Butler County Times Gazette
My name is Katie Stockstill-Sawyer and my husband, Derek, and I own and operate a farm and livestock operation in Central Kansas.
The Other Side of Farming
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About this blog
By Katie Stockstill Sawyer
My name is Katie Stockstill-Sawyer and my husband, Derek, and I own and operate a farm and livestock operation in Central Kansas. I married into the farming world in December 2010 and have spent every minute learning all that I can about farming and ...
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New to the Farm
My name is Katie Stockstill-Sawyer and my husband, Derek, and I own and operate a farm and livestock operation in Central Kansas. I married into the farming world in December 2010 and have spent every minute learning all that I can about farming and the rural lifestyle. I work in town as the marketing and communications manager for a commercial construction company, mobile occupational services company and safety consulting and training firm. In the hours outside the office, I help on the farm in any way I can – and sometimes that means just staying out of the way. This blog tracks my experiences as I learn what a life on the farm really means. I wouldn’t change this lifestyle for the world. Farmers and ranchers are some of the hardest working individuals in the world and they do what they do 365 days a year to ensure everyone has access to a safe, healthy and affordable food supply. If you want to learn more about agriculture or our operation, please don’t hesitate to contact me on this blog or at katie.sawyer@sawyerlandandcattle.com. I would love to show you around.
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By Katie Stockstill-Sawyer
Dec. 5, 2012 12:01 a.m.



When you think of farmers, visions of tractors, cattle and crops come to mind. But there is another side of farming, one that isn’t quite as glamorous but just as important as planting the seeds and tending to the livestock.

Today my husband and I are attending the Kansas Farm Bureau annual meeting delegate session in Manhattan. Derek is a voting delegate for the county and I am an innocent bystander taking in all of the action. The delegate session is the least glamorous but probably the most important aspect of each KFB annual meeting. During these day-long meetings, representatives from each county gather to update existing Farm Bureau policy and vote on new policy proposals. It’s grass-roots democracy at its best and while it can be tedious, it’s important for the future of the organization and the farming industry as a whole. The policies that are debated and voted upon at these meetings guide the organization’s policy efforts for the next year. Our voting delegates essentially get to tell our legal and policy teams how to approach everyday and emerging issues – think alflatoxins, taxes and property rights.

Issues affecting agriculture and producers are constantly changing and to remain relevant, agriculture must come together to express their needs and concerns. That doesn’t happen without meetings, conferences and time off the farm. My husband and I have become involved in farm policy through the Farm Bureau organization and have seen first-hand the power of farm policy directing legislation at all levels. The meetings are not always fun and do take time away from the farm and family but seeing our hard work pay off and play a part in state and national policy debates makes it all worth it and continues to remind me of why we and others in our industry should continue to take time for the other side of farming.

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