Story By Erin Perry O’Donnell | Photos by Justin Hayworth
“A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children.” – John James Audubon
“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” – Mark Twain
The family is tracing its history to be sure, but Haines lore has it that there has been a Wildcat in every generation since Kansas State Agricultural College opened its doors in 1863.
It all started with Emma Haines Bowen, a member of the first graduating class of Kansas State Agricultural College, who became a teacher and, later, principal of Wamego schools. The tradition continues today with Bailee, a junior in marketing and Spanish. Her brother, Justin, graduated in 2012.
“My mom said she first brought me to K-State when I was 10 days old,” Bailee said.
Although Bailee grew up in Minnetonka, Minn., her family’s roots are in Manhattan – quite literally. Her great-great-grandfather bought 1,250 acres near Tuttle Creek Reservoir in the 1920s. Later, it became a cattle ranch, and has been passed down through the family. Bailee’s parents, Dave Haines and Alice Everett, grew up together on Fairview Street in Manhattan. Both sets of Dave Haines’ grandparents attended K-State, and other relatives taught here too. His father, Dick, was an editor of K-Stater magazine.
All that history sold Justin Haines on K-State from an early age. Bailee, less so. She had her eye on warmer climes – California maybe, or Arizona. But she agreed to come down for a tour. Much to her surprise, it was a natural fit. “It’s such a family atmosphere. It was easy for me to be eight hours away from home,” Bailee said.
She has a future home waiting for her here too, if she wants it. Dave said the family also owns a farm near Rocky Ford that will eventually be passed down to Bailee and Justin. Little Apple nostalgia remains strong in the family. “Every time we come in off I-70, we always drive by the old house,” Dave said.
The Tuttle Creek ranch will forever bear the Haines stamp, but in 2009 it changed hands. Dick Haines and his siblings transferred the family’s Tuttle Creek ranch to the Kansas Land Trust as a conservation easement. The deal – which created the trust’s largest easement ever – preserves the land for grazing, in perpetuity, never to be developed. They’re not making any more of it, you know.