Board of Directors
The Kansas Ag Research and Technology Association is operated by a volunteer Board of Directors who are nominated and voted into office by the rest of the membership each year at the Annual Meeting. Learn a little more about each of our board members below.
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Darren Hofmann, 2020 President
John West, 2020 Vice President
Aaron Lange, 2020 Secretary
Aaron grew up working on the family farm in the town of Conway Springs, about 30 miles southwest of Wichita. They were a dryland farming operation that spread out over 20 miles. In 1994 His Dad and uncles that operated the farm purchase the local elevator, and that’s where Aaron worked for the next several years. He was the primary sprayer operator totaling 40k+ acres annually. In the Fall of 2004, the elevator sold and he returned to the family farm. He and his Cousin Paul currently manage the farm that has grown to operating over 9000 acres in four counties(all crops, no critters). The constant desire for more precision and advanced technology integrated into the farm has allowed the farm to grow. In 2008 he and his cousin started their own business called Triple Threat Ag. They spread custom ag lime, offer a land management service and sell BBK Header Trailers. He manages their custom ag lime business, which covers a large area of central Kansas into northern Oklahoma spreading 30k+ tons a year. Aaron sits on a variety of Boards including the Sumner County Executive Extension Board, Conway Springs Recreation Board, and the USD 356 School Board. He also coaches softball with the G2 Heat travel softball team. His wife Robyn and daughters Aspen, Alivia, Allyson, Aaralyn, and son Bryson live on the family farm and continue to grow the family business.
Tyler Rider, 2020 Treasurer
Tyler and his wife and five children live in Ness City and farm with his grandfather, father, and brother. They raise dryland wheat, milo, and forage sorghum as well as run stocker cattle. Tyler earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree in Agriculture Economics from Kansas State University in 2002 and 2004. His master’s work looked at site-specific weed management. After finishing his degrees from KSU, he returned to the family farm where he has worked to increase the use of precision agriculture in their operation. Tyler’s involvement with KARTA began when he first attended the Precision Ag Technologies Conference as a student at KSU. He has continued his involvement by attending the annual conference and participating in on-farm research projects.
Chris Lobmeyer, On-Farm Research Coordinator
Tony Watson, Workshop Coordinator
Bio Coming Soon!
Ajay Sharda, M.S., Ph.D., Kansas State University Advisor
Ajay has Bachelors and Masters in Agricultural Engineering in Farm Power and Machinery from Punjab Agricultural University, India. After his undergraduate studies, he worked in Agri Machinery Marketing Division at Escorts Ltd., as a service and sales engineer. After completing his M.S. Ajay worked as an Assistant Professor of Farm Power and Machinery in the College of Agricultural Engineering at Punjab Agricultural University for four years. He received his Ph.D. from Auburn University in the field of Precision Ag / Machinery Systems. Ajay’s work at Auburn focused on boom pressure-flow dynamics and control system response dynamics on agricultural sprayers. As a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems at Washington State University Ajay worked on developing precision fixed application systems for tree fruit crops. At K-State, Ajay is developing an integrated research, extension, and teaching program on the development and evaluation of control systems on variable rate planting, spraying and nutrient application; integration of sensors to improve efficiency and efficacy of machine systems; and field data management and analysis for crop input management practices.
Lucas Haag, M.S., Ph.D., K-State Research & Extension Advisor
Lucas Haag was raised on a diversified dryland farming and ranching operation near Lebanon, Nebraska along the Kansas/Nebraska line. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Technology Management in 2005 and a M.S. in Agronomy (crop ecophysiology) in 2008 from Kansas State University. Lucas served as assistant scientist at K-State’s Southwest Research-Extension Center at Tribune, Kansas for 3 years and completed his Ph.D. in Agronomy (crop ecophysiology) in 2013. He is currently an assistant professor of agronomy and Northwest Area Agronomist with Kansas State University stationed at the Northwest Research-Extension Center in Colby, Kansas. He conducts research and extension activities in a variety of areas but specializes in precision ag and dryland cropping systems. Lucas also remains actively tied to production ag as a partner with his brothers in Haag Land and Cattle Co.
Terry Griffin, M.S., Ph.D., K-State Research & Extension Advisor
Dr. Terry Griffin is an assistant professor and the cropping systems economist specializing in big data and precision agriculture at Kansas State University. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Agronomy and Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Arkansas, where he started working on agricultural data analytics and privacy. After serving as a farm management specialist for University of Illinois Extension, Terry earned a Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics with emphases in spatial technologies and farm management from Purdue University. His doctoral research developed methods to analyze site-specific yield monitor data from field-scale experiments using spatial statistical techniques; ultimately resulting in authoring two patents regarding the automation of spatial analysis and community data analysis, i.e. agricultural big data analytics. Terry returned to the University of Arkansas as the row crops economist and served as the team coordinator for the Working Group on Precision Agriculture. He recently received the 2014 Pierre C. Robert International Precision Agriculture Young Scientist Award for his work in data utilization. He has also received the 2012 Conservation Systems Precision Ag Researcher of the Year, the 2010 PrecisionAg Awards of Excellence for Researchers/Educators, the 2003 National Winner for NASA Excellence Award Remote Sensing and Precision Agriculture, and the 2002 National Winner for NASA GIS and Remote Sensing Decision Support Seminar. Terry is the current Past-President of the Arkansas Crop Protection Association, a certified crop advisor (CCA), and a charter member of the International Society of Precision Agriculture. Dr. Griffin is a member of the MS-49 Planter Technology and MS-54 Site Specific Agriculture Committees for the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, and maintains the Certified Crop Advisor credential from the American Society of Agronomy. Currently, Dr. Griffin serves in an advisory role on the board of the Kansas Agricultural Research and Technology Association. Terry and Dana have three wonderful children.