Lafayette County Extension Council election now in progress

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Ballots for the 2019 Lafayette County University of Missouri Extension Council election have been put on the Lafayette County Extension website. Paper ballots are also available at the Lafayette County Extension Center, 14 E. 19th St. in Higginsville. Ballots will be accepted through Jan. 30. All citizens of voting age living within Lafayette County will be eligible to vote. To vote online, visit

Council Chairman Eric Lockard said an online election has been held for several years, that it has worked out very well and helps the organization use funds as wisely as possible. He indicated six county residents will be elected to fill this year’s vacancies. The new council begins its duties March 1, according to state law. The County Extension Council works with University Extension staff members in planning and making recommendations for local educational programs. University Extension offers continuing education courses, seminars, workshops, and information on various issues in agriculture, family strengths, nutrition and health, business, community development, and youth development (4-H). The nominees for the 2019 Lafayette County Extension Council election include:

—Jill Boland, Waverly
Boland is currently employed as the marketing manager at Ag-Power in Higginsville and its 10 locations. She has been there for the past five years. She attended Northwest Missouri State University and received a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business and agronomy. She was a former Lafayette County 4-H member. She participates in the Waverly Jaycees town projects.

—Pam Carson, Concordia
Carson has been the preschool teacher at Immanuel Lutheran School in Higginsville for the past four years. She is married to Galen, and they have five grown sons and nine grandchildren. She participated in CDA through workshops at CMSU. She has been involved in early childhood education for 37 years. She and her husband farm and ranch, and own and operate Carson’s Feed Store. She is a member of St. Matthew Lutheran Church-Ernestville, the Ladies Aid, Lafayette County Cattlemen’s Association and Santa Fe Agri Leaders.

—Robin Kerksiek, Concordia
Kerksiek is married to Tim and they have a daughter and son in law, Elizabeth and Josh Pettit, a son and daughter in law, Michael and Emily Niemeier, two sons, William and Ben Kerksiek, and three grandchildren. She has received a CDA and has been an owner of a state licensed childcare for 10 years. Currently, she works at Walmart and has done so for the past 10 years. She was a former 4-H club assistant leader and a project leader.

—Benjamin Niendick, Wellington
Niendick has been a farmer for 12 years, working on the Ben Niendick Straw & Cattle and Niendick Cattle and Grain Inc. He attended University of Missouri-Columbia and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Arts in agriculture systems management and a minor in ag economics. He is a member of the Lafayette County 4-H/FFA Fair Board and St. Luke Evangelical Free Church and volunteers at the Community Christian Center in Wellington. He is currently serving on the Lafayette County Extension Council.

—Eric Lockard, Higginsville
Lockard is married to Raygen and they have one son, Owen. He has worked at Ag-Power in Higginsville for the past six years, but has 23 years of experience with John Deere. He received a Bachelor of Arts in ag systems management with a minor in ag economics from University of Missouri-Columbia. He is a member of the Higginsville Rotary Club, serving as vice president last year and president this year, and a volunteer with the Higginsville Fire Department. He currently serves on the Lafayette County Extension Council as the chairman.

—Marc Jensen, Higginsville
Jensen received a Bachelor of Science in ag business and ag systems management from MU. He is married to Wendy and they have one daughter. He is employed at FCS Financial as the vice president-loan officer for the past six years. They are members of Salem UCC in Higginsville, and he also serves as a church council member.

—Paula Oelrichs, Higginsville
Oelrichs is employed by OPAA Food Management and works as the director of Nutritional Services, serving Lafayette County C-I School District for the past 11 years. She is married to Bill and they have two children, one in high school and one in college. She is an active member of Salem United Church in Higginsville. She has been a project leader and past club leader of Hazel Dell 4-H Club. She is also a member of the FFA Booster Club, Lafayette County C-1 CAPS, PEO Chapter EK, serving as corresponding secretary and the Lafayette County Cattleman’s Association. She currently serves as treasurer of the Lafayette County Extension Council.

—William Soendker, Mayview
Soendker is married to Jenna. He obtained a Bachelor of Science in agricultural business management from University of Central Missouri. He is currently employed at Concordia Implement for the past year, doing equipment sales and precision ag work. He also does row crop farming and raises cattle. He belongs to Odessa Church of Christ and serves on various church committees, and is a volunteer fire fighter of the Mayview Rural Fire District.

—Khyler Wulfekotter, Odessa
Wulfekotter has been a farmer for five years, doing planting and harvesting. He has been a seed dealer for three years, of which one year has been with Becks Hybrids. He has also been involved with construction working for Wulfekotter Buildings LLC for 11 years. He attended Northwest Missouri State.

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