MANHATTAN — Kansas Farm Bureau recognized members and supporters at its 102nd Annual Meeting, Dec. 3-4 in Manhattan.
Edie Dahlsten, McPherson County, received KFB’s Distinguished Service award. Edie and her husband Larry have spent their lives advocating, educating and serving on behalf of their farm organization. Dahlsten started out on the State Young Farmers and Ranchers Committee and it was this experience that launched her appointment to the KFB Board of Directors in 1989, then was elected vice president in 2002 and made the decision to retire in 2011. Today, she still serves Kansas Farm Bureau as a board member for KFB’s Foundation for Agriculture.
The organization also presented 13 Friends of Agriculture awards. This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Kansas Farm Bureau and agriculture. They included:
• Erik Atkinson, Wabaunsee County, has worked in the agriculture industry throughout the last 40 years. He now hosts “Agriculture Today” for the K-State Radio Network to inform Kansans on leading agricultural topics.
• Stacey Forshee, Cloud County, has served agriculture for 30 years in various roles throughout Kansas Farm Bureau, including on KFB’s Board of Directors, as YF&R State Committee Chair, District Resolutions Chair and an Ag Advisory Board member. She has always committed herself to advocating on behalf of farm families.
• Herschel George, Miami County, started his career in agriculture 50 years ago. He has served as a 4-H extension agent and a watershed specialist, educating farmers on strategies concerning water supply. Throughout his career, he has provided expert advice to many in the industry.
• Rick McNary, Butler County, is a published author, photographer and global hunger expert. He also founded the Facebook group “Shop Kansas Farms,” which has become an avenue for consumers to connect with local farmers. Although not directly engaged in farming, Rick is an avid ag supporter through his passion to combat hunger.
• Keith Miller, Barton County, has served agriculture for more than 45 years. He is a third-generation farmer and raises wheat, alfalfa, milo, corn and soybeans. He served on KFB’s board of directors for 17 years and continues to serve agriculture as a commissioner for the Kansas Soybean Commission. Keith is a devout Farm Bureau member and his contributions to the industry are greatly appreciated.
• Laura Moffet, Rooks County, is dedicated to educating youth about the importance of agriculture in our world by planning events such as Bushels for Backpacks and Ag in the Classroom. Along with her educational outreach efforts, she has served as the Rooks County Farm Bureau coordinator for several years.
• Joe Newland, Wilson County, is a dedicated agriculturalist, farming more than 2,800 acres of wheat, corn, soybeans and hay, as well as managing a 300 head cow/calf herd. He was elected to KFB’s board of directors in 2011 and resigned in 2019 to replace Representative Larry Hibbard who retired from the Kansas 13th House District. He’s served as president of the Wilson County Farm Bureau board, on the state Resolutions Committee and volunteered on various school and bank boards.
• Barbara Roux, Harvey County, has committed her career to preparing youth in the agriculture industry to be successful in life by serving the Kansas 4-H where she worked as an extension agent and coach. She also served on the Harvey County Farm Bureau Board for 10 years.
• Harland Rupp, Ellis and Barton counties, has worked for 23 years to help Ellis and Barton counties with their agricultural accomplishments. He worked alongside K-State Research and Extension to develop the first Farm Safety Day and Kids Ag Day for students in both counties.
• Randol Walker, Shawnee County, has made many contributions to agriculture throughout the last 47 years. He’s been a member of the K-State Extension board and held several roles in Shawnee County Farm Bureau. Walker has also spoken at numerous county commission meetings on local agricultural issues.
Jay Overmiller, Smith County, received the Kansas Farm Bureau National Resources Award. This award goes to the farm family who exemplifies good land stewardship. Jay and his family operate a fourth-generation farm and grow wheat, soybeans and milo on 2,500 acres of side hills. The Overmillers use no-till techniques and implement vigilant soil testing, as well as utilize Conservation Security Program buffers to filter chemicals from field runoffs and provide a habitat for wildlife. The family has also planted nearly 300 trees and bushes over the last two years to increase water filtration and add more nutrients to the soil. Jay’s ongoing passion is to preserve the land he tends so the next generation of Overmillers can continue to protect their natural resources.
Ray Will received the Kansas Farm Bureau Partnership Award. This award recognizes someone from Farm Bureau Financial Services (FBFS) who has gone above and beyond for the state’s largest farm organization. Ray is a Business Center Director for FBFS with both underwriting and claims staff oversight. He has been a tremendous partner for KFB and helps ensure members have a positive claims and underwriting experience.