Kansas Farm Bureau recognized members and friends at its 97th Annual Meeting, Dec. 7-8 in Manhattan.
The organization featured its Friends of Agriculture. This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Kansas Farm Bureau and agriculture or rural Kansas. They include:Helen Norris from Sumner County. From 1990 to 2011 Helen served on KFB’s women’s leadership committee with 14 of those years serving as chair. She also represented the Midwest region on the American Farm Bureau Federation Women’s Leadership Committee.
Bob Haselwood from Shawnee County has been active with Farm Bureau and the United Soybean Board for a number of years. Bob is director of the United Soybean Board and serves on their executive committee. He is also a commissioner for the Kansas Soybean Commission, and serves on the Shawnee County Farm Bureau board.
Jerry McReynolds farms in Rooks and Osborne counties. He has been actively involved in Farm Bureau and other agricultural organizations, including serving on KFB’s board of directors, past president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers and Rooks County and Kansas Extension boards. He was a delegate to the Kansas State Board of Agriculture for 14 years, and a member of the first class of the Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership program.
Dale Roberds, Cherokee County, was elected to the Kansas Farm Bureau board representing the 3rd district in 1991. He also served American Farm Bureau Federation committees. Dale served in many capacities on the Cherokee county extension council, and was charter member and past president of the Kansas Soybean Association.
T.D. Fanning taught agricultural science and industry for 41 years. T.D. is the only agricultural instructor to be inducted into the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame. His students nominated him for an honorary State and American FFA Member Degree, which he also received.
Bill Wood received the national extension achievement award and he served on the Kansas Extension Agent Association board for four years, including one year as the chair. He currently serves on the Kansas Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom board of directors.
Paul Fleener is a native of Greensburg. He and his wife, Shirley, co-founded an international medical relief organization, ‘Project Concern.’ Fleener also served on several state advisory councils and task forces for education, transportation, and other issues. He worked for Kansas Farm Bureau in 1968 as director of legislative research, then became director of public policy until he retired in 1998.
John Blythe began working with Kansas Farm Bureau in 1967. Among his many accomplishments, he is credited with leading the legislative effort creating the adoption of Use Value Appraisal for agriculture land. John was awarded posthumously.
Dale and Danell Strickler, Cloud County, received the Kansas Farm Bureau Natural Resources Award. This award goes to the farm family who exemplifies good land stewardship. The Symns operate a diversified crop and livestock farm. The Stricklers’ farm consists of 180 acres of dryland pasture and 126 acres of irrigated pasture. They utilize their pasture ground to graze beef cattle.
The Stricklers rotate crops, as well as using no-till and rotational grazing, to maintain and preserve their natural resources. Dale began growing crops in 2000 when it was very dry and they quickly decided they would have to change habits to preserve water and top soil. Utilizing pivot and subsurface drip irrigation, Dale and Danelle turned their cropland into pastures. Perennial pastures, cover crops and subsurface irrigation have all helped make the change to more sustainable practices cost-effective as well as affordable. For their cattle, they ensure that there are designated watering areas along streams and the Stricklers utilize alternative water sources to keep livestock out of surface waters. They are careful to time their herbicide and pesticide applications to reduce runoff and spread them throughout the year, as well as using terraces to reduce soil erosion.
Tony Kimmi, Farm Bureau Financial Services Kansas Business Center Director, received KFB’s Partnership Award. This award recognizes someone from Farm Bureau Financial Services who has gone above and beyond for the state’s largest farm organization. Tony has been with Farm Bureau for 21 years, and is an asset to Farm Bureau members. He was instrumental in developing KFB’s member benefits that is well used throughout the state.
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Kansas Farm Bureau represents grassroots agriculture. Established in 1919, this non-profit advocacy organization supports farm families who earn their living in a changing industry.