The Tyler and Leah Alpers family has been honored by Kansas Farm Bureau as a KFB Farm Family of the Year.
Tyler and Leah Alpers are about as busy as any farm family in Stafford County can be. With a large farming and livestock operation along with involvement in Stafford County Farm Bureau plus raising three children, they are constantly on the go.
Their efforts have earned them a Kansas Farm Bureau Family of the Year award.
The Alpers are a five generation farm family in Stafford County. Having that background and getting to work with five generations means a lot and Tyler wouldn't have it any other way. On Tuesday morning, four generations of the family, including Tyler Alpers, his father, grandfather and son, were all out taking care of chores and getting to work as a family.
"It makes agriculture unique and special," Alpers said.
It takes everyone to make the operation a success. With 5,000 acres of dry land and irrigated farm land plus another 5,000 acres of pasture for their 500 cows for their spring and fall calving season, it takes everyone working together to make the operation successful. Besides Tyler and Leah, Tyler's dad and grandfather, a full time hired hand, some local school students for summer work and even his 10-year-old sons Braxton and 7-year-old Easton help out where ever they can.
The family raises corn, wheat, soybeans, sorghum, alfalfa and rye. They have a cow-calf operation with 500 head in spring and fall calving time. Alpers uses artificial insemination along with DNA testing for replacement females. The farm is enrolled in the conservation stewardship program. The Alpers' have been on the Stafford County Farm Board for three years and served on the state Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee.
Alpers said there are from 500 to 600 young farmers and ranchers, all from 35 to college age and all involved in agriculture.
"Sometimes when you are out on the farm, you think you are the only one your age farming," Alpers said. "It (YF&R meeting) really opens your eyes."
Alpers has represented the Seventh District for three years on the state feed grains committee and was their committee chair for two years.
The Alpers shared information about agriculture and provided a farm education when they hosted a Farm Day for elementary students. Students got to see livestock including bucket calves, 4-H pigs and donkeys. Workers from the Hudson Flour Mill provided information on how wheat becomes flour and what products it makes. There was also farm machinery on display and a veterinarian gave information about his job.
The Alpers also started a Farm to School campaign that has a 10 member committee that each donates a cow to provide beef to the school. It takes about five cows to feed the school for a year. The committee donates every other year and keeps the school in beef. The school also incorporated a bit of the program into the curriculum to teach students about the farms and farmers they see on their way to school, said Alpers who also worked with the Stafford County Farm Bureau to donate freezers to the school can store the meat.
The Hudson Creme Flour Mill also donates product and a local farmer donates watermelon and cantaloupe to the schools.
The Farm Family of the Year recognizes outstanding Farm Bureau families who had distinguished themselves through participation in Farm Bureau Programs and leadership, family activities, community and civic service as well as displaying good farm operation management, according to the KFB.
The award recognizes 105 county families and 10, representing the 10 KFB districts, at the state level. Each county Farm Bureau selects a family and honors them at the annual county meeting or similar event. Each county can submit their family for the 10 Kansas Farm Family of the Year awards.
County winners receive a Farm Family of the Year sign at the county annual meeting. The 10 district winners are presented at the KFB annual meeting in Manhattan, receive a special recognition, a commemorative gift and are invited to bring immediate family to the Recognition Banquet.