Fredricksons recognized as Kansas Master Farmer, Master Farm Homemaker

An Osage County couple will join five other Kansas couples who will be honored Friday as Kansas Master Farmers and Master Farm Homemakers. Ronald and Patricia Fredrickson, of rural Osage City, and the other couples will be recognized for their leadership in agriculture, environmental stewardship and service to their communities, during an awards banquet to be held in Manhattan. The Kansas Master Farmers and Master Farm Homemakers awards program dates to 1927 and is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension and Kansas Farmer magazine.

Ron and Pat Fredrickson took an unusual path to ranching. Like many who grow up to farm or ranch, Ron was born on his family’s ranch near Osage City, Kan. After graduation from Emporia State University where he was student body president, and five years of active duty in the Navy (16 years Naval Reserve), he earned advanced degrees at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He taught in Wisconsin and then spent 29 years on faculty and as an administrator at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Patricia grew up in Excelsior Springs, Mo., and later, Sedan, Kan. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Emporia State, a master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

After a career in academia, the couple started their next chapter in 1992 when they moved back to the Osage County ranch to work with Ron’s parents. Ron developed “Fredrickson’s Principles of Farm Management,” which have guided their business ever since.

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Pat and Ron Fredrickson

“We use a goal-setting system, one for the ranch and one for each individual who works here, including ourselves,” Ron said. “One part is goals and the second part is enabling objectives, which describes how a person is to attain that goal.”

Today, their beef cattle business includes about 600 cows and 575 calves. They sell calves to a Meyer Natural Angus cattle feeder. In the last 20 years, they have refined the way they cull cows, built new tubs, chutes, pens and alleys, and began dividing the herd into smaller pastures for calving. They’ve developed creek-side buffer strips to control animal waste and erosion, and rotate corn, soybeans and wheat.

Ron has served the Lutheran Church, including as a president, teacher and choir member, for more than 60 years. He’s been a member of the Kansas Farm Bureau more than 40 years, and served on the Melvern Lake Watershed Advisory Group and as a member of the local watershed board. He helped raise funds to restore the Rapp School (his boyhood school), which is now a national and state historic site.

Pat has been involved in the church, as organist, choir director, teacher and other roles. She served as the president of the Rapp School rebuilding project for five years and still serves on the board. She was on the county Farm Bureau board of directors and developed educational resources on safety for employees. She also contributed her time and talents to the Osage City Area Arts Council and other organizations.

Other couples to be recognized at this year’s awards banquet include Kevin and Barbara Alpers, Hudson, Kan., Dwight and Cindy Baldwin, McPherson, Kan., Ki and Kim Gamble, Greensburg, Kan., Craig and Tamara Gigstad, Valley Falls, Kan., and Don and Lois Martin, Clay Center, Kan.

The newest Kansas Master Farmers and Master Farm Homemakers join a growing group of more than 360 Kansans who have been recognized for success in their agricultural operations and service to their communities.

The Kansas Master Farmer Association and the Master Farm Homemakers Guild were formed in the late 1920s to publicly recognize excellence in farming, homemaking, farm living and rural citizenship. In 1953, Kansas State University, through the Cooperative Extension Service, assumed responsibility for the selection process and setting up the annual banquet. Today, K-State Research and Extension and Kansas Farmer magazine co-sponsor the program. County Extension councils and Extension districts nominate farm couples. The associate director for Extension and applied research appoints a committee to choose one couple from each of the four extension areas in the state, plus two additional couples at large.

The two groups host an annual meeting and joint recognition banquet, where members discuss agricultural and rural issues, and share experiences with other members. This year, the meetings and banquet will be March 11 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Manhattan.

Information and photo thanks to K-State Research and Extension.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas