KAWG Board of Directors
David Schemm - President, Sharon Springs
David Schemm, Sharon Springs, has served on the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers since 2002 and fills an at-large position. His desire to serve on the board stemmed from his belief that it is a producers’ responsibility to be active within his or her industry. David attributes this belief to be one of the keys to having a successful operation. David and his wife, Lisa grow wheat, corn, milo and sunflowers with their sons Clay and Luke. As both of his children are active in school, most of his spare time is consumed by following them as they participate in their various activities. However, when he does have time to himself, David enjoys dirt track racing and rebuilding antique pickups. His collection of pickups includes a 1947 Studebaker, 1939 International, 1947 International. Clay and Luke also have a 1947 International and a 1954 International.
Gary Millershaski - Vice President, Lakin
Gary Millershaski, Lakin, has served on the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers since 2007 and represents District 3 in west central Kansas. He became interested in joining KAWG after he received a scholarship from the organization while a member of KARL Class VIII. As a director, Gary enjoys having the ability to network with other wheat producers at national conventions and uses their vast wealth of knowledge of the wheat industry to stay up-to-date as a farmer. On his farm, he grows predominately wheat, but also raises dryland corn, milo and has a cow/calf operation. Gary, and his wife Jana, have two boys, Jeremy, who is studying agricultural economics at K-State, and Kyler, who will attend the John Deere Tech school in Garden City. Both sons have plans to come back to the farm. Gary admits his sons keep him young with annual trips to Colorado to go snowboarding, or their favorite lake, Lake Wilson, to play on the water. They each have a motorcycle of their own and enjoy getting away from the hustle and bustle of the farm for a weekend trip.
Michael Jordan - Secretary-Treasurer, Beloit
Paul Penner - Past President, Hillsboro
Paul Penner joined KAWG because he wanted to help set the direction of the organization. He has served all of the offices and now holds the past-president seat, representing District 5 in central Kansas. Paul lives with his wife, Deborah and they grow wheat, grain sorghum, soybeans, corn and grass hay near Hillsboro. They have three children; Ben and his wife Anna; Jessica and her husband Thomas, and David. Paul and Deborah also have twin graddaughters with whom Paul enjoys spending time. Paul’s hobbies include photography and writing; he writes an opinion column for a local newspaper and for the Kansas Farmer.
Randy Fritzemeier - Stafford, District 6
Randy Fritzemeier, Stafford, has served on the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers for since 2006. His desire to serve on the board stems from the support KAWG provides to his own farm and to other Kansas wheat farmers.
Randy believes that his involvement with KAWG gives him the ability to be involved in the research and development of wheat lines and products as well. Fritzemeier grows wheat milo, alfalfa and sudan grass. When he isn’t farming or working with KAWG, Randy enjoys magic, golf, hunting and fishing, attending Kansas State games and spending time with his wife Kim, and two children, Jill and Brent.
Richard Kvasnicka - Winona, District 2
Richard Kvasnicka has served on the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers since 2005. He enjoys serving on the board as it is a way to stay up-to-date with new farming practices and also allows him to advocate for other farmers. On his farm in Winona he has a cow-calf operation and grows both wheat and corn. Richard says his day to day farming operations keep him busy, but in his free time he serves on the Winona township board and enjoys spending time with his family.
Justin Knopf - District 5
Justin Knopf, Salina, became District 5 director following the death of Bruce Otte. Knopf is partner in a diversified Saline County farm operation that includes wheat, alfalfa, corn, soybeans and sorghum.
Knopf says this is a defining moment for the wheat industry. “The wheat industry is being re-defined thanks to renewed interest in wheat research by private companies, the start of public and private collaborations, and increasing demand for food,” he says. “It is important to gather input from other wheat producers and communicate their interests and my own to provide direction and input on the future of the wheat industry.”
Knopf is active in the Kansas Farm Bureau and the Central Kansas Extension District. A 2000 graduate from K-State, Justin is married to Lindsey; they have two young children.
Roger May - Oberlin, District 1
Roger May is among the fourth generation on his family farm, May Farms, near Oberlin. He and his wife, Sue have two children. Aside from serving on KAWG, he has a seat on the Kansas Crop Improvement Association and serves as director of other seed related organizations. Roger was recently awarded the Kansas Premier Seed Grower award at the 2011 Kansas Seed and Crops Conference. The family won the American Farm Bureau Federation’s Young Farmer and Rancher Achievement award in 1993.
Ken Wood - At-Large
Jim Michael - McCune, District 7
Jim Michael, McCune, began serving on the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers in 2007. He farms with his parents on their family farm where they grow corn, wheat and soybeans and have a cow/calf operation. Jim, and his wife Karma, have two girls, ages 13 and 10, and they enjoy traveling when they get the chance. Jim serves on the Crawford County Farm Bureau board, was a member of KARL Class VII and has been a member of the Crawford County Extension executive council.
Marvin Schlatter - Hutchinson, At-Large
Eric Sperber - Associate Member Director
Eric Sperber, Colby, joined the KAWG Board of Directors in 2011. Sperber considers this to be a pivotal time for winter wheat and he wants to be involved in policy regarding quality and acre competition which he believes will determine the long-term sustainability of the wheat industry. Eric is the GM/CEO at Cornerstone Ag, a grain company. Eric and his wife, Rhonda have four children Chase, Jared, Aaron and Audrey. In his spare time, Eric enjoys golfing, traveling to his children’s games and home-brewing his own wheat beer. He claims to make a mean Hefeweizen.