BREAKING
First positive case of COVID-19 confirmed in Barton County
The Barton County Health Department reported the first confirmed positive case of coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) in Barton County. Testing was confirmed on Monday, March 30 at 11 a.m.
Full Story
By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Great Bend youth wows at BCCD Banquet
Last minute fill-in for Fugitt mesmerizes
new_vlc_Jadynce Schroeder performing.jpg
Jadynce Schroeder, Great Bend, stepped in as the entertainment at the Barton County Conservation District annual banquet Thursday night at the request of her aunt, a board member. She filled in for singer Ricky Fugitt, and wowed the audience with her performance skills.

HOISINGTON — When it was announced that the entertainer for the 2020 Barton County Conservation District annual meeting, country singer Ricky Fugitt, had to cancel at the last minute because he caught the flu, sighs of disappointment could be heard. When it was further announced that a 12-year-old girl would take his place, playing guitar and singing, eyes rolled, and the crowd prepared to listen politely. When Jadynce Schroeder was introduced, and proceeded to sing one country music ballad after another, those gathered at the banquet began to realize that they were witnessing something truly rare and great.  

Jadynce Schroeder may be only 12, but already has her performance chops. It turns out she’s only been playing guitar for a year now, but it’s not the instrument that wowed the crowd. It’s her voice that stands out. And as her set neared the end, and no one could imagine being any more delighted, she saved the best for last. 

Schroeder performed a song she wrote herself, “Not Today,” which addressed bullying. The simple yet poignant lyrics have the power to immediately bring listeners back to the schoolyard, and feel the emotions of fear, sadness and frustration, as well as gratitude in finding a friend when they’re at their lowest. 

Jadynce Schroeder performing "Not Today."

Jadynce Schroeder, 12 of Great Bend, wowed those attending the 2020 Barton County Conservation District annual banquet Thursday night with her performance of "Not Today," which she wrote herself. The young singer and songwriter was an unexpected surprise to most who had never before seen her perform.

The performance garnered the Great Bend youth a standing ovation from the nearly 80 guests at the banquet. 

“This young lady’s talent is something Barton County should be proud of,” said a stunned Tom Burns, president of the BCCD. 

Crystal Schroeder is Jadynce’s mother. She and husband Brian encouraged Jadynce with voice lessons and later guitar lessons when she began showing interest in performing. Jadynce is a student of Glenna Gaunt, owner of Gaunt’s Music Studio, and will be performing in the Barton Community College musical production of “Cinderella” in March as a member of the ensemble. 

Gaunt brings in master class teachers to work with students, Crystal said. One of these teachers was familiar with Music Theater Wichita, and encouraged her to audition for a show. She has since performed in two productions, “The Little Mermaid” and “Newsies.” 

new_vlc_Jadynce Schroeder side view.jpg
Jadynce Schroeder, Great Bend, stepped in as the entertainment at the Barton County Conservation District annual banquet Thursday night at the request of her aunt, a board member. She filled in for singer Ricky Fugitt, and wowed the audience with her performance skills.

Jadynce enjoys music theater, but her goal is to be a professional singer, Crystal said. She began working with Patrick McCluskey, learning to play the guitar around a year ago. 

Her parents are committed to helping her any way they can, Crystal said, but it’s up to Jadynce to open doors. 

When BCCD board member Melissa Woydziak, Jadynce’s aunt, contacted Crystal in a panic Thursday afternoon, she was excited for the opportunity to help out. Opening doors does not appear to be a problem. 

Bankers Awards presented at Barton County Conservation District annual meeting and banquet

HOISINGTON — Thursday night, three Bankers Conservation Awards were presented at the Barton County Conservation District annual meeting and banquet by Barton County Key Banker Shane Dicks and Cottonwood Extension Agent Alicia Boor. 

Tim and Stephanie Maier, rural Galatia, received the Soil Conservation Award, John and Tammy Sturn, Ellinwood, received the Solar Energy Award, and Dale and Billie Kuhlman, rural Great Bend, received the Water Quantity Conservation Award. 

Erika Brining delivered the 2019 Financial Report, and BCCD Director Sara Martinz provided the District Annual Report. Farm Service Agency County Executive Director Kristi Badger and Natural Resources Conservation Service representatives Brad Shank, Supervisory District Conservationist, and Jamie Holopirek, District Conservationist, presented updates on farm programs, as well as the 2019 Conservation Annual Report. 

Badger reminded attendees that the final deadline for sign up for the PRC program is March 15, and deadline for CRP general sign up is Feb. 28. The FSA County Committee is seeking nominees for the election in the fall, she added. 

Holopirek and Shank reported there were 22 new Environmental Quality Incentives Program contracts signed in Barton County in 2019, amounting to $1.1 million, and nine CSP projects that will bring $400,000 to the county over the next five years. They urged attendees to take a look at the many NRCS and EQIP opportunities available to them. 

An election was held, with two new board members elected. Bruce Coons, rural Great Bend, who was appointed to fill a vacant seat in 2019, will serve a three-year term. Tim Maier was nominated from the floor when Melissa Woydziak announced she would be stepping down to pursue other interests. He, too, will serve for three years.