KFB honors members, friends at 104th annual meeting

MANHATTAN — Kansas Farm Bureau (KFB) recognized members and supporters at its 104th annual meeting, Dec. 4-5 in Manhattan.

KFB presented two Kansans with Distinguished Service awards for their exemplary contributions to agriculture in the state.

Eric Atkinson, Wabaunsee County, was honored for his almost 40 years of service sharing news and information with Kansas farmers and ranchers across the airwaves as host of “Agriculture Today,” Kansas State University Research and Extension’s daily radio program. Eric recently unplugged his microphone to spend more time on his farm. Atkinson joined K-State’s KSAC radio station in 1983. Once there he brought agricultural experts directly to the folks who needed the pertinent information through more than 9,000 shows and never missed an opportunity to bring useful topics and news to Kansas farmers and ranchers.

Gregg Doud, a Jewell County native, has given a lifetime of service to the agriculture industry. Starting with being raised on a dryland wheat, grain sorghum, soybean, swine and cow-calf operation, to representing farmers and ranchers in the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative as Chief Agricultural Negotiator with the rank of U.S. Ambassador. He was one of the primary architects of the U.S.-China “Phase One” trade agreement. He previously served as president of the Commodity Markets Council, senior staff member for the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee where he helped craft the 2012 Senate Farm Bill and chief economist for the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. Doud is now a vice president and chief economist at Aimpoint Research. He lives with his family on their horse farm in Maryland.

The organization also presented four Friends of Agriculture awards. This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to Kansas Farm Bureau and agriculture. They are:

Kenneth Allen Campbell Jr., Franklin County, has worked tirelessly to advocate for agriculture as a board member and president of Franklin County Farm Bureau. Campbell has worked with the local food policy council to raise money to help those in need while also connecting with local farmers markets to provide education to area consumers.

Margaret Goering, Harvey County, began serving the agriculture industry 54 years ago. She’s impacted the future of agriculture by mentoring 4-H members, hosting farm tours and was Harvey County Farm Bureau’s first female president in 2014. Goering has also provided livestock to small farmers in Mexico and educated them on care practices.

Marieta Hauser, Grant County, has served farmers, her local community and the state of Kansas for 30 years. With a passion to advocate for the agricultural industry, Hauser has contributed to Kansas Farm Bureau on county, state and national levels holding various positions including as a member of the Grant County Farm Bureau, nine years as the Women’s Leadership chair and time on American Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee. She’s also served on the Resolutions Committee, was the Outstanding Young Farm Woman in 1988 and was honored as a Farm Family winner in 1995.

Robert Keener, Ellis County, was a strong advocate for agriculture for 23 years. Before passing in the fall of 2021, he was an assistant professor at Fort Hays State University. He felt his greatest achievement was the relationships he built with students. He served as a volunteer for the Ellis County Farm Bureau Kids Ag Days, often bringing college students to the event so they could present to the children attending. Keener’s life impacted the future of the agriculture industry through his dedication and service to growing youth leaders.

Jay Young, Greeley County, received the Kansas Farm Bureau Natural Resources Award, which goes to the farm family who exemplifies good land stewardship. Young grows wheat, corn and milo and raises Red Angus cattle on the High Plains. As the fifth generation on the family farm, Young knows he has to strike a balance between caring for the land and making a profit. He’s used cover crops to increase water infiltration and biological activity in his soil while reducing the amount of synthetic phosphorus and nitrogen by applying a homemade compost extract.

Jim Waters, Pottawatomie County, 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. In his role as an agent, Waters has participated on various committees and he embodies the Farm Bureau brand every day in all aspects of his life.

Derek Nester
Derek Nesterhttp://www.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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