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Two local couples to be honored
Philip and Jane Halling Mark and Marcia Knudson

( Picture credit: K-State Research and Extension News Service )

(KNZA)--Two local couples are among six couples that will be honored on March 24 as the 2022 class of Kansas Master Farmers and Master Farm Homemakers in recognition of their leadership in agriculture, environmental stewardship and service to their communities.

The statewide awards program is in its 96th year and is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension and Kansas Farmer Magazine.

Among this year's honorees are Philip and Jane Halling, of Atchison County, and Mark and Marcia Knudson, of Brown County.

Philip and Jane Halling:

Philip and Jane Halling were both raised on a farm, where they say there were both taught to be of help whenever they are needed. It helps explain their lifetime of service to their business and their community.

Both have served on the Atchison County Farm Bureau board for more than 25 years; Philip was the president for four years, and Jane the secretary for 10 years. In 1990 and 2000, Jane served on the state NER board and was chair in 2000. They have hosted a K-State Research and Extension test plot for more than 20 years.

Philip graduated from Midway High School in 1977 and then took vocational ag and auto mechanic classes. For the past six years, he has worked road maintenance for the Lancaster Township. He also serves on the St. Louis Catholic Church parish council and is president of the Lancaster/Huron Fire Department.

Jane graduated from Centralia High School in 1978 prior to attending Highland Community College. For the past 23 years, she has worked as the elementary school secretary for USD 377. She also serves on the board for the Atchison County Farm Bureau, and has helped with the Lancaster Community blood drives since 2000.

They said they “believe in working together for the good of everyone.” The couple has two sons, both of whom earned electrical engineering degrees from Kansas State University; and four grandchildren.

Mark and Marcia Knudson:

Mark and Marcia Knudson are fourth generation farmers, continuing to farm land land that has been passed down in their family since the 1800s. They said they care for the land by using technology that helps with soil and water management, and no-till practices.

“Our main goal as a family farming operation,” they write, “is to produce high quality food products with the lowest impact to our environment.”

Both were born and raised in Brown County and were members of Zion Lutheran Church, where they say they have memories of growing up together.

Mark began farming after high school with his father and grandfather. Marcia grew up on the family farm that her grandfather purchased during the depression, and where her father was raised.

The Knudsons have four children: Tricia and husband Christopher Ricklefs have two children; twins Matthew and Michael; and Meredith and husband Matt Mueller.

The annual awards banquet will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, March 24 at the Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Manhattan. Reservations for dinner are required and are available by contacting Sue Robinson at 785-532-5820 or

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