Doug and Sherri Hess of Valley Center have been selected as the 63rd recipient of Sedgwick County Farm Family of the year, according to Kenton Springer Club President. The family will be honored at a noon luncheon on November 18th as part of the weekly Downtown Kiwanis Club meeting. Springer continued that past recipients of the award will be invited to help honor this year’s family. While Kiwanis’ focus is community volunteerism in support of youth programs, we also support the National Farm City Week observance through this project. Both Wichita City and County Governments issue a proclamation in recognition of this observance and the Farm Family.
Stewardship of the land and natural resources were primary in his selection. Doug did not inherit the family farm but started on his own in his mid-thirty’s. His love for farming was equal to his enjoyment of his first John Deere tractors which were the two-cycle engines in the 70 Series. Later most of the heavy lifting on the farm was done with the diesel 80 Series. Today he gets across his 1,300 acre farm in his Challenger tractor. Doug’s desire to care for the land created a close working relationship with the Natural Resource and Conservation Service. He has improved his farms with terracing, waterways and installation of center pivot irrigations system to conserve the underground water resource. His farming operation is west of Valley Center situated between the Little and Big Arkansas Rivers. Doug’s hobby is his love for early vintage tractors, mostly the John Deere green type.
Photo credit: Nicholas A. Tonelli