Kansas Farm Bureau, members receive national honors at AFBF convention


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MANHATTAN – Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) received on Sunday the Pinnacle Award, the highest honor a state Farm Bureau can be awarded for program and membership achievement at the American Farm Bureau Federation’s (AFBF) 104th convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

KFB also won the New Horizon Award, which celebrates the most innovative new state Farm Bureau programs for the Casten Fellows program honoring the life of Jill Casten-Downing and her love Kansas, agriculture, leadership development and international travel.

“I couldn’t be more proud of the work Kansas Farm Bureau does on behalf of our members to protect and enhance agriculture,” Joe Newland, KFB president, says. “The Pinnacle and New Horizon awards showcase the dedication of our organization’s leadership, membership and our implementation of forward-thinking ideas.”

Kansas won Awards of Excellence in all four program areas: Advocacy, Coalitions & Partnerships, Engagement & Outreach and Leadership & Business Development.

In addition, Newland was elected to serve on the AFBF board of directors representing the Midwest region and Marieta Hauser, Grant County, was reelected to the AFBF Women’s Leadership Committee.

Farm Dog of the Year

Jackson County Farm Bureau members Denny and Donna Ashcraft were awarded the 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year award. Their farm dog, Tough, is a 14-year-old Border Collie and has helped the Ashcrafts on their livestock operation since she was 2.

“We’re very excited to partner with Purina for the fifth annual Farm Dog of the Year contest, providing the public a look into daily life on the farm,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “Farmers and ranchers love what they do, but it can be stressful, even on the best days. Because farm dogs often play a dual role as both working dogs and companions to farm families, they can help ease the burden.”

Purina donated prizes for the contest again this year. This included $5,000 in prize money, a trophy plate, a year’s supply of Pro-Plan dog food and other Purina products for Tough.

For more about Tough and the Ashcrafts, watch this video.

Ag Innovation

The Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, now in its ninth year, provides opportunities for Farm Bureau members to showcase business innovations being developed for agriculture. Austin Hausmann, a Farm Bureau member in Kansas, won this year’s challenge with his company, NORDEF. The company received $50,000 in prize money to continue developing technology capable of producing diesel exhaust fluid at the point of use. DEF is injected into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles to break down emissions to meet Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Distinguished Service

Kansas native Dale Moore was honored with AFBF’s highest individual honor, the Distinguished Service Award. Moore is a former AFBF executive vice president, spending his career serving as a champion for agriculture in the public and private sectors where he helped shape seven farm bills.

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Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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