Faces of Harvest: Larry Kepley, Ulysses

Posted July 3, 2013

Education has been on the heart of Larry Kepley from a young age.  After graduating from K-State, he taught vocational agriculture before becoming an extension agent.  Several years in the workforce and a master’s degree later, Larry’s and his wife Virginia  moved back to the farm after his father decided that it was time to slow down.

“We had the opportunity to do other things and enjoyed it but I took the chance when I could to come back and farm.”

Larry’s great grandfather began farming in 1888 just across the road from where Larry and Virginia now live and the family has farmed there ever since. They run a diversified crop operation, producing corn and certified wheat seed in addition to a small cow herd. Hard white winter wheat seed has long been the specialty of their operation.

Larry has been an advocate for the wheat industry in many ways. He served for several years as a member of the Kansas Wheat Commission board and has been a Kansas Association of Wheat Growers member since before he came back to farm.

“It is important for others to learn and understand folks view points on life and the best way to do that is to get involved yourself.”

Larry believes that being involved on both the political and promotional sides of the industry is important for future success. He has traveled to Washington D.C. and New York City to educate others through the “Urban Wheat Field; he also traveled overseas to describe the potential of hard white wheat to foreign buyers.

“Whatever occupation a person chooses they should be involved in helping that occupation move forward.”

After 40 years of farming, Larry and Virginia still do their best to share the story of agriculture.

“Communication is extremely important in today’s society for people to understand each other and understand certain products that are produced, especially on the farm.”