Each year, more than 20,000 Kansas wheat farmers take dramatic risks to grow the wheat that feeds the world. We hope you enjoy learning more about these farmers through our series, “The Faces of Harvest.”
When Jim Michael was in college, he, like many other students, didn’t know what he wanted to do after graduation. He knew that he wanted to be in agriculture, but he wasn’t sure a life on the farm was one for him. But, as Jim went through his studies in Agricultural Economics at K-State, he realized that life on the farm was what he was meant for.
After college, he purchased a farm near the farms of his parents and grandparents near McCune. 20 years later, he still farms with his parents, John and Carolyn, and with his wife, Karma. Jim and Karma are also raising their two daughters on the farm.
“The oldest is really involved in the FFA,” said Jim. “She loves cattle and she always asks a lot of questions, which is great! She wants to be a vet. And my youngest one, she loves the outdoors. I think they both really love the farm.”
Michael is a Kansas Association of Wheat Growers Director, but he is also involved in other organizations. He serves on the Crawford County Farm Bureau board and his district’s Kansas Farm Management Board. Michael also had the opportunity to take part in the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL) program. During KARL, Michael was able to travel around the state and learn more about Kansas agriculture, as well as travel to Brazil to learn more about international agriculture.
“The KARL program was a great experience for me,” said Michael. “I was able to learn so much and meet so many people.”
For Michael, there are many reasons why he chose to farm, but he mostly just loves the work that he is doing.
“Sometimes it’s a struggle being self employed,” Michael said. “But there are so many rewards. Farming is rewarding for me.”
Back in McCune, Michael, with the help of his family, is working on harvesting his crop. But the wheat isn’t the only thing that is grown on his farm, the Michael family has grown closer as well.
“This line of work brings the family together,” said Michael. “There are so many opportunities to grow closer and work together for an end product, and it is incredible to be a part of.”