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K-State Today

August 31, 2017

Kansas farmer to be featured on Discovery Channel documentary

By Pat Melgares

Justin Knopf, a central Kansas farmer who was featured in the acclaimed book "Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman" for his practical approach to sustainable farming, is now being highlighted in a documentary that will premier at 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 31, on the Discovery Channel.

Knopf, who farms near Salina, said sustainability — or, in a simple sense, protecting the land and natural resources for future generations while growing food crops today — is something that is important to farmers.

"It's also one of the more important things (to society) as we're hearing more about sustainability through the supply chain and companies wanting to understand more about the products that consumers are purchasing," Knopf said.

"Inherently as farmers, and certainly in our operation, we're always thinking of improvement across time. Ever since I've been back to farming full time with my dad and brother, we have carried on and continue to carry on on-farm research projects."

Knopf has worked with Tom Maxwell, an agent in the Central Kansas Extension District, to develop experiments on his farm that are scientifically sound, replicable and relevant to other farmers in Kansas.

He said he's also routinely used the resources available from Kansas State University's main campus, including work with specialists in wheat breeding and cropping systems, such as using satellite imagery to predict yields.

"I can't overstate the value and the importance of K-State Research and Extension to our farm, and that same story could be said across many, many farms across our state," Knopf said.

Learn more about Knopf's story on YouTube.