2020 Election Overview

Directors are elected annually on a staggered basis for a three-year term. Directors elected in this election will begin their term on July 1, 2020. Nominating Committee members are elected to a one-year term.

Eligible voters as of May 8, 2020 will be mailed ballots on June 4, 2020 and may vote online or by mail.

Ballot submission deadline:

  • July 2, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time

Ballots must be received by this date and time to be counted.

High Plains Farm Credit will donate $5.00 to the Kansas 4-H Foundation for each valid ballot received prior to the submission deadline. We encourage you to take this opportunity to vote!

Director Nominee Information

These individuals were selected for candidacy by the 2020 Association Nominating Committee and/or were presented from the floor at the Association Annual Meeting.

Territory 1 – Board Position Nominees for a Three-Year Term:

Tim Benoit (Incumbent)

Age 59. Resides in Damar, Kansas.

Tim and his wife Brenda have five children.

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Principal Occupation: Owner/Operator of a diversified crop and cow/calf operation.

Operation: Operated with my wife, Brenda, employed by NCKSEC, Phillipsburg and two of our children. Our farm consists of dry-land wheat, milo, and corn grain crops. We also grow hay for our cow/calf operation in Graham and Rooks counties.

Farm Credit Experience: I have been a Farm Credit customer for 25+ years. While serving on the High Plains board, I have served as Board Chair, Vice Chair, member of the Audit committee and nominating committee.

Other Information: I have served as a Farm Bureau Board member and Board president. I established PDZ Recreation Commission and Damar Community Association. I also serve as a volunteer firefighter. I hold a B.S. in Agriculture from Fort Hays State University.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: It has been a privilege to serve on the High Plains Board. I will utilize the experience I have gained to help our institution continue to provide strong support to fellow borrowers. With the challenges of family farm transitioning that most of us are facing, I would like High Plains to be the preferred partner in making these transitions a success. I strongly believe local, grassroots representation is imperative in the Farm Credit System.

Patsy Bohl

Age 66. Resides in Norton, Kansas with her husband Ivan.

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Principal Occupation: Owner and help in operations of the family farm.

Operation: Our operation consists of irrigated and dryland crops, primarily corn, soybeans and wheat on owned and rented land. We are also helping our succeeding two generations with cow/calf operations.

Farm Credit Experience: We have been High Plains Farm Credit customers for the last six years and I also coordinated with Farm Credit on numerous diverse joint financing projects for crop and livestock operations throughout my FSA career.

Other Information: Pat retired from FSA in 2017. She also served on the Norton County Women in Ag Committee for five years as a founding member and past chairperson. She has a degree in Agribusiness from Kansas State University. She has held leadership roles in youth and women’s ministries and served as treasurer of the Christian Church.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: High Plains Farm Credit maintains high credit quality practices and implements analysis standards that closely resemble those of the FSA. Serving on the High Plains Farm Credit board would enable me to use both my farm production and lending experience to continue to contribute to the agricultural community.

Territory 2 – Board Position 1 & 2 Nominees for a Three-Year Term:

Howard Boese (Incumbent)

Age 61. Resides in Brownell, Kansas.

Howard and his wife Brenda have two children.

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Principal Occupation: Owner/operator of our farming operation since 1976; a diversified dryland farm and cow/calf operation.

Operation: My wife, Brenda, and I along with our son Gary raise minimum and no-til dry land wheat, sorghum and corn as well as running a cow/calf herd.

Farm Credit Experience: I have served on the board for 12 years and I have also served on Audit, Compensation and Governance committees.

Other Information: Howard holds a commercial applicators license. He served 12 years on Board for USD 304. He currently is serving as chairman of Ness City/County Airport advisory board and is the past supervisor of Ness County Conservation District.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: It is a great honor to serve on the High Plains Farm Credit Board of Directors. It is a privilege to work with so many outstanding directors on this board. I would like to continue to be a part of helping young and existing farmers achieve and expand their farming careers.

Ron Suppes

Age 70. Resides in Dighton, Kansas.

Ron and his wife Shirley have two children.

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Principal Occupation: Owner/operator of our family farm, dry land crops.

Operation: My wife, Shirley along with our son Shayne and nephew Jace grow hard white wheat, food grade sorghum and occasionally corn in Finney, Scott and Lane Counties.

Farm Credit Experience: We have been Farm Credit borrowers for many years and have been very pleased with the service provided by the employees.

Other Information: Ron was raised in Scott City where he graduated in 1967. He attended one year at St. Mary of the Plains College before spending five years at Fort Hays State. He has a B.S. Degree in art and a M.S. Degree in Secondary School Administration. Ron taught art at Pratt High School before being a high school principal in Fowler and Scott City for a total of 10 years.

Ron farmed with his dad before being able to farm full time in 1985. Through the years he has served on the Scott Coop for several years. He is a Fourth Degree member of Knights of Columbus.

Other board positions include being a Kansas Wheat Commissioner since 2003 and currently serving as Chairman of Kansas Wheat Commission Research Foundation. He also was on the U.S. Wheat Associates Board for several years and was Chairman of USW in 2007-2008. He is still on several committees including Hard White Wheat and Food Aid.

Ron is a Kansas Agricultural Rural Leadership Class IV member and served on the KARL Board for six years. Other groups that he is a member of include Kansas Wheat Seminar, Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, National Association of Wheat Growers, Farmer Direct Food Board, Farm Bureau, Wheat Foods Council, Kansas Department of Agriculture Advisory Board, and Advisory Board for International Trade with USDA and USTR in Washington D.C. Ron is also a member of the Corn Growers Organization as well as the Sorghum Growers Organization.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: Farm Credit has been there from the beginning of my career in Agriculture. I have been able to rely on Farm Credit to be there when I had a need for assistance. It is time for me to try to repay Farm Credit and its members for the times they were there to assist me. Farm Credit, in my opinion, is going to become even more needed in the future to help stabilize Agriculture in Kansas and I would like to be involved in that future.

Keith Kennedy (Incumbent)

Age 60. Resides in Hoxie, Kansas.

Keith and his wife Patricia have three children.

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Principal Occupation: Owner/operator of our farming operation with my wife and son Kyle.

Operation: Our farming operations is located in Sheridan county consisting of irrigated and dryland growing corn and wheat. We also have a cow/calf operation, selling as feeders.

Farm Credit Experience: I started out as a Farm Credit of Ness City Director and continued on with High Plains Farm Credit after the merger. I have served in many roles over the years and currently serve as Vice Chairman of the Board.

Other Information: Keith graduated from Fort Hays State University with a B.S. in Accounting. He is a former Sheridan County commissioner and currently is a member of the St. Francis Cabrini church and Knights of Columbus.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: This is a great honor to serve as an elected director representing the stockholders of High Plains Farm Credit. I am proud to be able to contribute to the success of our member owned association, returning excess profits back to the borrowers, while maintaining necessary capital. If elected, I look forward to the challenges agriculture presents to our members delivering financial products for them to be successful.

Diana Paris

Age 38. Resides in Dighton, Kansas.

Diana and her husband Aaron have two children.

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Principal Occupation: Lane County Commissioner, Secretary/Treasurer of Paris Enterprises., Inc. and Owner/operator of our family farm.

Operation: My husband and I operate a 4800 acre farm in Lane County that consists of wheat, milo and corn. Aaron operates the farm, and I manage all financial aspects of our operation.

Farm Credit Experience: We have been Farm Credit borrowers for 13 years.

Other Information: I am currently serving the last year of my four-year term as a Lane County Commissioner. I graduated from Kansas State University in 2004 with a degree in business Administration, where I majored in Finance. I am Co-Leader of the Dighton Girl Scout Troop, board member of the Lane County Library Foundation, Lane County Local Emergency Planning Committee, Dighton United Methodist Church Education Committee and P.E.O. member. I am a former Lane County Economic Development board member and Lane County Farm Bureau board member.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: Women play an important role in agriculture, and it would be nice to see more women serving on the board.

Territory 3 – Board Position Nominees for a Three-Year Term:

Brian Penka

Age 42. Resides in Larned, Kansas.

Brian and his wife Angel have two children.

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Principal Occupation: Owner/Operator of a family farmin southern Pawnee County and I am the Agronomy Department Manager for Mid State Farmers Coop.

Operation: Our farming operation includes 1,400 acres in Pawnee County with 500 acres under pivot irrigation.

Farm Credit Experience: I have been a Farm Credit customer for several years. Farm Credit helped me to purchase land from my retiring father and keep our farm in the family.

Other Information: Mr. Penka graduated from Fort Hays State University in 2000 with a B.S. in Agriculture. He has worked in production ag over 22 years and has actively operated his farm for 13 years.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: I wish to serve on the Board of Directors for High Plains Farm Credit so that I can be part of the team that helps make High Plains Farm Credit such a valuable asset to the surrounding farm economy. As a relatively young farmer, I realize just how important of a role this organization plays in the life of so many family farms. I am honored to be nominated for a director position and look forward to the opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors and work on behalf of its members.

Monte Thom (Incumbent)

Age 56. Resides in Medicine Lodge, Kansas.

Monte and his wife Toni have five children.

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Principal Occupation: Owner of Thom Land and Cattle Co. Inc., a farming and stocker cattle operation.

Operation: The operation is a dry-land and irrigated farm of which corn, cotton, wheat, soybeans and milo are grown. Stocker cattle are back-grounded and grazed on winter wheat and summer pastures in Barber and Chase counties in Kansas.

Farm Credit Experience: I serve on the Board of Directors, a member of the Audit Committee and as an alternate on the Executive Committee. I have been a High Plains Farm Credit customer for 17 years.

Other Information: Presently a member of NCBA and Trinity Lutheran Church where I serve as a Finance Committee member and serve as a Director for Cotton Incorporated. Past director of Farmer Coop Equity and a KSU graduate. Formerly served as an advisory committee member for Kennedy and Coe accounting firm.

Why I Wish to Serve on the Board: To bring my experience and knowledge to the board so High Plains Farm Credit continues to be a strong lender for its member borrowers. Maintaining the strength of the patronage program is also a priority.