Farmer Rancher appreciation banquet recognizes producers | TheFencePost.com

Farmer Rancher appreciation banquet recognizes producers

Robyn Scherer, M.Agr.
Staff Reporter

The Allen family receives their award at the 48th annual farmer/rancher appreciation banquet held in North Platte, Neb., on November 7. From left to right: Dennis Schilz, Misty Klug, Ted Klug, Mark Allen, Steward Allen and Kathy Allen.

It was an evening of fun, fellowship and food at the annual Farmer Rancher Appreciation Banquet, held last Monday at the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte, Neb.

The event was held to honor agricultural producers in Lincoln county, recognize two area students with a scholarship, and award the 2011 Tree Planting award.

Over 300 producers and sponsors attended the event. “We want to thank the ag producers,” said Philip Charlton, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Committee. “They have the biggest economic impact on this area of Nebraska. Without their hard work and dedication our economy here wouldn’t be where it is now. It’s a great time to be in ag. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

After a meal of chicken fried steak, salad and green beans, the awards were presented. Todd Hansen from Welfleet and Axsel Wiseman from Hershey were presented with $1,000 awards to be used towards further education.

“The Committee feels strongly that agriculture is a vital part of our “quality of life,” and hopes these scholarships will encourage our young people to consider making their living not only in agriculture, but here in Nebraska as well,” according to the Agri-Business committee.

To be eligible, the students had to be seniors that were pursuing degrees in fields related to agriculture. One of the winners, Axsel Wiseman, is not pursuing a traditional agricultural major, but plans to use his engineering degree in agriculture.

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“I want to be able to design new planters, and find out ways to conserve water and use our resources the best we can for agriculture,” said Wiseman. He plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincon or the Colorado School of Mines for engineering.

His parents, Sara and Bob Wiseman, couldn’t be more proud. “It means a lot to us. The amount of money they raised for the ag students is really nice. I appreciate that they support Axsel even though he isn’t a traditional ag major,” said Sara Wiseman.

After the scholarships, the 2011 Tree Planting Award, provided by the Twin Platte Natural Resources District, was given to Whitewater, Inc.

According to the information provided at the banquet, “The Twin Platte Natural Resources District provides technical and cost-share assistance to encourage landowners and land managers in the conservation of our natural resources, which are so valuable to all of us. Our continuing partnership with the farmers and ranchers in the District will help ensure that we reach our common goals.”

Whitewater, Inc., is a ranch in Arthur and McPherson counties, and was established in 1884. It is owned and operated by Steward and Kathy Allen, Mark Allen, Matt and Audra Allen and their children Kegan, Kaleb and Kirsten. The business is headquartered in Lincoln County.

They have a cowherd, and calves are sold as yearlings. They also have a registered quarter horse operation.

In 1978, a tree planting program was implemented to build windbreaks for livestock. Three strips were planted in areas where the cows were wintered and calved. In 2010 and 2011, additional strips were planted to help reduce wind erosion, and expand the wind protection.

“It has been a pleasure working with the Natural Resources District staff. Our goals as landowners are to improve the efficiency of the ranching operation, protect our natural resources, provide wildlife habitat, and enhance the quality of the land. We are fortunate to have these programs available in order to make it possible to achieve these goals and look forward to additional projects in the future,” said the Allen Family.

To conclude the evening, Cal Siegfried, a native Nebraskan, provided entertainment. Siegfried is from Danberry, Neb., and has experience in banking, cattle, and currently works in the meat industry.

“I thought the entertainment tonight was very good. I enjoy the fellowship with people, because some of them I don’t see any time of the year but here,” said Vernon Waits, a cattle producer. Waits runs 900 pairs on 16,000 acres in Western Neb.

His ranch is a family operation, and he enjoys working in agriculture. “It’s a good feeling. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t do it,” he said.

Harlen and Barbra Grunden, who run 300 cow/calf pairs, understand the importance of recognizing ag producers, and helping students.

“We are getting to be a rare breed,” said Barbra Grunden, “There aren’t a lot of young kids going back into ag, so it’s nice to see a scholarship given to encourage them to come back to the ranch.”

The Grundens sat with the Morgans, who run 250 pairs on 3,000 acres in McPherson County, and also run a catering business called Bunk House Creations. The Morgan family consisted of Sue and John Morgan, and daughters Megan and Amanda.

“It’s nice for the businesses to acknowledge the producers, and for us to sit down on a one-on-one basis and get to know people outside of the business or ranch,” said Sue Morgan.

It was an evening of fun, fellowship and food at the annual Farmer Rancher Appreciation Banquet, held last Monday at the Sandhills Convention Center in North Platte, Neb.

The event was held to honor agricultural producers in Lincoln county, recognize two area students with a scholarship, and award the 2011 Tree Planting award.

Over 300 producers and sponsors attended the event. “We want to thank the ag producers,” said Philip Charlton, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce Agri-Business Committee. “They have the biggest economic impact on this area of Nebraska. Without their hard work and dedication our economy here wouldn’t be where it is now. It’s a great time to be in ag. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

After a meal of chicken fried steak, salad and green beans, the awards were presented. Todd Hansen from Welfleet and Axsel Wiseman from Hershey were presented with $1,000 awards to be used towards further education.

“The Committee feels strongly that agriculture is a vital part of our “quality of life,” and hopes these scholarships will encourage our young people to consider making their living not only in agriculture, but here in Nebraska as well,” according to the Agri-Business committee.

To be eligible, the students had to be seniors that were pursuing degrees in fields related to agriculture. One of the winners, Axsel Wiseman, is not pursuing a traditional agricultural major, but plans to use his engineering degree in agriculture.

“I want to be able to design new planters, and find out ways to conserve water and use our resources the best we can for agriculture,” said Wiseman. He plans on attending the University of Nebraska-Lincon or the Colorado School of Mines for engineering.

His parents, Sara and Bob Wiseman, couldn’t be more proud. “It means a lot to us. The amount of money they raised for the ag students is really nice. I appreciate that they support Axsel even though he isn’t a traditional ag major,” said Sara Wiseman.

After the scholarships, the 2011 Tree Planting Award, provided by the Twin Platte Natural Resources District, was given to Whitewater, Inc.

According to the information provided at the banquet, “The Twin Platte Natural Resources District provides technical and cost-share assistance to encourage landowners and land managers in the conservation of our natural resources, which are so valuable to all of us. Our continuing partnership with the farmers and ranchers in the District will help ensure that we reach our common goals.”

Whitewater, Inc., is a ranch in Arthur and McPherson counties, and was established in 1884. It is owned and operated by Steward and Kathy Allen, Mark Allen, Matt and Audra Allen and their children Kegan, Kaleb and Kirsten. The business is headquartered in Lincoln County.

They have a cowherd, and calves are sold as yearlings. They also have a registered quarter horse operation.

In 1978, a tree planting program was implemented to build windbreaks for livestock. Three strips were planted in areas where the cows were wintered and calved. In 2010 and 2011, additional strips were planted to help reduce wind erosion, and expand the wind protection.

“It has been a pleasure working with the Natural Resources District staff. Our goals as landowners are to improve the efficiency of the ranching operation, protect our natural resources, provide wildlife habitat, and enhance the quality of the land. We are fortunate to have these programs available in order to make it possible to achieve these goals and look forward to additional projects in the future,” said the Allen Family.

To conclude the evening, Cal Siegfried, a native Nebraskan, provided entertainment. Siegfried is from Danberry, Neb., and has experience in banking, cattle, and currently works in the meat industry.

“I thought the entertainment tonight was very good. I enjoy the fellowship with people, because some of them I don’t see any time of the year but here,” said Vernon Waits, a cattle producer. Waits runs 900 pairs on 16,000 acres in Western Neb.

His ranch is a family operation, and he enjoys working in agriculture. “It’s a good feeling. If I didn’t like it I wouldn’t do it,” he said.

Harlen and Barbra Grunden, who run 300 cow/calf pairs, understand the importance of recognizing ag producers, and helping students.

“We are getting to be a rare breed,” said Barbra Grunden, “There aren’t a lot of young kids going back into ag, so it’s nice to see a scholarship given to encourage them to come back to the ranch.”

The Grundens sat with the Morgans, who run 250 pairs on 3,000 acres in McPherson County, and also run a catering business called Bunk House Creations. The Morgan family consisted of Sue and John Morgan, and daughters Megan and Amanda.

“It’s nice for the businesses to acknowledge the producers, and for us to sit down on a one-on-one basis and get to know people outside of the business or ranch,” said Sue Morgan.