the feeding run and afterwards, a worker drives to check all the pasture cattle for illness. The cattle have been trained to come to the sound of the truck horn, so if any of them do not make it to the truck, the farmers need to search and ensure their well being. During the pasture check, the farmer scans the fences to make sure they are in good shape and intact. The worker also checks water supply in each pasture. While someone is working with the cattle, May is typically the time to plant soybeans. One worker will spend all day out in the fields planting when conditions are right. Another worker could be out in the self-propelled sprayer either on their farm or for a customer of the spray business. Retired neighbors often help out by driving to Lawrence for errands or other “gophering” throughout the day, as needed. Other farm employees may spray thistles and brush or be setting up hay equipment.
Filling Siloba gs at May-Way
At least three to four days per week, Brenna Wulfkuhle fixes lunch for all of the employees, so they take a break from the fields to recap the morning and discuss any problems they have come across, as well as plan for the afternoon or evening. Farm
After lunch, they resume what they were doing. At any point, if the weather is not cooperating, there are always plenty of jobs in the shop, with machinery or equipment. They try to quit for the day between 5:30 and 6:30, but that depends on what the family’s and/or the help’s activities are for the evening. If the family does not have specific plans, often work can carry on until dark or beyond. Both the Florys and the Wulfkuhles said they tried to have some family and fun time on the weekend. It depends on the time of year and, of course, the weather, animal and field conditions. “Agriculture is a business, and it is a huge industry for the United States that is very important,” said Brenna Wulfkuhle. “There are reasons we do everything we do – we want to be successful.” Jason Flory said that the family legacy and family bonds are the rewards for the hard work day in and day out. “Although it is challenging at times, it is still a wonderful way of life. It’s a business you truly love – you find there’s a fondness in families,” he said. “Our life revolves around this farm. I’m not ashamed to say that. ■
zie Flory Jason Flory, Wendy Flory, Ken Riley & y Flor Stan , ard How Todd
Mark & Brenda Wulkfuhle Rocking H Ranch
idland Farm Store, nestled between the railroad and a curve in U.S. Highway 59 north of Lawrence, symbolizes many things to many people: history, community, convenience. But it meant just one thing to Jill and Adam Tregemba when they bought the more than 100-year-old store in 2011: opportunity. The Tregembas were living in Colorado at the time, and while they didn’t know much about retail, they did know agriculture. Jill grew up on a Wyoming ranch and had worked for the Colorado Livestock Association and Agri-Services Agency. Adam, whose family farmed in Kansas, was a cutting horse trainer.
That Midland has survived at all is a testament to community loyalty. It’s named for the town of Midland, which in the early 1900s was home to a school, blacksmith, train depot, grain elevator, stockyard, restaurant, filling station and church, according to a typed history given to Tregemba by one of her customers.
“Because our personal life overlaps business life, the people we meet and the things we do definitely help with our business,” Tregemba says. Much of what Midland offers is what you’d consider traditional ag supplies: bagged and bulk feed, fuel, tools, fencing supplies, livestock panels and waterers, hay and stock trailers, feed bunks and animal health and pet supplies. But they’ve also added things like organic alfalfa hay, holistic dog food, toys, purses, jewelry and gift-wrapping.
The two-story clapboard store was built sometime around the turn of the last century and long served as a meeting place for 4-H and other community groups, dance hall and gathering spot for farmers. One of the biggest challenges upon taking over the business, Tregemba
Producers still come to meetings on topics like mineral supplements for cattle, and the Tregembas now hold a customer appreciation day in June and partners with suppliers like Purina for other events, such as Chick Days.
The couple moved their two young children and a herd of commercial Angus cattle to a farm outside Lawrence and began renovating the store. Window bars came down, original wood floors were cleaned and oiled, merchandise updated and reorganized and a computerized retail point of sale system installed.
says, was to attract new customers without alienating generations of loyal ones.
“That way we’re not guessing and trying to recreate the wheel,” says Tregemba, who publicized the event on the store’s Facebook page and offered free t-shirts with a $20 purchase, feed drawings and discounts. “That’s where big business meets small business.”
The store’s now performing well, Jill Tregemba says, but she admits it’s not easy. Like agricultural equipment dealerships and other retailers, Midland must balance the needs of suburban and rural customers whose own purchasing behavior is affected by fluctuating market prices, erratic weather cycles and other economic forces. At the same time, it faces stiff competition from the Internet and expanding national chains.
The Tregembas integrated themselves into that community by supporting 4-H clubs and FFA chapters in Douglas and surrounding counties, the Kansas Livestock Association and the Kansas Beef Council. Tregemba belongs to USD 497’s Agriculture Science Career Pathway Advisory Committee and the current Leadership Lawrence class, while her husband sits on the Leavenworth County Beef Improvement Association board.
“We saw this for sale and thought we could make it work,” Jill Tregemba says. “We dove in head first.”
“Customers don’t have to drive very far to find another choice,” Tregemba says. “That makes us be the best we can be customer service-wise and still survive the economics of the thing.”
“To the community, Midland is theirs,” Tregemba says. “Its ownership might come and go, but Midland is here to stay.”
It worked. Midland sold more than 400 chicks during the two-hour event, many of which headed back into Lawrence. Poultry is an increasingly popular suburban hobby, Tregemba says, partly because the city now allows for the keeping of backyard chickens (with certain restrictions). Celebrities like Jennifer Anniston, whose California mansion came with a chicken coop, add to the appeal, as does the customers’ desire to produce more of their own food.
It’s part of our job to be part of the community. -Tim Deneke
Lawrence Feed & Farm Supply
Midland Farm Store
545 Wisconsin St, Lawrence, KS 66044
1401 North 1941 Rd. Lawrence, KS 66044 midlandfarmandranch.com
Heritage Tractor 1110 East 23rd St. Lawrence, KS 66046 heritagetractor.com
Customers increasingly research their projects online, and then come to the farm store with questions that Midland’s five employees are well-equipped to answer, Tregemba says. “Our job is to bridge the gap for them and help them weed through what they learned on the Internet and what’s real,” she says. Roger Tuckel is also adept at closing that gap at his Lawrence Feed & Farm Supply store at the corner of Wisconsin and Sixth streets in town. He bought the business back in 1978, when Douglas County’s 854 farms encompassed 233,924 acres, according to that year’s U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Census of Agriculture. Most customers at the time were traditional farmers. Then came the farm crisis of the 1980s. Rising interest rates and land prices combined with shrinking export markets and plunging net farm income to drive thousands of American farmers out of business. In subsequent decades, the shift to centralized feedlots and packing plants, confinement hog operations and large dairies transformed those industries. Throughout it all, the number of traditional feed customers at stores like Tuckel’s dwindled. “So we turned it around from farm to suburban,” says Tuckel, who grew up on a farm outside Lawrence and at one time hauled milk for area dairies. “Dog, cat, horse, lawn and garden—whatever the market was.” Douglas County’s 945 farms now cover 210,676 acres and generate $43.9 million in agricultural sales, according to the USDA’s 2012 census. Tuckel still sells feed to some of them, and carries formulations for everything from horses, sheep and goats to llamas and guinea pigs. He special orders chicks for customers, sells seed and poultry supplies and stocks a wide range of pet food brands and supplies, including locally made Love Grub Dog Food and Good Dog Biscuits & Treats. Wild bird supplies are another strong category. The store’s low ceiling is thick with hanging bird feeders, and pallets near the door are stacked with custom seed blends like June’s Wild Bird Mix. The formula for that one was provided by a customer; Tuckel now sells more than 40 25-pound bags of it a week. Tuckel chats easily with customers about their bees, horses and other projects while his grandson fills seed orders in the back room. Indeed, it’s been a family business since he started. Back then, his mother lent her retail expertise and her best friend kept the books. All of his grown children and many of his dozen grandchildren have worked at the store. There’s even
a baby swing near the feedbags in the storeroom for when the littlest grandkids stop in. Many of his customers, too, have grown up with the store. Kids who once came in with their grandparents now stop by with their own children, providing Tuckel with his most valuable asset—loyal customers. “We provide good service, and people like that,” Tuckel says. “But you can’t please everybody.” Certainly, local competition has increased since 2010. That’s when Tractor Supply Co., the country’s biggest rural lifestyle retailer with more than 1,300 stores in 48 states, opened a new store off Kansas Highway 10 east of Lawrence. Orscheln Farm & Home, a privately held company with more than 150 stores in 48 states, expanded its 23rd Street location that same year. TSC did not respond to an interview request; Orscheln declined to comment for this article. More people compare prices and shop online these days, lured by the promise of no sales tax and overnight shipping. Supporting local stores not only bolsters the local economy, Tuckel says, there’s no substitute for personal service and expertise. And those cheap online prices?
“By the time you spend $8, $10 or $12 on freight, it’s not any cheaper,” he says. Farm retailers aren’t the only ones adapting to a changing industry. The agricultural equipment business has also been transformed in recent decades, thanks in large part to manufacturer consolidation. Farmers once had plenty of independent brands to choose from, but a cruise through the parking lot of Shuck Implement Co. on U.S. 59 north of Lawrence show those days are largely gone. There might still be tractors and other machines with the White, New Holland, Massey Ferguson and Hesston logos parked there, but those and other brands are now owned by Agco, a publicly traded global giant based in Georgia. Shuck’s owners did not respond to requests for an interview. At the same time, equipment makers have pushed dealers to become ever larger in order to more efficiently service customers from a wider geographic area. Certainly that’s been the case at Heritage Tractor, a John Deere dealership near the intersection of Haskell Ave. and 23rd Street in Lawrence. The company opened its first store in Baldwin City in 1998 and now has 11 locations throughout eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Heritage bought the former Deems Farm Equipment in Lawrence in 2009,
and has since grown the business to serve customers throughout Douglas and surrounding counties. The store carries everything from Traeger grills, Honda generators and Stihl tools to tractors, planters, sprayers, combines and any other equipment a farm might need. There’s a service shop to repair all of that, and a parts counter for customers fixing their own; parts can also be ordered online. And then there’s what Deere calls precision ag—high tech tools that use GPS and RTK technology to manage water resources or tilling, planting, spraying or harvesting more efficient. “We want to be a one-stop shop,” says Tim Deneke, Heritage’s location vice president in Lawrence. Heritage’s Lawrence store generates about half its business from agriculture. The remainder comes from turf management customers and those Deneke refers to as “sundowners,” or people who come home from their full-time jobs and go to work on their yards or farms just as the sun is going down. That mix helped insulate Heritage during the recent economic downturn, Deneke says. When the ag economy was struggling back around 2000, the overall economy was doing well. When the recession hit around 2007, farm prices were just starting to pick up, and a diverse product line and customer base helped insulate Heritage from the slowdown. “People were still buying $300,000 combines, but they weren’t buying $300,000 houses,” Deneke says. “ Multiple locations also benefit customers by giving them access to a wider inventory of new and used equipment—big and small—than a single store can carry. It also means Heritage
can purchase more bulk oil, net wrap for hay bales and other items at a time. Larger orders translate into lower costs, which the company passes on to customers, Deneke says. Heritage runs two trucks between stores daily, transferring thousands of parts overnight to better fill customer and service orders. Deere routinely collaborates with its dealerships to identify opportunities such as these, expand service and improve operations. “This is what Deere wants. This is what they’re pushing for,” he says. “They’re with you hand in hand.” Customer service is also essential to Heritage’s success, Deneke says. His team is on call 24 hours a day and regularly visits customers’ homes and farms—Deneke himself met his wife while delivering parts to a customer. “They may call you on Saturday night at 8 o’clock, or Sunday morning at 10,” Deneke says. “If it’s planting season and someone busted a hydraulic hose on their planter, you’ve got to help them out.” It’s a relationship business, and the customers who stop in regularly to buy parts, oil or filters, or to get advice become like family, he says. Heritage also hosts Drive Green events at Broken Arrow Park, where customers can test drive all sorts of equipment. Santa visits in December, and Heritage participates in the Lawrence Home Show, the Slice of Agriculture at the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 4-H and FFA programs and countless other community events. It’s good for Lawrence, and good for business. “It’s part of our job to be part of the community,” Deneke says. ■
The Business of by ANNE BROCKHOFF photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
arming has always been an economic gamble. Each season requires a cash outlay for seed, supplies and labor, months before there’s anything to sell. Storms, drought, pests and disease routinely threaten to wipe out crops. And even in good years, there’s no guarantee buyers will pay a farmer’s asking price for the bounty. It’s an uncertain model at best, and one that the Rolling Prairie Farmers’ Alliance upended when it launched one of Kansas’ first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs 20 years ago. It was at the time a radical concept that originated in Japan in the 1960s and migrated to Europe before landing in the U.S. in the mid-80s. At its heart was this question: were consumers hungry enough for local produce to pay for it before it’s even been planted? The answer was yes. Rolling Prairie signed up 100 members in its first year and now has about 300. Another half-dozen CSAs have emerged in Lawrence, and there are by some estimates more than 6,000 nationwide.
CSAs have been a boon to participating farms, partly because they provide working capital and market assurance where there has traditionally been little, says Bob Lominska of Hoyland Farm. He and his wife Joy began farming north of Lawrence in 1976 and were among Rolling Prairie’s founders. “(The CSA) immediately boosted our income and our confidence,” says Lominska, whose son, Avery Lominska, is now a full-time partner in the farm. “It allowed us to invest in more things on our farm and to expand.”
begin earlier or run for fewer or more weeks. The quantity and variety of produce, eggs, meat and other products varies, too, although most include five to eight items per week. The benefits are many: members receive the freshest local food, directly from farms they’ve built a relationship with, for less than they’d pay for comparable products at the farmers’ market or grocery store. Farmers earn income during historically tight months and get a reliable market for their crops.
CSAs—sometimes called subscriptions services—are as diverse as the farms that operate them. Most Lawrence-area CSAs require an initial deposit or membership fee and then charge between $12 and $20 (including sales tax) a week in exchange for a set amount of fresh food. Anyone paying the full amount in early spring typically receives a discount.
CSAs also help build community, support sustainable agriculture (most area ones use organic growing practices) and bolster the economy by generating sales tax and creating employment. Buying from a local farmer returns three times the dollars to the local economy than buying from a chain does, according to the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.
Members pick up their share at a designated delivery site from May through October, although some CSAs
“Your dollar’s staying in Douglas County and Lawrence when you support these businesses,” says Jill Elmers, owner of
Kevin Prather of Mellowfields
Tucker Saunders, Amy’s Meats
Jen Humphrey, Red Tractor Farm
Ethan & Aliya Saunders, Amy’s Meats
Moon on the Meadow, founder of the Common Harvest CSA and a member of the Douglas County Food Policy Council. But none of that was obvious in 1994, when a group of northeast Kansas farmers came together to consider the benefits of cooperative marketing as part of the Kansas Rural Center’s Heartland Sustainable Agriculture program. They landed on the idea of a CSA, and Rolling Prairie was born. It now includes seven farms in Douglas, Jefferson, Franklin and Leavenworth counties: Lominska’s Hoyland Farm, East Stone House Creek Farm, Wakarusa Valley Farm, Maier’s Farm, Sandheron Farm, Conway’s Produce and Buller Family Farm. Each week, farmers email their “production czar” to say what’s available. The czar then calculates how much of each item is needed from each farm. Growers deliver their products to the appropriate site’s coordinator, who is in charge of recruiting members, collecting payments and overseeing deliveries.
There are four delivery sites, including The Community Mercantile (twice weekly) and Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Johnson County Community College in Overland Park and Roeland Park Community Center in Roeland Park. Rolling Prairie’s farmers raise everything from asparagus, rhubarb, raspberries, tomatoes, winter squash and apples to husk tomatoes, bok choi, okra, shallots, mushrooms and honey. Most tend to overplant to ensure amply supply for not only the CSA, but also farmers’ market, restaurant and grocery store customers, Lominska says. Participating in a multi-farm CSA also provides insurance against shortages— if one farmer’s green beans do poorly, another can fill the gap and ensure CSA members aren’t disappointed. But that doesn’t do anything about farming’s inherent difficulties, Lominska says. “Just growing stuff can be a challenge,” says Lominska. Drought’s been a problem in recent years, and pests are always a worry.
“Sometimes people ask what I do about that. I say you take your losses.” If running a CSA is hard for established farmers, it can be overwhelming for new ones, says Moon on the Meadow’s Elmers. She routinely advises apprentices to grow for the market first and learn what their farm can reliably produce before offering a CSA. “CSAs aren’t a great model for beginning farmers,” Elmers says. “There are so many different things you have to grow. You can’t give your CSA members radishes for 26 weeks.” Elmers began farming in 2000 and started her first CSA in 2007. Then, in 2010, she joined with Jenny and Tom Buller of Buller Family Farm to buy 34 acres on the eastern edge of Lawrence—a venture they dubbed Common Harvest Farms. When they added a CSA of the same name, they brought Red Tractor Farm into the partnership. None of the three relies entirely on the CSA for its income. Spreading the risk
is just good business, says Jen Humphrey, who together with Jessica Pierson owns Red Tractor Farm. “You want diversified points of sale,” says Humphrey, who counts farmers’ market shoppers, restaurants and grocery stores among her customers. The CSA, however, provides stability. “You know how many people you’re providing for at the beginning of the season, how much produce you’re selling and that the checks will keep coming every month,” Humphrey says. As of April, Common Harvest’s CSA had 100 members with room for more, says Elmers, who is the CSA’s paid administrator. Some members pick their shares up at Moon on the Meadow; others stop at a delivery site in Kansas City’s midtown area. It’s even easier for World Company and Lawrence city employees—the cost is deducted from their paychecks, and Elmers delivers to Lawrence’s city hall. Pendleton’s Kaw Valley Country Market is also expanding its four-yearold CSA to include more government and business employees, with deliveries to the Douglas County courthouse, jail and extension office; a dental office; and a computer store. Such corporate CSAs are good business, says Aundrea Shafer, the health promotions specialist at Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department. “It not only affects the local economy, it’s a good investment in employee health,” says Shafer, who created a Worksite CSA Toolkit to facilitate formation of business CSAs. The county also encourages CSA participation through the Douglas County Child Development Association’s Healthy Sprouts program, which helps families with young children eat healthier. The DCCDA tapped Common Harvest for a CSA at Hilltop Child Development Center; KU Endowment employees pick their CSA bags up there, too. Pendleton’s supplies Princeton Children’s Center and Building Blocks Daycare Center. “Convenience is important,” says Karen Pendleton, who owns Pendleton’s with her husband, John. “The nice thing about daycare and business CSAs is that people are not going to forget to go to work, and they’re not going to forget to pick up their kids.” Flexibility is another key for many people, says Pendleton. The farm makes a CSA delivery at the Wednesday farmers’ market at Clinton Parkway Nursery, offers 12- and 20-week CSAs and has a one-time fall storage crop share pickup in November. Members can even prepurchase $60 monthly punch cards to buy food, plants and other items at either the farm store or farmers’ market in lieu of paying for a weekly bag of farm-selected produce. All together, Pendleton’s has about 100 CSA members. Managing it all is well worth the work, Pendleton says.
Jen Humphrey & Jess Pierson, Red Tractor Farms
“Everything has a harvest. Meat is that way, too,” - Amy Saunders
“It has taken so much stress out of my life,” she says. “Otherwise we wouldn’t have an income in January, February or March.” And that’s exactly when the Pendletons are gearing up for the year. The first of their 13 or so employees begins in March; others come in April and most stay through November. Early spinach gives way to a six-week asparagus run, and May marks the advent of flower and wedding season. The Pendleton’s also grow hydroponic tomatoes and all manner of produce, showcase a butterfly bio-villa and host two autumn open houses. Their farm store, which sells farm-grown bedding plants, fresh and value-added foods, garden supplies and décor and other items, is open seven days a week in April and May, and then shorter hours through the end of the year. Throughout it all, the CSA provides ballast for the business. “There’s no better feeling in the world than somebody paying in advance for you to grow produce that year,” says Pendleton, who communicates with CSA members and customers via e-newsletters, the farm’s web site and Facebook. “Knowing John Pendelton, demonstrates to Sam Hertzog the proper way to pick asparagus
people chose us to as their provider of fresh produce for the year give us the boost we need on those days when we’ve been working so hard.” CSAs aren’t limited to vegetables, though. Lulu’s Garden sells herbs to The Merc and area restaurants through a Restaurant Supported Agriculture arrangement, while Maggie’s Farm, in northeast Douglas County, offers a Knitter’s CSA. Members pay $200 for three yarn distributions, which include original patterns, and invitations to farm events like sheep shearing.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CSA & PROGRAMS THAT SUPPORT THEM, GO TO:
Common Ground program, www.lawrenceks.org/common_ground
Douglas County Child Development Association’s Healthy Sprouts program, dccda.org/food-education.shtml
LDCHD Worksite CSA Toolkit ldchealth.org To find a CSA
Amy’s Meats at the Homestead amysmeats.com
Mellowfields Urban Farm mellowfields.com
Pendleton’s Kaw Valley Country Market pendletons.com
Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance rollingprairie.net
And then there’s Amy’s Meats at The Homestead, what owner Amy Saunders describes as a “whole meal” CSA. Saunders’ version includes vegetables, eggs, beef, pork, lamb and chicken, depending on what’s available at the time. “Everything has a harvest. Meat is that way, too,” she says. “It’s been fun to try to get people to think in that way.” Saunders began selling custom freezer beef, both in bulk and by the retail cut, from her husband Dan’s herd in 2002. She quickly added a family-sized meat bundle—several cuts of beef along with recipes and a shopping list—and signed up members for what had become one of the Midwest’s first meat CSAs. By 2006, Saunders was making weekly deliveries to Lawrence and Kansas City. But when the couple moved kids, cows and farming operations to their new home in southeast Jefferson County in 2010, she knew it was time to refocus. Saunders expanded her CSA offerings, added a cow share option for those wanting a steady supply of raw milk and began teaching members how to make cheese, can and dehydrate vegetables and otherwise preserve their CSA largesse. The family also hosts harvest gatherings, an ice cream social and other events. It’s not just about money, though. Members must also volunteer 10 hours on the farm, not because Saunders needs the extra labor, but because she wants everyone to truly appreciate the rhythms of the farm and connect to what her family is doing there. “It’s really fun for their kids to watch the miracles happening in the garden, to see things grow,” she says. Saunders has fewer members now than she once did—just 15 or 20, mostly from Lawrence and Tonganoxie—but that’s fine with her. “I service a fraction of the customers I used to,” she says. “But this is where I am in my life, where my kids are, where my family is, and it fits so much better.” A CSA has also proven a good fit for Kevin Prather and Jessi Asmussen of Mellowfields Urban Farm. They started growing vegetables in their Lawrence back yard years ago and then expanded into rented spaces in town. They sold their output at local farmers’ markets, but liked the added security a CSA offers. “I don’t want to take 30 heads of lettuce to market, sell 20 and then have 10 to eat in the next week,” says Prather, who quit his teaching job last year to farm full time. “We want to sell it all. With the CSA, if we harvest 20, it’s because we’ve sold 20.” The Prathers continued to expand their operation, most recently through participation in Lawrence’s Common Ground program. The initiative aims to repurpose empty or underutilized city lots for food production. In 2013, the 120 gardeners and farmers using 5.6 previously idle acres grew 40,000 pounds of produce valued at $80,000, according to Common Ground’s annual report.
“I’ve got nothing but good things to say for Common Ground, and praise for the city for stepping out on a limb with it,” says Prather, who also sells Fertrell organic fertilizer, poultry feed and other products. Prather now has about 25 regular CSA members plus what he calls a market CSA—punch cards in $50 increments that can be used to purchase produce from Mellowfields at either the Saturday Lawrence Farmers’ Market or the Cottin’s Hardware Farmers’ Market on Thursdays. Most members are familiar with the vegetables they receive and know exactly what to do with them. It’s not that CSAs are exactly mainstream—Kansas State University researchers showed in 2010 that only about 80 percent of Kansas City area consumers even knew what a CSA was—but awareness is growing. That’s at least in part due to the success of long-running CSAs like Rolling Prairie, Prather says. “We’re stepping into something that’s more established,” Prather says. “Rolling Prairie has been doing this for a long time and really given folks and education on how it works.” ■
Jill Elmers, Moon Over Meadows
BOOTH’S BOOMER [PERSPECTIVE] by HANK BOOTH photo by STEVEN HERTZOG
Agriculture Draws a Diverse Set of Players
Hank Booth with Katy and Jim Wilson in lavender field
his is the tale of two couples residing in rural Douglas County. The first couple lives a few miles east of Lawrence in the Kaw River Bottoms and the second reside southwest of town about 10 miles, just south of Clinton Lake. Both share a love of playing in the dirt and growing amazing crops. But, let’s flip back the calendar to the 1980’s. Our west side pair was in a much different world. He was a big time, Emmy Award winning, television executive whose closest contact to nature was thru a video camera and she was making her career as a nationally known food photographer. He was born in Buffalo, New York and raised in southern New Jersey. She was born and raised right here in Lawrence and received a journalism degree at KU, but headed to Chicago to build her career. When they decided to retire from the frenetic pace of Chicago and marketing, it was her roots to that drew them to a rural life and the adventure that is agriculture. Their first venture in agriculture was planting 200 tomato plants. Soon after they watched helplessly as a hailstorm pounded their crop into the ground. They never picked their first tomato. Undaunted they tried planting basil, but they soon learned that basil wasn’t much of a cash crop. In fact it was a dismal financial failure. But, they also discovered they were hooked on garden farming and Jack and Kathy Wilson found their new mission in life…LAVENDER. Now, they have 6,000 lavender plants growing on a certified organic 20-acre plot at their farm dubbed Washington Creek Lavender. That is a whole bunch of lavender but Kathy discovered she could turn the wonderful smelling leaves into 11 different products from eye pillows to their bestseller lavender dryer sheets. People love those items so much it is now their business, and it’s doing quite well. The second couple grew up farming, and he grew up farming here in Douglas County. His father had started the farming operation, which grew bountiful crops of corn, milo and potatoes. Tied in was a cattle feedlot operation that sent several hundred head of cattle to the Kansas City stockyards each year. The son went off to college at Kansas State to
learn more about agriculture. That’s when he met a vivacious young woman from Piqua, KS (population-35). By their senior year they were dating seriously. But, he headed back to the farm near Lawrence and she was off to her first job in Lincoln, NB. Love pulled them back together and the farm boy from Lawrence and farm girl from Picqua married in 1980, just as the first wave of the farm crisis was starting to build. John and Karen Pendleton watched as family farms around the county were being sold off. Prices were down on nearly all farm products, fuel prices were soaring and interest rates were at historic highs. How do you survive? The Pendleton’s love was for that rural farm life where they were raising their growing family of three. The financial pounding wasn’t helped by the sweat equity poured into the soil. The irony of doing better at producing more crops at lower prices for the consumer meant farmers going out of business and agriculture being consolidated in many situations into huge business conglomerates. That was not the life they wanted. John and Karen joined a few other local farming couples and started attending conferences about other “alternative farm crops”. It was then they found the power of ASPARAGUS. And began growing their signature crop which led to successfully growing several other crops and made them a staple at the Farmers Market and a supplier of produce to several restaurants. The list of small non-traditional farm sights began to grow and literally blossom. In the beginning they were considered simply “alternative”. Now they consist of sustainable, organic, conventional, urban, local, biodynamic, free range, pasture raised, permaculture, naturally grown and grass-fed methods to grow. They utilize integrated pest management, composting, cover crops, no-till and high tunnel. The new methods and crops find new users every season and there is no end in sight. The Wilson’s and the Pendleton’s as different in their days three decades ago as any two couple you could pick. Today they are joined in friendship and a partnership in using the soil and all who want to join in are always welcome. ■
by DAISYWAKEFIELD photos by STEVEN HERTZOG
“Economic sustainability, as well as resource and language and cultural sustainability. That’s where we want to go.” -Dr. Daniel Wildcat
ong before progressive foodies were talking about farm-to-table initiatives, or modern herbalists were touting plants as medicine, or environmentalists were proposing earth preservation, Native Americans were already doing these things. Concepts that have long been in the everyday lives and culture of American Indians, are also reflected on the campus of Haskell Indian Nations University. On the southeast corner of Haskell sits a large greenhouse, surrounded by 2 large patches of roughed up dirt. One patch is the research garden, directed by Professor Bill Welton; the other is a student-led class lab garden, taught by Dr. Daniel Wildcat. While the two gardens have their distinct objectives, the underlying themes of both are the same: to cultivate and explore indigenous plants to the Native American community.
One of the initial catalysts for developing agricultural research at Haskell came as a result of a grant from the US Department of Defense to research switchgrass, a common prairie grass found on many native reservations. Heavy troop
movement had eroded wide swaths of the tall grass on military encampments. Haskell was funded to research several of the more than 40 subspecies, from Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Kansas. The subspecies were analyzed for its ability to survive compaction and troop movement. Switchgrass also has a practical application as a strong building material. “Switchgrass is a major building component of the southern tribes,” says Welton. “Families within a tribal community would come together, bringing switchgrass for a barn raising type thing. It was a community affair.” The military started taking advantage of switchgrass as a building material, using it to form building structures for mock combat uses. The switchgrass could be used in building two or three story high buildings. Since the 1990’s, Haskell has also been receiving grants from the US Department of Agriculture. Initially directed toward water and soil conservation outreach among Native American reservations
in Kansas, the grants’ purposes have migrated to a heavier research emphasis. Much of the research revolves around growing species of plants and vegetables that are indigenous to or benefit native tribes, honing in on which are the best species for growing in the particular climate and soils of Kansas. Haskell’s research garden is also one of a dozen Master Gardner Program sites in Kansas that looks at hybrid and heirloom species. Haskell specifically collaborates with Kansas State University to grow various species of tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and blackberries, recording and comparing weight, size, color, and taste. The research garden is also a laboratory for experiments with drip irrigation, natural pesticides, and composting. These issues are not confined to research or tribal lands, says Welton, but impact everyone. “We are very concerned with drought and heat, and need to look at different methods of drip irrigation, if we’re expecting a tribe to grow a species, they have to be able to have a way to water. It’s a concern for everyone.” The grants from the Department of Defense and the Department of Agriculture have totaled between $800-900K for Haskell’s research gardens. The other garden plot is used by the Haskell class, “Growing Change in the 21st Century: Next Generation Responsibility, Food Sovereignty, Water and Climate Change.” Taught by Dr. Daniel Wildcat, the class is in its third year, and students lead the way in developing the plot, bringing their own tribal and traditional knowledge to the garden. The elective course draws students from a spectrum of academic fields – business, environmental science, education, among others. Many of them have the shared experience of seeing their father, mother, or grandmother in the garden. They’re interested in delving deeper into the culture and history of growing foods, and as the name of the class suggests, the germane issues that revolve around modern farming. Another outlet for gardening is the newly established Haskell Gardening Club, started last semester. Six or seven students currently meet weekly just to plant and explore together, and to help out where they can in either garden plot. They may have taken the Growing Change class, or perhaps Welton’s Soils or Botany classes. But mostly they’re just interested in growing things. Robbie Wood, from the Cherokee tribe, says, “I always gardened as a kid, growing squash or tomatoes, but now I’m taking new approaches as an adult. I’m growing corn, greens, and medicine plants like sage, tobacco, and beebalm. It’s a learning process.” The produce that comes from the gardens is shared with faculty, students, and some nearby tribes. Several years ago when a Potawatomi tribe’s tomato plants were ravaged by deer, the
bounty from the research garden spilled over to them. Future plans for the garden include creating a medicinal garden around the cultural center. Welton says, “We’re trying to obtain seeds with specific cultural identification sent in by tribal elders, ones that are not necessarily recognized by western science, but that are understood, appreciated, and recognized by the elders.” As well, Haskell is collaborating with Kansas State, the University of Nebraska, and Iowa State to explore entrepreneurial initiatives that can weave gardening and agriculture into business enterprises.
“The whole issue has to do with sustainability,” says Welton. “Economic sustainability, as well as resource and language and cultural sustainability. That’s where we want to go.” ■
Scissor Tailed Fly Catcher
Haskell Garden & Greenhouse
LMH Dining Services Committed to Health, Wellness, Taste & Community by MARGO BOGOSSIAN
nidine (a Boston-based company that provides food in hospitals and senior living facilities with a commitment to health and wellness, taste and community) took over as the food provider at Lawrence Memorial Hospital last October and has transformed how patients, visitors and staff eat. Unidine’s dieticians and culinary experts collaborate to create food that is not only healthy but tastes good.
This sticker guarantees that the food meets certain nutritional criteria. The criteria ensure that the food contains one serving of fruits or vegetables, has a moderate amount of sodium, and is low in calories. The “OHSOGOOD” entrees are 600 calories or less, while the snacks contain 200 calories or less.
“We make everything from scratch, so that’s inherently a lot healthier,” says Jerrod Soza, director of dining services at LMH.
“It’s realistic,” says Widerholt, “No matter where you are in your goal for wellness, it fits. No matter what.”
And when Soza says they make everything from scratch, he means everything. Unidine chefs even make dressings, gravies and stock in the kitchen at LMH.
Now that Unidine has addressed health, wellness and taste at LMH, the company is turning its focus to the community.
Cooking from scratch gives Unidine chefs control over what goes into the food. With the help of dieticians at LMH, Unidine chefs emphasize good fats and whole grains, so the food has a higher nutrient density. “In other words, more bang for your buck,” says Carla Wiederholt, a registered dietician who is the patient experience manager for Unidine at LMH. As a natural result of cooking from scratch, Unidine uses fresh ingredients, and tries to purchase these ingredients as locally as possible. For example, the bread at LMH comes from M&M Bakery in Lawrence, and much of the produce is grown in Kansas. As if buying produce within the state wasn’t close enough, Unidine plans to start a small garden of six planters to grow some herbs and vegetables at the hospital. This commitment to local, fresh products is one way Unidine keeps their food healthy, but according the Wiederholt, the
key thing is portion control. Unidine addresses both portion control and nutrient density in its “OHSOGOOD” program, designated by a green “OHSOGOOD” sticker.
One way they accomplished this was by providing dinner at the 2014 Hearts of Gold Ball, a Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association fundraising gala. Unidine flew six of its executive chefs to Lawrence to make dinner for the black-tie event on May 10. Another way Unidine is showing its commitment to the Lawrence community is by teaming up with LMH to host a new Senior Supper Series. The dinner series kicked off in May. Each month, on the third Tuesday at 5 p.m., seniors are invited to come and dine at LMH for $5.50 and enjoy a healthy threecourse meal prepared by the Unidine chefs, plus conversation with other seniors. At 6 p.m. there is a short educational program on a health topic of interest to seniors, presented by local physicians. The educational program is free. Advance reservations are required for the dinner and must be made at least 24 hours in advance by calling LMH Connect Care at (785) 749-5800. Margo Bogossian, a University of Kansas senior, is an intern for the LMH Endowment Association.
WHY [LOCAL] by MARK FAGAN photos by LILY SIEBERT
Area educators are growing the next generation of farmers, consumers and others affiliated with agribusiness, right here in classrooms, on school grounds and in fields, barns and other agricultural buildings throughout Douglas County: Nearly 1,000 fourth-graders each year are connected to world of agriculture through the foods they eat, clothes they wear and other products used and consumed each day.
4-H Slice of Agriculture
Dozens of youths, ages 7 to 18, participate in 4-H clubs that foster growth in knowledge of science, healthy living and food security. And high schoolers learn that careers in agriculture reach well beyond working in fields, extending into laboratories, business offices and practically anywhere else that people, products exist. Students in Lawrence even find themselves eating fresh vegetables grown at their very own schools, often by classmates getting their hands dirty at the ground level of what amounts to $40 million of overall business – through crops, livestock and other agricultural products and services -- in Douglas County each year. “Agriculture is a growing industry,” says Laura Priest, who teaches ag classes at Free State High School and adviser for the school’s FFA club, commonly known as Future Farmers of America. “The opportunities are out there.” Consuming a ‘Slice of Agriculture’ Among the most popular and comprehensive educational efforts is Slice of Agriculture, an introductory program conducted each January at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds. On average, 900 fourth-graders from Lawrence, Eudora and Baldwin public schools, plus others from private and home schools in the county, travel to the fairgrounds’ community building to connect farm production to students’ everyday lives. Each half-day visit features eight different learning stations, each emphasizing connections to items and aspects familiar
Carly Oliver & Di Xie at West Middle School
Di Xie, Carly Oliver, Hope Luna, Elise Gard & Maya Hodison at West Middle School
to students’ in their everyday lives. Kids who may never have encountered a farm animal get a chance to see some up close, learning facts that can hit close to home: Hamburgers, roast beef and beef in tacos all come from beef cattle. And the hide from one animal can be used to make 20 footballs, 18 volleyballs, 18 soccer balls or 12 basketballs. Pork, which comes from hogs, is the most widely consumed meat in the world. Hogs also are used in the making of medicines, chalk and even rubber bands. Each day a dairy cow eats 90 pounds of food, equal to more than 200 baked potatoes or nearly 1,500 slices of bread; drinks up to 50 gallons of water, enough to overflow a typical bathtub; and produces 25 quarts of milk, enough to fill about 100 glasses. The kids enjoy pizza and ice cream, learning about the wheat and tomatoes and cheese and milk that help make it all possible. They also leave with an understanding that such products don’t just “happen.” A combine used to harvest crops, for example, can cost $300,000, well beyond what many families pay (or borrow) for a house. “A lot of kids have never been on a farm,” says Billy Wood, who retired in May as director of K-State Research & Extension in Douglas County. “They don’t understand what it takes, working year-round – milking cows, feeding pigs, working soil – to produce the food they eat. … Somebody makes that. It doesn’t just show up in a box in a store.”
Reaping life lessons in 4-H Slice of Agriculture is financed and presented, in part, by the 4-H Foundation and local volunteers and benefactors. But 4-H is connecting kids to agriculture both before and well beyond their fourth-grade years. About 400 youths take part in the county’s 10 4-H clubs, including Jayhawk 4-H in Grant Township, Meadowlark in Lawrence, the Stull Busy Beavers and Clinton Eagles. Meetings and activities are conducted year-round, with leadership and other efforts covering a wide variety of life skills.
“A lot of kids have never been on a farm,”
Many 4-Hers showcase their agricultural products and production during the annual Douglas County 4-H Free Fair. At the livestock auction, club members’ animals are purchased by and businesses. This past year Taylor Stanley’s reserve champion rabbit sold for an $800 premium to Dr. Hershel Lewis, of Lewis Veterinary Clinic. Holly Swearingen’s reserve champion went for $700 to Conley Site Work and Utilities. Months before the auction, club members work with family members and mentors to pick out the best young animals. Then it’s time for weeks of feeding, watering and caring for their animals – fostering and reinforcing skills, responsibility, accountability and, ultimately, results. Talk about a business lesson: Many 4-H families use auction proceeds to bolster college savings, help finance a first car or, perhaps, even buy another animal.
Planting educational seeds She welcomes students who remember Slice of Agriculture, or Such real-life experiences also are taking root at elementary and are members of 4-H, or have worked in a school garden or secondary schools in Lawrence. enjoyed the fresh bounty that may have filled a school lunch. The classes bolster such agricultural exposure by exploring In Lawrence public schools, dozens of students are involved an expanding array of career possibilities: veterinarians care in planting, cultivating and harvesting vegetables such as for animals; scientists develop new crop strains; accountants, tomatoes, lettuce and peppers. The produce then ends up in marketing professionals and engineers meet needs of students’ homes, school cafeterias and even local markets and increasingly complex agribusinesses. stores. A student someday could be selling crop insurance, working Among such thriving efforts in schools is the Growing Food as a taste-tester for Ben & Jerry’s or developing a new way to Growing Health initiative organized by the Community Mercantile boost the health benefits of any of the thousands foods people Co-op, the store affectionately known as The Merc. The program eat. works with three nearby schools -- West Middle School, plus Hillcrest and Sunset Hill elementary schools – where a total of “It’s a growing field,” Priest says. “You just have to look.” ■ 14,000 square feet of school grounds are put into production. During the program’s five years, students and their volunteer and professional helpers have raised more than 10,000 pounds – that’s right, more than 5 tons -- of produce, which has ended up on lunch trays, in at local markets and in The Merc’s produce section. The Merc buys fresh tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, peppers, lettuce and more from the gardens, at market prices. The proceeds go back to the program. The Merc also pays five students each season -- $9.25 an hour, The Merc’s minimum wage – to be student gardeners, responsible for tending to plots from April to December. Students can go on to become mentor gardeners, sharing their experiences and skills with classmates and friends. “This all keeps the program going, and growing,” says Nancy O’Connor, director of education and outreach at The Merc. Nourishing career possibilities At Free State, students grow vegetables and flowers in two greenhouses on campus. But they also expand their agricultural educations inside the building. Now in her seventh year at the high school, Priest teaches classes rooted in agriculture – from natural resources to welding, agriscience and animal, plant and veterinary sciences.
Free State Greenhouse
NE W S [MA KERS ] PEOPLE ON THE MOVE Central National Bank announces Amber Luckie as Commercial Loan Officer. Luckie, who earned a degree in business at the University of Kansas, has 8 years of experience in banking and finance, most recently as a commercial lender and credit analyst. She lives in Lawrence with her husband, Ryan, and their son, Kian. Luckie is a 2012 graduate of Leadership Lawrence, and serves as a member of various boards and committees in Lawrence. “We are thrilled to welcome Amber to the Central National Bank team,” said Jay Smith, the Lawrence Market President. “Her experience, commitment to the community, and leadership experience will be a benefit to our organization.”
Breithaupt named Mortgage Loan Officer at Truity Credit Union Truity Credit Union (formerly KU Credit Union) is pleased to announce that Amy Breithaupt has been promoted to Mortgage Loan Officer. Breithaupt started her career at Truity Credit Union in 2006 as a teller. She was promoted to Member Consultant in 2010. Her duties as Member Consultant included consumer loan origination, which led to a promotion to Loan Administrator in 2013. That position gave her the experience that led to her recent promotion to Mortgage Loan Officer. “Amy’s extensive experience at the credit union makes her extremely valuable to our mortgage department,” said Vice President Ginger Wehner. “Her genuine interest in helping people and her critical thinking skills make her a valuable asset to our Mortgage Department.” Breithaupt was born and raised in Lawrence and graduated from Lawrence High School in 2007. She earned a bachelor’s degree in General Studies at Fort Hays State University in 2013. “My past experience at Truity helps me think of ways to make it possible for our members to get a mortgage with us. For example, if a member’s debt to income ratio is too high, I can often help them refinance their auto loan which helps them lower their debt to income ratio and get the home they want,” said Breithaupt. Sunflower Bank Promotions and Officer Elections Sunflower Bank’s board of directors has approved the following promotions and officer elections effective immediately. Sara Dawson, Commercial Relationship Manager – Lawrence Dawson joined Sunflower Bank in 2012, bringing with her a history of assisting Lawrence-area businesses and individuals meet their financial goals. Amy Deay, Senior Vice President – Lawrence Deay recently joined Sunflower Bank as Credit and Underwriting Director. She is responsible for assessing loan quality and the bank’s underwriting standards. Glynn Sheridan, Senior Vice President – Lawrence Sheridan, with Sunflower Bank since 2002, is Market President Regional Manager, providing leadership for teams in the Lawrence, Topeka and Leeton, MO markets. Glynn is a well-known, seasoned bank professional in eastern Kansas.
CornerBank Hires Community Bank President Alex Goodpaster has been announced as the next community bank president of CornerBank’s Lawrence market. Goodpaster joins CornerBank with more than 10 years of banking experience. He holds his MBA from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
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NEW DOUGLAS COUNTY BUSINESSES [ JANUARY TO MAY 2014] 100 EAST 9TH ST LLC 901 New Hamphire Lawrence 66044 1020 PROPERTIES LLC 1029 Tennessee St Lawrence 66044 10TH GEAR, LLC 224 Sharon Dr Lawrence 66049 1900 BARKER BAKERY AND CAFE LLC 309 E 19th St Lawrence 66046 3P TRAINING, LLC 704 N Blazing Star Dr Lawrence 66049
AQUILANT DEVELOPMENT, LLC 901 New Hampshire St Lawrence 66044 ARVESTA INVESTMENTS & TRADE, LLC 4101 W 24th Place Lawrence 66047 AUTOWAVE TECHNOLOGIES LC 825 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044 BALDWIN DINER DEPOT LLC 516 Ames St Baldwin City 66006
4 ACES INC. 2400 Franklin Rd Lawrence 66046
BASEHOR SPEEDWAY STORAGE, LLC 2500 W 31 St Lawrence 66047
4TH MAN IN THE FIRE, LLC 1010 Birch Eudora 66025
BAT HOLDINGS TWO, LLC 627 E. 1450 Rd Lawrence 66046
81E90J, LLC 1211 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044
BELLAROCA CAKES LLC 209 N Crestline Dr Lawrence 66049
AB SPORTS LLC 306 Nebraska St. Lawrence 66046
BENTLEYBOUND LLC RR 1994 Lecompton 66050
ACORN MAINTENANCE LLC 1620 Crescent Rd. Lawrence 66044 ADV LLC 4920 Colonial Way Lawrence 66049 AFFORDABLE LED SOLUTIONS, LLC 4525 Harvard Rd Lawrence 66049
DIRT SOLUTION, LLC 2063 N 1300 Rd Eudora 66025
CAMRON FLANDERS, LLC 730 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044
DOUG STREMEL PHOTO INC 918 Murrow Ct Lawrence 66049
FREE STATE MANAGEMENT, LLC HENRY HOMES, LLC 2005 Riviera Ct 3700 Clinton Parkway Lawrence 66047 Lawrence 66047
CARSON ASHTON, INC 2916 W 23rd Terrace Lawrence 66047 CARSWELL & HOPE LLC 2412 Westdale Rd Lawrence 66049 CCS MANAGEMENT INC 594 N 1800 Rd Lecompton 66050 CFL PRO SHOP LLC 815 E 12th St Lawrence 66044 CHOCOLATE BEAR ENTERTAINMENT LLC 619 E 8th St Lawrence 66044 CLINTON PLACE MEDICAL OFFICE CONDOMINIUMS, INC. 3511 Clinton Place Lawrence 66047
FRIEDEN FAMILY ESTATES LLC 618 N Wren Dr Lawrence 66049
DRASKOS LLC 2349 Haversham Dr Lawrence 66049
FRIENDS OF BALDWIN ACADEMY OF DANCE AND VOICE CLUB 600 Heritage Dr Baldwin City 66006
EAR CANDY ENTERTAINMENT, LLC 2524 Yale Rd Lawrence 66049 ECSPEX LLC 2508 Arkansas St Lawrence 66046 ED’S LAKE AND ALGAE SERVICE LLC 1029 Rogers Pl Lawrence 66049 EMCOR SECURITIES INC. 1016 Moundridge Dr Lawrence 66049 EMERGE LLC 2005 Jenny Wren Rd Lawrence 66047
COMPLETE THE CIRCLE, LLC 1517 Medinah Rd Lawrence 66047
EWEC, LLC 1211 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044
COUTTS HOUSING PARTNERS, LLC 832 Pennsylvania St Lawrence 66044
EXPERINCE HOPE INCORPORATED 2124 W 26 St Lawrence 66047
CS 2014 LLC 2726 Coneflower Lawrence 66047
EXTREME VAPORS, LLC 2300 W 32 St Lawrence 66047
CUSTOM INTERIORS LLC 3452 Morning Dove Cir. Lawrence 66049
FAMILY FIRST, LLC 3027 Longhorn Dr Lawrence 66049
D & B ACQUISITIONS LLC 2425 Princeton Blvd Lawrence 66049
FASHION COLUMN TWINS LLC 947 NW New Hampshire Lawrence 66044
AICHE CLUB 1530 W 15th St Lawrence 66045
BMOC, INC. 1031 Vermont St, Suite B Lawrence 66044
AIM DANCE COMPANY, INC. 5111 Stonewall Ct. Lawrence 66047
BON Terr LLC 829 Oak St Lawrence
BOWESMAN, LLC 3611 Boulder Ct Lawrence 66049 BREAKAWAY INC 201 Signal Oak Ct Baldwin City 66006
BREATHE AND ENJOY LLC 2524 Morningside Dr 66047 ALTA FIRE AND SAFETY LLC Lawrence 916 N 1452 Rd BRIDGE POINT Lawrence 66049 COMMUNITY SUPPORTS LLC AMERICAN LENDERS 3242 Huntington Rd SERVICE 66049 COMPANY OF LAWRENCE Lawrence LP BRUCE NEIS TRUCKING LLC 855 Maple St 39760 W 127th St Lawrence 66044 Eudora 66025 ANDERSON COLORADO BRYSON TRANSPORT INC LLC 1901 W 31St St 831 Vermont St. Lawrence 66046 Lawrence 66044
D C MARKER, LLC 1403 Brighton Circle Lawrence 66049 D3Z CONSULTING, LLC 9501 Evening Star Eudora 66025 DANIEL D DEAVOURS LLC 2615 Prairie Elm Dr Lawrence 66047 DEMPSEY’S WICHITA INC 1768 700 Rd Lawrence 66049 DICHOTOMY SOLUTIONS, INC. 4000 W 6th St. Lawrence 66049 DIGITAL ENSO, LLC 2700 W 27th Terrace Lawrence 66047
FREESTATE FRAMING LLC 1311 W 5th St Lawrence 66044
DOUGLAS M. BURGER CONSULTING, LLC 1009 College Blvd Lawrence 66049
BLU RENTALS, L.L.C. 2201 W. 25TH St Lawrence 66047
BLUEBUBBLE ARTS, LLC 1491 N 1082 Rd Lawrence 66046
AQUAHYDRATE, INC. 689 N 1505 Rd Lawrence 66049
CAB COMM, INC. 627 E 1450 Rd Lawrence 66046
COLLABORATIVE RX, LLC 2406 LancaSter Dr Lawrence 66049
AGUILAR, INC. 502 Oak Leaf Ct Baldwin City 66006
ANTIQUES ON THE PRAIRIE, LLC 520 High St Baldwin City 66006
FREE STATE FITNESS LLC 1506 W 22nd Terrace Lawrence 66046
BLEACHER MEDIC, INC. 4205 Crofton Ct Lawrence 66049
BLUE SKIES ENERGY ASSISTANCE FOUNDATION 619 E 8th St Lawrence 66044
ALCHEMY COFFEE & BAKERY, LLC 1901 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66047
DINO VAPES, LLC 2137 Ohio St Lawrence 66046
BIG HOUSE CONSIGNMENT COIL AUDIO LLC LOT LLC 1502 W 27th St 1500 N 3rd St. Lawrence 66046 Lawrence 66044
AFFORDABLE PAINTING INC. 784 N 950 Rd Lawrence 66047
AKERS HAULING LLC 1229 Oak St Eudora 66025
C&W HOLDINGS LLC 620 Stonegate Ct Lawrence 66049
ESSENTIAL GOODS, LLC 825 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044
FEATHER STREET HOLDINGS LLC 2216 New Hampshire Lawrence 66046 FIELDHOUSE LLC 1447 W 23rd St Lawrence 66046 FIGHTING BUCKS ACQUISITIONS, LLC 39745 W 95 St Eudora 66025 FIND FITNESS LLC 1611 Kentucky St Lawrence 66044 FLATLAND CONSULTING LLC 1117 Avalon Rd. Lawrence 66044
BUCKLAW, LLC 825 Vermont Lawrence 66044
DINER, L.L.C. 900 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044
FOSTER CARE TECHNOLOGIES, LLC 2929 Becker Dr Lawrence 66047
BUILDING ENERGY CONSULTANTS LLC 605 Arrowhead Dr Lawrence 66049
DING PROPERTIES LLC 1006 W 27th St Lawrence 66046
FREE STATE CUSTOMS LTD 1021 Acorn Eudora 66025
FUGAZZI LLC 211 E 8th St Lawrence
FUTURE CITY SW INC. 4615 Royal Birkdale Lawrence 66049 G.O. TECHNOLOGIES LLC 1323 E 2300th Rd. Eudora 66025
HEATH CONSTRUCTION LLC 722 E 14 St Eudora 66025
HICKS ANESTHESIA SERVICES L.L.C. 1822 N 250 Rd. Baldwin City 66006 HOME TEAM LLC 3100 Ousdahl Rd Lawrence 66046 HOMEBODY FITNESS, LLC 1004 Oak Tree Dr Lawrence 66049 HUERTER LLC 4031 W 14th Lawrence
HUMM FARM, LLC 1352 N 1300 Rd Lawrence 66046 HWA YUEN INTERNATIONAL CORPORATION 2700 Lockridge Dr Lawrence 66047
GANS HOLDINGS, LLC 1705 Haskell Ave Lawrence 66044
HYDRATE CLEAN WATER SYSTEMS LLC 909 New York St Lawrence 66044
GARdNER COMMERICAL LLC 901 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044
INDULGENT ENTERTAINMENT LLC 300 Rock Fence Place Lawrence 66049
GARVEN BUILDING SOLUTIONS LLC 1704 Barker ave Lawrence 66044
IPPYQUACK, LLC 1638 Bobwhite Dr Lawrence 66047
GBH HOLDINGS, LLC 1705 Haskell Ave. Lawrence 66044 GOBASSOON REEDS LLC 3612 LakecreSt Ct Lawrence 66049
IUVO LEGAL, LLC 2720 Brittany Place Lawrence 66049 IVE GOT YOUR BACK LLC 4701 W 26th St Lawrence 66047
IWIRE ELECTRIC SERVICE LLC 1442 Redwood Dr Eudora 66025
GOLDEN HOUR LLC 264 Pinecone Dr Lawrence 66046
J R FREIGHT BROKERS LP 3514 Clinton Pkwy Lawrence 66047
GOOD SKIN, LLC 401 Sierra Dr Lawrence 66049
JAMES S. DANDA LLC 1815 Mississippi St Lawrence 66044
GRAIN INVESTORS OF LAWRENCE LLC 416 Settlers Dr Lawrence 66049
JAY FAY, LLC 545 Columbia Dr Lawrence 66049
GOF, LLP 976 N 1050 Rd Lawrence
GRAPEVINE EVENTS, LLC 933 Mississippi Lawrence 66044
JAYHAWK HOME CARE, L.L.C. 801 S JuStin St Lawrence 66049
GRAYCLIFF MANAGEMENT LLC 2226 Tennessee St Lawrence 66046
JEFA 1, LLC 1611 Saint Andrews Dr Lawrence 66047
GREAT PLAINS GUNS INC. HCR 4816 Baldwin City 66006 GREENBEAR WOODS NURSERY, LLC 1970 E 850th Rd Lecompton 66050 HARRIS CONSULTING, LLC 518 5th St Baldwin City 66006 HARTSHORNE PLUNKARd, LTD. 1101 Indiana Lawrence 66044
JEFA, LLC 1611 Saint Andrews Dr Lawrence 66047 JIM BOST PLUMBING, LLC 2113 Ousdahl Rd Lawrence 66046 JJCALCO, LLC 18394 1St St Lawrence
JOBS FOR AMERICA’S GRADUATES - KANSAS INC. 1901 Delaware St Lawrence 66046
JOHN BROWN UNDERGROUND LLC 901 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044
MELISSA SIGLER PHOTOGRAPHY, INC 2402 MancheSter Rd Lawrence 66049
JOHN W. KERNS, L.L.C. 123 W 8 St Lawrence 66044
METZGER FAMILY FARMS, LLC 529 Ohio St Lawrence 66044
JUST PLAY SPORTS SOLUTIONS L.L.C. 2233 Rodeo Dr Lawrence 66047 K N TRANSPORT INC 1310 Regency Place #3 Lawrence 66049 KANBUCHA LLC 126 E Indian Ave Lawrence 66046 KANMAN HOME SERVICES LLC RR 1939 Baldwin City 66006
MGWONDER INC 2516 Moundview Dr Lawrence 66049 MICROLINK INFORMATION SYSTEMS-SYSDIAL.COM LIMITED RR 908 Lawrence 66044 MICROLINK INFORMATION SYSTEMS-SYSDIAL.COM LIMITED RR 908 Lawrence 66044
MID-WESTS PAINTING LLC KANSAS FUN CENTER L.L.C. 837 W Michigan St 808 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044 Lawrence 66044 MLT ENTERPRISES INC. KGALLIART ENTERPRISES 4428 W 24th Place LLC Lawrence 66047 3523 Morning Dove Circle Lawrence 66049 MOBIL AUTOMOTIVE DIAGNOSTICS & REPAIR KNOLLWOOD FARM, L.L.C. INC. 807 E. 2200 Rd. 3820 Elizabeth Ct Eudora 66025 Lawrence 66049 KPM PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LLC 1716 Troon Lane Lawrence 66047 KSH CAPITAL MANAGEMENT, L.L.C. 960 N. 1050 Rd. Lawrence 66047 KU SAE BAJA CLUB 1530 W 15th St Lawrence 66045 LAND BEAVER LLC 2717 Harrison Pl Lawrence 66047 LAWRENCE COMMUNITY FOOD ALLIANCE INC. 1022 New Jersey St Lawrence 66044 Lawrence INTEGRATIVE HEALTH LLC 512 E 9th St Lawrence 66044 LAWRENCE UNCHAINED BICYCLE CORP 2516 Cimarron Dr Lawrence 66046 Lawrence VINTAGE CYCLE LLC 912 N 3Rd St Lawrence 66044 LD LAWRENCE, LLC 5709 Longleaf Dr Lawrence 66049 LEVEL MANAGEMENT, LLC 912 Tennessee St Lawrence 66044
MOBILOSITY, LLC 315 Homestead Dr Lawrence 66049 MONARCH PLAY THERAPY LLC 947 New Hampshire St Lawrence 66044 MURIKAL LLC 4950 Research Parkway Lawrence 66047 MUSTANGRED INC 1511 W 27 Terr Lawrence 66046 MY MOBILE MASSAGE LLC 1108 Summerfield Way Lawrence 66049 MYITG SERVICES LLC 408 Blaze Blvd Baldwin City 66006 MYRIAD CAPITAL LLC 645 Vermont Lawrence 66044 N A CORPORATION 711 W 23rd St, Ste 28 Lawrence 66046 N INC 901 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044 N INC 901 New Hampshire Lawrence 66044 NASH ENTERPRISES, LLC 704 N Blazing Star Dr Lawrence 66049
NATIVE AMERICAN VOLLEYBALL ACADEMY INC. 306 Nebraska St Lawrence 66046 MALCOLM’S BARBER SHOP, NAYLOR FITNESS LLC L.C. 2226 WcheSter Rd 1134 Delaware St Lawrence 66049 Lawrence 66044 NEW HOPE RECOVERY MASS EXODUS LLC MINISTRIES ASSOCIATION 4145 Seele Way 972 E 1600 Rd Lawrence 66049 Baldwin City 66006 MAC-MSP LLC 1014 Firetree Ave Baldwin City 66006
MEDCON, LLC 2213 Killarney Ct Lawrence 66047
NEWSPEG LLC 4516 Turnberry Dr Lawrence 66047
NEXUS CYCLES LLC 3620 Brush Creek Dr Lawrence 66047
RB LLC 5715 Wagstaff Lawrence
NEXUS SOHO LLC 921 N Gunnison Way Lawrence 66049
RECLAIM HOPE, INC 736 Maine St Lawrence 66044
STARCOACH LLC 1666 E 1100 Lawrence 66049
NO LIMIT PROPERTIES LLC 725 N 2nd Lawrence 66044
RG FIBER, LLC 622 High St Baldwin City
STEMS, LLC 742 Sunset Dr Lawrence
NV LAWN CARE, LLC 1402 E 18th St Lawrence 66044
RICHARD S. SHULTZ, LLC 1821 Castle Pines Ct Lawrence 66047
ONE ALLIANCE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT, LLC 112 W 18 St Eudora 66025
STAGG ENTERPRISES L.L.C. 1016 Biltmore Dr Lawrence 66049
STONY POINT FARMS, LLC 1621 Kasold Dr Lawrence 66047
RISING SON PLUMBING LLC STRATEGIC WEALTH 700 Monterey Way PLANNERS INC. Lawrence 66049 4500 Bob Billings Pkwy Lawrence 66049 RIVER CITY PROPERTY OREAD ENTERPRISES LLC MANAGEMENT LLC SUGAR & FLAME BAKERY, 932 Arkansas St 120 E 9th St LLC Lawrence 66044 Lawrence 66044 2921 Bishop St Lawrence 66046 OREGON TRAIL HOMES RIVER RIDGE LIQUOR LLC ASSOCIATION, INC. 4100 Teal Dr SWEET MORSELS, LLC 4100 W 6th Lawrence 66047 1025 Stoneridge Dr Lawrence 66049 Lawrence 66049 RMZ LLC ORTHO LLC 516 Ames St SWEETWATER PROPERTY 4828 Quail Crest Place Baldwin City 66006 LLC Lawrence 66049 511 Samantha Ave ROOFTOPS LLC Lawrence 66049 OUTDOOR POWER LLC 1506 Davis Rd 690 N 668th Rd Lawrence 66046 SWIFT-SHOPPER CORP. Lawrence 66047 521 W Florida St ROUNDHOUSE Lawrence 66044 PATRICK NICHOLS ADR, LLC INVESTMENTS, L.L.C. 103 Providence Rd 23817 Loring Rd. TACO ZONE LLC Lawrence 66049 Lawrence 66044 1201 E 13th St Lawrence 66044 PAUL DAVIS FOR SADI PROPERTIES II, LLC GOVERNOR LLC 1315 Tennessee TALLGRASS PROPERTIES, 536 Fireside Ct Lawrence 66044 LLC Lawrence 66049 900 Massachusetts SCHROEDER FAMILY Lawrence 66044 PEAR MAN PROPERTIES, HOLDINGS LLC LLC RR 0 THE ASPIRE SPORT 1501 Kasold Dr Lawrence 66047 MARKETING GROUP, LLC Lawrence 66047 Allen Fieldhouse-1651 SCHROEDER FARM, LLC Naismith Dr. #1070 PEAR MAN PROPERTIES, 531 N 711TH Rd Lawrence 66049 LLC Lawrence 66047 1501 Kasold Dr THE BIGGER PICTURE Lawrence 66047 SENSORA SPA LLC INITIATIVE, INC. HCR 930 1709 Charise Ct PEOPLES BANK HOME Lawrence 66044 Lawrence 66046 LOANS, L.L.C. 4831 W. 6TH St. SHARON ASHWORTH LLC THE COMPOUND, LLC Lawrence 66044 1714 Mississippi St 436 Walnut Lawrence 66044 Lawrence 66044 PILOT FOR A DAY LLC 2303 N 1100 Rd SIGNAL PEAK DESIGNS LLC THE F HOLES, LLC Eudora 66025 1548 E 23rd St 1714 Pennsylvania St. Lawrence 66046 Lawrence 66044 PK UNLIMITED L.L.C. 3818 Pinnacle Circle SILVER HAWK LEATHER LLC THE FLOORIT TILE CO. LLC Lawrence 66049 507 Louisiana St 1553 N 300th Rd Lawrence 66044 Baldwin City 66006 PREWETT INVESTMENTS, LLC SILVER PLATTER NUTRITION THE OUTDOOR 527 Canyon Dr LLC COMPOUND, LLC Lawrence 66049 217 Lawrence Ave 2412 Surrey Dr Lawrence 66049 Lawrence 66046 PREZ ENTERPRISES, LLC 934 Alma Dr. SNOFLOWER L.L.C. THE SPIRIT CHANNELS, INC. Lawrence 66049 4501 Wimbledon Dr. 1603 15th St Lawrence 66047 Lawrence 66044 PRODIGAL COLLECTIVE CH URCH SOZO LLC THE TRAVELING TEACHER 2806 Belle Haven Dr 1009 Jana Dr INC. Lawrence 66046 Lawrence 66049 417 Alabama Lawrence 66044 PROPEL EDUCATIONAL SPECIALTY WOOD CONSULTANCY, INC. PRODUCTS, LLC THE WEALTHY LIFESTYLE, 1912 Spyglass Ct 1655 George Williams Way LLC Lawrence 66047 Lawrence 66047 3110 Mesa Way Lawrence 66049 PUR AESTHETICS LLC SPIRIT EXPEDITIONS INC. 719 Massachusetts 523 Boulder St. TIGER COMMISSARY Lawrence 66044 Lawrence 66049 SERVICES, INC. 627 E. 1450 Rd QUEEN OF THE HOUSE LLC SPOTLESSOFFICECO LLC Lawrence 66046 1720 Louisiana 1412 Brighton Lawrence 66044 Lawrence 66049 TIME FOR TACTICAL, LLC 1709 Lake Alamar Dr RACHEL NORLIN DESIGN, SPRINGLINE BENEFITS LLC Lawrence 66047 LLC 4812 McCormick St 2406 Whitehall Manor Lawrence 66047 TRANS-HEICO OIL INC. Lawrence 66049 909 Congressional Dr. Lawrence 66049
TRI-HULL CRANE RENTAL, LLC 24838 Loring Rd Lawrence 66044 TROLLEY USA LLC 1548 E 23rd St Lawrence 66046 TURF GUYS LLC 1315 W 4th St Lawrence 66044 TYLER NAYLOR FITNESS LLC 2226 Westchester Lawrence 66049 UBERSOFT, LLC 900 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044 URETHANE LLC 619 E 8th St. #212 Lawrence 66044 UTOPIA DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT, LLC 2300 Wakarusa Dr Lawrence 66047 VETERANS START-UP CENTER INC. 2524 Prairie Elm Dr Lawrence 66047 VIBRALUX DENIM LLC 619 E 8th St. #212 Lawrence 66044 W5 LLC 3021 Riverview Rd Lawrence 66049 WALDMAN CARPENTRY, LLC 1404 E 21St Terr Lawrence 66046 WALKER PAINTING, INC 2913 Westdale Ct Lawrence 66049 WAR PAINT PRINTING, LLC 2415 Louisiana St. Lawrence 66046 WELCH CONTRACTING LLC 3323 Iowa Lawrence 66046 WHAT WE’VE BECOME LLC 1729 Louisiana St Lawrence 66044 WOMEN’S FRESH START PROJECT, INC. 946 Vermont Lawrence 66044 WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT CONSULTING, LLC RR 1008 Lawrence 66049 WORLD HEALTH NETWORKS INC. 813 Justin St Lawrence 66049 YOUR BRAND HERE L.C. 718 Arizona St Lawrence 66049 YOUR FRIEND, LLC 822 Massachusetts St Lawrence 66044 ZHONG CORPORATION 1800 E 23rd St St N Lawrence 66046
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