We are Don and Gayle Bartel. We moved to our slice of paradise in 1992, determined to find a way to actually make money farming. After dabbling in many experiments (exotic birds, fallow deer, goats, bees, organic vegetables, cattle), elk are what remain because they are profitable and promise to remain so over the long term.
We have been active in elk associations at both the state and national level. Don has been a velvet judge and a hard antler judge for NAEBA (North American Elk Breeder's Association). He is a past President of KEBA (Kansas Elk Breeder's Association) and was instrumental in lobbying the state legislature to move jurisdiction for elk farming from the Department of Wildlife and Parks to the Department of Agriculture.
Gayle was the editor for The Kansas Elk Bugle, the official newsletter for the Kansas Elk Breeders Association for the first three years. She has also been on the Board of Directors for KEBA and served as the Kansas representative to the American Elk Products Board, where she was the Treasurer and EQAP Administrator. Don and Gayle together have served as sales managers for the KEBA sponsored Kansas elk auctions and have headed many different committees and projects for KEBA.