Honoring 2014

Kansas Master Farmers and

Master Farm Homemakers

Pracht Family
Pictured L to R:  Daughter, Ericka; Bill; Ruth;
Sons, Ethan & Wyatt

People have to want to help others, and that is how Bill and Ruth Pracht take on life. Both Bill and Ruth are lifelong residents of Anderson County and graduated from Garnett High School. Both were also involved in agricultural youth organizations, 4-H and FFA. They carried experience from those organizations into adulthood, where they continue to help others.

The local 4-H club, Cherry Mound, has benefited from having Bill and Ruth as community leaders. Bill has served as the beef project leader, is the beef superintendent for the Anderson County Fair, and also serves on the fair’s sale and carcass contest committees. Ruth continues to be the club photography project leader, serves as superintendent of the Cloverbuds for the Anderson County Fair and is lead the Mom’s Committee for the livestock sale supper. Both Bill and Ruth have served on the Anderson County Fair Board.

Wheat, corn, soybeans, silage and grass hay take root at the Prachts’ farm, which is also home to 150 beef cows. On the crop side, some of the Prachts’ conservation practices include terraced acres, and strip-till and no-till farming—a practice the couple has been using for about 15 years. They also use buffer strips to help prevent erosion and have found an increase in the quail population on their property since installing those. On the cattle side, they use rotational grazing to properly manage the pastureland.

Additionally, Bill has served as president of the Anderson County Extension Council and is a member of the Kansas Livestock Association and Kansas Corn Growers Association. One of his proudest accomplishments is helping start East Kansas Agri-Energy, an ethanol plant in Garnett. Bill has served as board chairman since 2001 and believes it has had a positive impact for agriculture in the eastern third of the state.

Bill and Ruth are part owners of a local elevator, Valley R Agri Service. Ruth is a retired high school secretary and continues to manage the books on the farm and work at the local sale barn once a week. All three of the Pracht children have worked on the farm and participated in 4-H and other extracurricular activities.

The couple takes time to help others within their church, St. Teresa Catholic Church in Westphalia. Ruth is a member of the church choir and alter society, while Bill takes part in the Westphalia Knights of Columbus.

Information on other Kansas Master Farmers and Master Farm Homemaker is available here. Photos are available here.

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Extension programs present useful information related to agriculture, lawn and garden, youth development, family life, foods and nutrition, healthy living, community development, and much more.  We serve the people of Osage, Anderson and Franklin Counties, with offices in Lyndon, Garnett  and Ottawa.  Our philosophy is to help people help themselves by taking university knowledge to where people live, work, play, develop, and lead.  We work at being responsive to the needs of the people by focusing our resources on providing quality information, education and problem-solving programs for real concerns.  The information we provide is researched based and unbiased.


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