Governor’s Water Conference is Next Week



WHO: Governor’s Administration, Kansas Water Office

WHAT: The Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas

WHEN: Thursday, November 7 and Friday, November 8

WHERE: NEW LOCATION – Hyatt Regency, 400 W Waterman Street, Wichita, KS

TIME: 8:30 a.m.


Information: The eighth annual Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas will address relevant and current water resource issues as well as the continued implementation of the Kansas Water Vision and integration into the Kansas Water Plan to ensure Kansas water needs are being met, now and in the future.

There will be keynotes the morning of Day 1 including Jill Wheeler, head of Sustainable Productivity for Syngenta in North America; Lt. Governor Rogers; Matthew Lohr, Chief NRCS; and Rollin Hotchkiss, BYU. There will be breakout sessions in the afternoon.


Topics include:

  • Sustainability Across the Supply Chain
  • Flooding Impacts
  • Groundwater Quality
  • The Arbuckle
  • Reservoir Sediment Management


The fourth Water Legacy Award will be presented at the conference Tuesday morning and ‘Be the Vision’ nominees will be recognized as well.


To view the brochure for a current list of speakers and panelists visit:   


Day two will build on the water policy and vision implementation discussions from the previous day with technical presentation posters and talks. Graduate and undergraduate students will present their research posters.


This event is open to credentialed members of the media.  Please RSVP to the Kansas Water Office by phone (785) 296-3185 or email Katie Patterson-Ingels, Communications Director at [email protected].


The Governor’s Conference on the Future of Water in Kansas is hosted by the KWO and K-State /Kansas Water Resource Institute. Major sponsors for the event include 96 Agri Sales, Inc., Black & Veatch, Burns & McDonnell and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.

St. Martin’s Academy October News

As October draws to a close, we bid farewell to the blue skies and clement temperatures of the finest month here in Kansas – a fitting month indeed to be dedicated to Our Lady.  The poet Helen Hunt Jackson:
O SUNS and skies and clouds of June,
And flowers of June together,
Ye cannot rival for one hour
October’s bright blue weather
Life at St. Martin’s is settling into a rhythm and, while much is still in flux, there is a growing feeling of stability as we head into deep Autumn.  Much of this can be attributed to our faculty, led by returning stalwarts such as our Academic Dean Dr. Ken Klassen, our Latin Magister Mr. Ron Klassen and our redoubtable Chaplain, Fr. Bob McElwee.  And much credit is due to several new faces including our three new House-Fathers: Giorgio Navarini and Roger McCaffrey of Thomas Aquinas College and Joshua Gieger from the wilds of Colorado.  These young men embody a virile and serious Catholic masculinity that is a wonderful example to our boys.  And special mention goes to newlyweds Ryan and Danielle Bauer from St. Louis.  Ryan, as coach, teacher and indefatigable laborer on the farm, and Danielle as our fabulous Secretary, have been a God-send to the Academy.  Their humility, toughness and joy are inspiring to faculty and students alike.

With the home-front more secure, we are able to turn our attention outwards to engaging a broader audience and spreading the word about St. Martin’s unique approach to educating young men.  In the coming months we’ll be more visible with well-coordinated trips to Dallas, Washington D.C., Southern California, Phoenix, New York City, Chicago and South Florida.  If you are connected to one of these (or any other major Metropolitan area) please be in touch and we’ll look forward to seeing you in person soon.

Saint Martin, pray for us!

Duc in Altum,
Daniel Kerr, President
Patrick Whalen, Headmaster

Major Developments on Campus!

With Theotokos Hall complete, we’ve turned our attention to the development and beautification of our campus.  Thanks in large part to Joseph Kerr and his stalwart crew at Kerr Athletics, we have made some incredible, unanticipated strides in the last month!  Chief among them has been the ground-work on an amazing outdoor athletics facility including a regulation size Rugby pitch, parking lot and a ropes-fitness course.  The Kingfisher Athletics Program now has an impressive home and much sooner than we could have ever expected.  Our sincerest thanks to Joe and his team for their wonderful generosity and tireless efforts these past several weeks.

Above: Fall’s first dusting of snow on the future Rugby pitch.  Theotokos Hall in the background.

News from Europe: 200 miles in 2 weeks!

Led by Mr. Ryan Bauer and Mr. Joshua Mincio, the Junior class just completed the latest leg of their European adventure: a 200+ mile walking pilgrimage in northern Spain ending at the Basilica of St. James in Santiago de Compostela.  Described by Mr. Bauer as both profoundly joyous and excruciating, the boys battled blisters and nagging fatigue in keeping up the 15 mile-per-day pace for 15 consecutive days along the Way.

This burst of movement, a true Franciscan dash, contrasted powerfully to the Benedictine stability of a two week retreat at the Abbey of Notre Dame de Fontgombault in central France.  Now, after a brief respite and a short flight from to Rome, the boys conclude their journey in the Eternal City, led by Dr. and Mrs. Ken Klassen and our friends at ProRome Tours.

This trip has required no small sacrifice by the Academy in terms of staffing and support.  But we are more confident than ever that this investment will not simply be unforgettable, but fundamentally life-altering; a permanent touchstone of Faith in the lives of these young men.

Birds and the Art of Noticing

On October 26th we were delighted to host faculty, family and friends as part of our quarterly Faculty Lecture Series.  This Series gives us the opportunity to share more broadly the educational mission of the Academy with the local community.

St. Martin’s President Daniel Kerr delivered this fall’s talk on birding and the relationship between naming things and friendship.

Watch or read Mr. Kerr’s talk here.

St. Martin’s gear is now available!

The Kingfisher Online Shop is open for business.

St. Martin’s on the Road: Dallas & D.C.

We’re taking the show on the road!  In the next 12 months we will be visiting several major metropolitan areas to meet with prospective families and supporters.  We have visits planned in Dallas-Fort Worth, Washington D.C., California, Phoenix, New York, Chicago and South Florida.  If these visits bring us near your neighborhood and you’d like to connect, please be in touch!

Next stops are Dallas-Fort Worth on November 30th and Washington D.C. on December 16th.  We will be hosting an Open House event in both locations and would love to see you!

For details, please email to [email protected] or call our office at 620.644.9870.

Readying for Martinmas

The feast day of our patron, St. Martin of Tours, is on November 11th.  Called “Martinmas” in Europe, this was one of the largest feast days in the Church’s liturgical year and celebrated the end of the agrarian calendar and the harvest.  For nearly a millennium, Martinmas stood as Christendom’s Thanksgiving.

At St. Martin’s, we are busy making preparations and bringing in a harvest of our own.  Between now and November 11th we will process over 100 chickens, 20 rabbits, 3 geese, 2 hogs and one enormous turkey.  With 3 steers and 8 whole lambs already in the freezer, we will be well provisioned for the winter.

Above: A handsome Toulouse goose.  It is traditional to eat goose on Martinmas, a nod to the pious legend that a noisy goose betrayed a hiding St. Martin when the people of Tours came to make him Bishop.

Join the Cause!

St. Martin’s Academy is restoring sense and sanity to boys’ education by getting back to the basics: hard-work, responsibility, friendship, and the pursuit of Truth without compromise.  As 2019 draws to a close, please consider giving generously to our Raise the Rafters Campaign with a one-time gift or pledge.  No gift is too small (or too large!) and will be stewarded carefully as we build a campus for generations to come.

“Our two eldest boys just arrived home from their inaugural year at Saint Martin’s Academy in Fort Scott, Kansas. What we have noticed most is the boys’ newfound appreciation and dedication to something that seems to be lacking in young men in our society: choosing the arduous good. They are interested in pushing themselves physically and mentally, whether it’s felling trees on our property, building projects for our home, or lively debates about current issues late into the night. Their unique personalities have not just blossomed, but their character has been well-formed. Our society is desperate for hard workers, good leaders and fine men. It is obvious to us after this first year that Saint Martin’s Academy will be leading the way in restoring these things for generations to come. We are so very grateful!”

– David and Karen Hickey, Front Royal, VA, parents of Henry & Charlie (both class ’21)

Coy Pollmeier: Young Entrepreneur

Although Coy Pollmeier, 19,  is a professional bull rider, he has taken up boot repair as a side job.

“Riding bulls is what I do most of the time and leather/ boot-repair is what I do on the side,” he said. “I only do boot-repair on the side because I also travel a lot …professionally, in the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.”

Pollmeier purchased the leather/boot repair shop equipment from John Renard earlier this year. Renard retired after providing the service to Bourbon County for decades.

If one has a good pair of boots, they can last for years, with a few repairs now and then.

Pollmeier is providing that service to those who want to keep a good pair of boots for a long time.

CP Leather and Boot Repair is the name of his new business.
“I… work out of my house,” he said. “I have a drop off site in town.”
He is in the process of perfecting the craft.
“I have spent time with a few other repairmen picking up things here and there but it has been mostly trial and error,” he said. “I have been working on repairing boots for probably about the last eight months and I’m just now going public about it.”
A boot before repair. Submitted photo.
The same boot after being repaired by Pollmeier. Submitted photo.
“I can repair most boots and shoes to an extent,” Pollmeier said. “I am the only one in the shop, so it is all done by myself. It usually takes me a few hours to completely redo a pair of boots.”
The leather/boot drop off site is Hills Service Gas Station, 308 No. National Avenue.
Contact Pollmeier at 620.215.4937.

Fort Scott Community Closet Needing Volunteers: Workday Nov. 2


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Sunday & Monday hours are from 1 pm to 5 pm
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Sales $50 or more, choose a Free Book Marker!
Hedgehog.INK is located
@ 16 S. Main Street downtown Fort Scott!

Southwind Judging Team Wins American Royal

From left to right: Brody Nemecek, Clay Brillhart, Jillian Keller, Haydon Schaaf, Carla Nemecek (coach)


The Southwind Extension District 4-H Livestock Judging Team of Jillian Keller (Piqua), Brody Nemecek (Iola), Haydon Schaaf (Uniontown), and Clay Brillhart (Fort Scott) participated at the American Royal Livestock Show last week in Kansas City, MO.

By a large margin of 30 points, Southwind District was named Champion 4-H Team. They were selected as the only team to represent Kansas 4-H because they were the State Champion 4-H Livestock Judging Team in August 2019.

With 19 different state teams and 70 youth in the contest, this group continues to work hard to earn national recognition.

In addition to being the High Team Overall, they were also 1st in Reasons, 3rd in Sheep/Goats, 2nd in Swine and 2nd in Cattle.

Individual results include: Jillian Keller – 2nd High Individual Overall, 1st in Cattle, 9th in Swine and 10th in Reasons;

Haydon Schaaf – 4th Individual Overall, 3rd in Reasons, 7th in Sheep/Goats, 8th in Swine;

Brody Nemecek – 2nd in Swine and tied for 10th  Individual Overall;

Clay Brillhart, 4th in Sheep/Goats and 7th in Swine.

The team continues to be coached by Carla Nemecek, Southwind District Director.



David Foster, Local Farmer, Expands Horizons

David Foster, Chief Executive Officer of Terrakat LLC.
David Foster, who is a fourth-generation Bourbon County dairyman,  still makes his living providing for his wife and children on the family farm at 1035 Hwy 39.
In addition to tending to his milk cows, he started a new business this year called Terrakat LLC.
The equipment spreads the manure that his herd of dairy cows produces daily.

“The equipment allows the farmer to spread manure on the field providing nutrients to the soil that is needed to raise crops,” Foster said. “Manure is fertilizer.”

Terrakat manure spreader. Submitted photo.
“Terrakat (his business) was formed in March once I knew I had found a product that not only would be beneficial for Foster Dairy but also be beneficial for others as well,” he said.
The equipment is manufactured in Turkey.
“I flew over to Turkey in March (2019) to meet with the manufacturers, that I would then contract to produce my first ag equipment product of a manure spreader,” Foster said.
He had done his research but wanted to see first hand the product.
“I have a good company with good quality steel, good workmanship and willingness to allow me to make any changes I feel necessary to make the product better,” Foster said.
“Once I had returned, I placed an order for two units that had a capacity of 20 tons of manure each,” Foster said.  “We planned to keep one for ourselves at Foster Dairy and then to sell the second unit.”
Foster began the business to save money on agricultural equipment for Foster Dairy,  and then to build a business that can save others money on needed equipment, he said.
“I am providing a quality product that is more cost-effective and (additionally)then spending dollars locally for my business needs, for example, Captured Images Photography, SkyyFoxx, to name a few,” he said.
It’s been a project that has unfolded this year.
“They (two pieces of equipment) arrived in a shipping container in July during the Bourbon County Fair,” Foster said. “After getting them unloaded and finishing some assembly, we waited for a window to demo the spreader where the ground was not too wet to spread manure. Which was difficult this year. When we did, we hired a drone company to take some professional footage as well as a photographer to take some high-end photos.”
He made his first sale this month.
“I took one of the units to the Ozark Fall Farmfest farm show in Springfield at the beginning of October where I made my first sale!” he said.  “To my surprise, it wasn’t the model on display but one size bigger. That order for a T28 Terrakat Manure Spreader was placed last week and expected to ship this Friday.”
“The highlight of my first farm show wasn’t simply making a sale, but more importantly, to get feedback from other farmers and ranchers in the four-state area and to compare Terrakat to five other well-know brands of manure spreader,” Foster said.  “After hearing from them, I was even more pleased to learn that I not only beat the competition on unit price, but had more features packed into a lower maintenance design with more volume capacity!”
“I also had a promising meeting with one of the country’s largest farm cooperatives last week in partnering with Terrakat to offer my manure spreaders to all of their 14000 members across the country,” he said.  ” I have generated a lot of interest in a very short time. Terrakat is still in the startup/launch phase. I’m booked to go to the Tulsa Farm Show on December 12-14th. I have already had people tell me they are looking forward to seeing a Terrakat spreader at that show.”
“Meanwhile, I have been working on some added features to include scales, removable beaters, and GPS-ready variable rate flow control to name a few,” he said.
Besides being a dairyman and this new business venture, Foster owns another business called Cash Cow Enterprise LLC where he has reclaimed and salvaged used metal buildings for the last 12 years.
Foster is still working on website design for Terrakat LLC, a promotional video, establishing a nationwide dealer network, designing feature enhancements,  and “my next product- line rollout, and another trip to Turkey to work on designs and other products with my manufacturer.”
Foster’s phone is 620-224-9433,  and website:
or his Facebook page.
Foster graduated Uniontown High School  in 1998, Fort Scott Community College in 2000, and  Kansas State University with a degree in animal science and a degree in agricultural communications
He is involved in his community through Farm Bureau, 4-H, FFA,  Bourbon County Fair Board, and Dairy Farmers of America.

Foster is the only employee at this time for Terrakat LLC, but expansion will require employees in the future, he said.

“Overall, I believe my new company will be successful because I am modeling it after my successful business of Cash Cow Enterprise LLC,” he said. ” I have learned that I don’t sell anything that I don’t use myself. I work on slim margins to make the best deal and to remain competitive.  I take pride in feeling like I am helping farmers and ranchers like myself by providing a good quality alternative at a lower price than the competition.”