Each year, Farm Bureau members from across the state attend the Kansas Farm Bureau Annual Meeting held in Manhattan. This year’s meeting was held December 2-4 and was the 105th year. The policies adopted become the organization’s road map for the 2024 legislative session.
The ninth district which includes Finney, Grant, Greeley, Hamilton, Haskell, Kearny, Morton, Seward, Stanton, Stevens and Wichita, have their own breakout session as a way to network with counties in their area and recognize the counties for their hard work the past year.
Hamilton County received the ninth district traveling trophy which was selected by Kori Davis, 9th District Field Services Manager and Jim Sipes, 9th district KFB Board Member. Local Hamilton County Farm Bureau Association board members include Darrin DeWitt, Casey Finlay, Hugh Brownlee, Krista Norton, Brittani Bennett, Spencer Durler, Clayton Wharton, Scot Schwieterman, and Randy Levens. County Coordinator is Mackenzie Simon.
Davis and Sipes felt Hamilton County stood out for their work in having voting delegate representation at state annual meeting, participation in district policy meetings, working with Farm Bureau Financial Services agent Sarah Schwieterman and her staff, donating Kailey’s Ag books for Red Ribbon week, Pedal Pull at the Hamilton County Fair, Young Farmers and Ranchers Jackpot Bowling, YF&R attendees at state YF&R conference, Membership Appreciation in May during Beef Month, participation in safety poster contest, and inviting legislators to County Annual Meeting.
HCFB President Darrin DeWitt is proud of the board of directors for the volunteer hours put in to receive the award. “It takes a great amount of time and effort to put together the events throughout the year. It’s great to see the next generation getting involved and engaging the youth of the county because the main reason we received this award was our work with the younger generation.”
The board donated a K-State yard sign for the Women’s Leadership Committee’s silent auction held throughout the annual meeting which contributed $186.00 toward the total $6,200 raised for mental health resources available within the agriculture community.
Local FFA chapter was approached about making a KSU yard sign and according to FFA sponsor Clayton Wharton, they were happy to assist!
Wharton designed the sign, and the students did the rest. “They built the frame, sandblasted it, and with the assistance of Jed Simon, powder coated the sign,” said Wharton, “The kids were excited to give back to an organization that is so supportive of the younger population in our community.”
Jed is USD 494’s instructor for Ag Power and Metals I and II.
Each year, the KFB annual meeting kicks off with the Saturday night Kansas Farm Bureau Foundation’s annual fundraiser benefiting the End Hunger campaign. This year’s event was “Cousin Eddie’s Christmas Party” and raised more than $18,000.
Attendees were encouraged to wear ugly Christmas sweaters and there was a costume contest for those who dressed as any of the characters of the movie.
They also watched the movie and would stop periodically to have a sing along. Besides the costume contest there was a trivia contest with a few folks who got on stage and then attendees played Bingo during the movie for prizes.
Throughout the two-day conference, attendees have an opportunity to visit the trade show and attend agriculture-related workshops and speakers, including a keynote from award-winning broadcaster and storyteller Larry Hatteberg.
Workshops included topics like farm safety, water, membership recruitment and retention, mental health, ag education, succession planning, and more.
But it is not all fun and games, nearly 400 members in attendance had an important business meeting on Monday, which wraps up the annual meeting. Two members from the HCFB board, Darrin DeWitt and Hugh Brownlee, were voting delegates in attendance.
Pottawatomie County farmer Glenn Brunkow was elected vice president. Stanton County resident, Jim Sipes was reelected to the board of directors representing the ninth district.
The American Farm Bureau Federation and Kansas Farm Bureau staff members provided an update to members on several issues important to agriculture, including passing a new farm bill.
The policies adopted during the meeting become the organization’s road map for the 2024 legislative session. Topics of discussion included economic development, agricultural credit, and energy production and transmission.
Pictured Darrin DeWitt received trophy from Jim Sipes
/photo courtesy of HCFB facebook (Marieta Hauser)
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