She travels the world covering agriculture, but calls Kansas home

JenniL

Jenni Latzke standing in a winter wheat field near Rosario, Argentina.

Talking with Teri this week features a one of the Unique, Unbelievable NFPW members from Kansas.

Name: Jennifer M. Latzke is the byline. Most everyone calls me Jenni

City and State: Dodge City, KS. I write for High Plains Journal, and we are located on Wyatt Earp Blvd. Yes, we still have Boot Hill. No, Miss Kitty and Marshall Dillon were fictional characters. No, I have not seen Dorothy or Toto. Yes, I have seen a tornado.

Affiliate: Kansas Professional Communicators where she is currently serving as president.

Years a member of NFPW: Think about 13? They tend to run together.

Why are KPC and NFPW important to you?

KPC and NFPW are valuable organizations for networking.

Tell us a little about you.

Well, I am an agricultural journalist. My bachelor’s degree is in agricultural communications with a minor in animal science from Kansas State University. My coursework emphasis was in PR. Basically, I took all the same journalism and mass comm classes that you may have taken. But, I also had to do just as much coursework in agronomy, agribusiness and animal science. I landed at HPJ 13 years ago and today I cover wheat, sorghum, cotton, winter canola, cattle production and pretty much anything else that grows in TX, OK, KS and CO. I also write a human interest column twice a month called “Common Ground.”  HPJ is a weekly pub with 50,000+ paid subscribers in 12 states. We have four other Associate and Field Editors who cover other parts of our area.

This job has allowed me to travel around the country and around the globe. My most recent trip was to Buenos Aires and Rosario, Argentina, for the International Federation of Agricultural Journalists Congress at the end of August and first part of September. I was named one of 10  2013 IFAJ/Alltech Young Leader in Agricultural Journalism Award winners selected from IFAJ affiliates from around the globe. I’ve also traveled to Vietnam with my Kansas Ag and Rural Leadership class. And, I’ve been to Colombia, Peru, Costa Rica and Mexico with the U.S. Wheat Associates farmer trade team as the media representative.

Any career advice you would give?

Don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. Look deeper for the story. Listen more than you speak. Black is slimming and always appropriate with the right accessories.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

There’s not one. I like to say I have a dash of Lucille Ball and Erma Bombeck, combined with a pinch of Julia Child, a sprinkling of Patsy Cline and a heaping helping of Julie Andrews.

Which words/phrases do you most overuse?

“Bless his/her heart.” It’s the southern fallback replacement phrase for sentiments that cannot be fully expressed in polite company.

Which talent would you most like to have?

Financial planning. Seriously, I admire those who can read stock reports like bedtime stories. The same people who can research insurance plans and retirement plans and all manner of financial data without falling into a coma or lapsing into adult onset Tourette’s.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Toss up between a cabin in Montana or a cottage in Ireland. Both highly conducive to writing and peaceful tranquility.

What book are you reading?

Honestly, it’s a J.D. Robb novel. When I read, I read for pleasure. I should probably read for self-improvement, but frankly, that bores me.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I showed cattle all through my 4-H career and I can crochet, sew and garden because of 4-H. I sang on the main stage in front of about 15,000 at Manhattan, Kansas’s Country Stampede in 2000 as part of a karaoke contest and at one time I considered moving to Nashville to sing professionally. I am an avid and unapologetic fan of the brilliantly violent TV show “Sons of Anarchy,” the Avengers movie franchise, and Harry Potter. My ideal dinner party would include Nora Roberts, J.K. Rowling, Dame Maggie Smith, Carol Burnett and Georgia O’Keefe.

Website: www.hpj.com and Twitter: @Latzke

To suggest an NFPW to highlight, send a note to tlehre@aol.com

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One Comment on “She travels the world covering agriculture, but calls Kansas home”


  1. What a fabulous career choice–one that wouldn’t show up on a “top 10 jobs in journalism” list but one that uniquely reflects her talents and roots. Glad to meet Jenni Latzke of Kansas..


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