“1 Kansas farmer feeds more than 155 people + You!” Signs proclaiming this message are frequently seen along the highways and byways of Kansas. These signs demonstrate the passionate advocacy for agriculture which is found in an innovative farm family in rural Kansas.
Jeanne and Harold Mertz were the farm couple who initiated this farm sign project and other projects to benefit agriculture. Harold grew up on a farm southeast of Manhattan. He was a charter member of the Zeandale 4-H Club. During his last year in 4-H, he showed the grand champion steer at the American Royal.
Harold attended K-State where he met Jeanne, who was born in Kansas City, Kansas and had grown up in Oskaloosa. They married and moved back to his family farm, which was named River Creek Farms because it was situated in the Kaw River valley between the Kansas River and Deep Creek.
The Mertzs were grain farmers and producers of cattle and sheep. Harold would feed thousands of lambs in a typical winter. The Mertzs also raised five children: Joe, Tom, Bob, Jane, and Jon.