Sharon Schwartz, Washington County, received KFB’s Distinguished Service award. A native Kansan, she and husband Leo have operated a dairy, feeder pig facilities, Pork Chop Acres – a farrow to finish facility, and produced wheat, corn, soybeans, and sorghum on their family farm. Sharon served as a 4-H leader for more than 20 years and held leadership roles on the Kansas Pork Council, The United States Meat Export Federation and the National Pork Board during development of the highly successful, “Pork, The Other White Meat” campaign. Recently she has given 20 years of service in the Kansas Legislature where she diligently worked to protect and position agriculture and rural Kansas for success, chairing several committees including the House Ag Committee.
The organization presented 10 Friends of Agriculture awards. This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Kansas Farm Bureau and agriculture or rural Kansas. They included:
- Scott Chapman, Mitchell County, has focused on agriculture throughout his life. He’s been a teacher, an extension agent and a true friend of ag. Scott’s retired as an extension agent but continues to remain involved in agriculture and Mitchell County Farm Bureau.
- Craig Cooper, Sheridan County, served Kansas Farm Bureau’s 10th district for 32 years. In that role Craig worked to ensure county Farm Bureaus had the tools and resources they needed to succeed and that members were able to engage locally and beyond to ensure agriculture and communities in northwest Kansas remain vibrant.
- Rosetta Deutscher, Ellis County, served as the Ellis County Farm Bureau coordinator from 1991 to 2001 and as Ellis and Trego County Coordinator from 2001 until she retired in 2016. With 35 years of service to Farm Bureau, she was instrumental in starting the ongoing Ellis and Trego County Kids Day on the Farm serving more than 400 kids a year, developing the Ellis County Ag in Motion Mobile Ag Education trailer, numerous Farm Safety Days and initiating the Fort Hays State University Collegiate Farm Bureau.
- Steve Hines, Hamilton County, is a devout Farm Bureau member, serving on the resolutions committee, along with the hay and forage, and feed grains committees. Steve served on the Hamilton County Farm Bureau board for 24 years including stints as the President and Vice-President.
- Diane Hoobler, Wabaunsee County, retired from Kansas Farm Bureau in 2012. She is an active Farm Bureau member, currently serving as president of Wabaunsee County Farm Bureau. She and her husband, Larry, open their farm for visitors whenever an opportunity arises. They value any chance to share ag’s story with others.
- Larry Kepley, Grant County, has spent his entire life involved in agriculture. He’s been a farmer, a teacher, an extension agent and a leader locally, statewide and nationally. He helped organize the Southwest Kansas Pork Producers, served on local boards including Farm Bureau, the county fair board and Southwest Kansas Irrigators. Statewide, he’s served on the Kansas Wheat Growers Association and Kansas Wheat Commission holding offices in both groups.
- Harold and Virginia Kraus, Ellis County, have served agriculture for more than 20 years. Harold is a founding member of the National Biodiesel board, and the Krauses were named Master Farmer and Homemaker in 1998. They have hosted the Ellis County Kids Ag Day on the Farm for 18 years and have two state historical sites on their farm.
- Sandy Manner, Sedgwick County, recently retired from Farm Bureau as the 4th District Administrator after 18 years of service. In her tenure at Kansas Farm Bureau, she served her counties well, participated in a variety of Farm Bureau committees and designed training tools and protocols for county officers and board members statewide.
- Darrell Monfort, Allen County, has been active in farming since the age of 10 starting on his family’s farm. He is active in the community serving on the fair board, leading 4-H clubs, and is a spokesperson for local media on ag issues. He’s also very active in Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association.
- Harry Watts, Riley County, retired from Kansas Farm Bureau this year after 18 years of service. Harry brought years of community development and government relations experience to Kansas Farm Bureau and served as our lead on policy and advocacy, most recently running the KFB Foundation.
Ted and Lisa Guetterman, both of Miami and Johnson counties, received the Kansas Farm Bureau Natural Resources Award. This award goes to the farm family who exemplifies good land stewardship. Ted and Lisa identified soil erosion as a major concern in all their fields so the family built miles of terraces and waterways. Ted also assists his landlord and other farmers in the construction of waterways and terraces. Throughout the past 35 years Ted’s family integrated new practices, such as drills and planters as well as GPS systems, leading to the farm becoming 100 percent no-till.
Amanda Taylor, Riley County, is the Sales Performance Manager at Farm Bureau Financial Services. She 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. Amanda works closely with Farm Bureau Financial Service agents in efforts to help KFB make membership gain and reach goals for account growth and retention.
Kansas Farm Bureau’s mission is to strengthen agriculture and the lives of Kansans through advocacy, education and service.