Kansas Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemaker Keith and Marsha Doane didn’t set out with a plan to build a farming operation, Keith says.
“We just got married, she was a farm girl from Alton, and I just grew up around here,” Keith says. “We took it one day at a time, one week at a time, one month at a time, year after year — and we just kept building on it. And hopefully, along the way, we made the right decisions.”
For nearly 60 years, the Doanes have raised crops, cattle and kids on their farm north of Downs, Kan. Along with raising their four sons — Michael, Rodney, Brett, and Craig — they also hosted three foreign exchange students and were youth group leaders for the Rose Valley United Methodist Church, which is just 200 yards north of their farm. Spending time investing in the future of not only their children, but also the children of the community has brought the couple much joy.
Through the lean years of the 1980s, two bouts with cancer, and countless other challenges, the Doanes say that relying on their faith and their grit has helped them survive.
“While we hope to pass the farm along to the next generation, our most important objective is to pass along our faith in God, as was provided by the generations before us,” the Doanes say. “We believe our faith makes us better parents, neighbors and stewards of the land.”