In honor of National Arts and Humanities Month, KHC is featuring profiles and essays by people who make the humanities happen in Kansas. This week, we’ll get to know Lon Frahm of Colby, KHC board member and Friend of the Humanities since 1986.
Lon Frahm is the manager of Frahm Farms and the sixth generation of his family to farm in Thomas County. In 2009, Lon was named Top Producer of the Year by Farm Journal magazine, a national honor awarded to agricultural producers who possess entrepreneurial innovation, business success, and industry and community leadership. “I remember Lon describing his work to me in three simple words: sowing and reaping,” remarked Julie Mulvihill, KHC’s executive director. “I think this is also reflected in how he approaches community service: We sow and we reap. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.”
“I grew up hearing my grandmother often repeat one of her favorite sayings: ‘Service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on earth.’ I find myself living out her ideals more every day,” shared Lon. In addition to serving on the Kansas Humanities Council Board of Directors, Lon serves on state and regional boards including the Hall Center for the Humanities at the University of Kansas, Midwest Energy, High Plains Public Radio, and he is a convener for the Kansas Dialogue. Frahm Farm employees also contribute at the community level. “We often assist at community events, volunteer at the Prairie Museum, and are involved in service club activities,” added Lon.
Education, culture, and sense of place play a big role in Lon’s life and work. “I’ve always considered education to be one of the highest and best uses of time and resources, something that was instilled in me by my parents and grandparents,” explained Lon. “It has been a policy that everyone on the farm participate in all the educational and informational field days, seminars, tours, and field trips that are available to us.”
The employee field trips extend to annual farm trips to destination including Hawaii, Mexico, and the Caribbean. “I like giving people opportunities to experience new things. I try to work in cultural events when possible – we’ve been to museums, the symphony, and theater,” shared Lon, who is an accomplished pianist, tenor soloist, and High Plains history enthusiast. “I believe a wider view of the world gives us a broader vision and makes us more connected at the same time and that’s why the humanities are so important. They help us make sense of the wider world; yet respect our sense of place. I support KHC – and I’ve done so for many years – because I think these things are important for Kansans and KHC does a great job of engaging communities with these topics.”
Do you agree with Lon? Consider a donation in support of the Kansas Humanities Council.