Mark was born and raised in Kansas, growing up on the family farm near Yates Center. He graduated from Yates Center High School, followed by Neosho County Community College, where he received a two-year degree. He finished his education in Kansas at Emporia State University, where he received a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration in 1982.
After graduation, he moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to be near his brother Scott, and began working in radio sales for KZIA, an AM talk radio station. Following his time with KZIA, he continued to work in sales, joining the Albuquerque Chemical Company as a sales representative in the agricultural chemical division. His farming background proved invaluable, advising customers in the use of many different chemicals for farming and ranching applications.
A desire to work in public service led Mark to accept a position with the New Mexico Department of Corrections in 1989. He became part of team of state employees who helped administer a Federal court order governing the operation of the state prison system. Known as the Duran Consent Decree, this court order mandated minimum standards for the prisons, covering everything from living standards to legal access. It proved to be both challenging, and rewarding work. The collective efforts of those state employees proved fruitful, as the court order was lifted, allowing the state to manage the operation of its’ prison system.
Following the death of his brother in 1995, Mark began to spend more time in Kansas, helping his folks with the operation of the family farm. During this time, he met his future wife Mary Jane. They made their home in Albuquerque, where she continued her career as an RN, specializing in labor and delivery.
After years of declining health, Marks’ Mom took a turn for the worse in late-2012, prompting them to stay in Kansas on a full-time basis. She remained at the home until her passage in 2013. Later that year, they began caring for Mary Jane’s Mom, helping with her day-to-day care until her passing in 2014.
A fourth generation family farmer, Mark and his Dad, along with Mary Jane operate the family farm in southern Woodson County. They raise assorted grain crops and beef cattle.
In addition to farming, Mark remains active in civic affairs, and continues his hobbies of music and reading. His motto “living is a lifetime of learning” exemplifies his efforts in all areas, especially in seeking the office of State Senate in District 14.
Paid for Pringle for Senate, Mary Jane Shanklin, Treasurer