A Cowboy’s Faith: Specialness of honored colleague

buchmanhead“He’s the farmer’s best friend.”

It’s the lead in a news story, and accurate statement.

Our colleague largely responsible for direction life’s taken.

Kelly Lenz is the farm director at WIBW, and most everybody in Kansas knows him.

Serving radio and television listeners more than four decades, Kelly reports agriculture news and markets.

That’s expected. What’s unique is how Kelly presents the information impacting well beyond farmers and ranchers.

Agriculture is the most important industry everyone depends on, because farmers produce their food.

Growing up on an Iowa family farm, Kelly knows the business from the field to grocery store checkout.

While milking cows, planting and cultivating corn along with scoop shovel chores that his Dad and Mom demanded, the transistor radio received as a 10-year-old created a fascination which would become Kelly’s future.

But, the farm boy wasn’t a natural speaker. It was Sister Cecelia, his teacher, who insisted he prepare and present a radio program, which rated Kelly a scholarship to study broadcasting.

It was perfect fit, blooming on Iowa radio; Kelly came to Kansas in 1978.

Moving was despite reservations, quickly overcome when Kelly found out how good the fishing was, and that the Flint Hills provided cattle industry like none other.

In acknowledgement of a lifetime of service to farmers, ranchers and all those who consume their production, Kelly Lenz has been inducted into the Kansas Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Just the state’s third farm director named to such distinction.

Careers matched Kelly with us. He shared the agriculture word airwaves while we in print, for more than three decades.

Often, we’d meet at farm functions, converse personal industry take, and coverage thereof. Personal writings frequently reported programs Kelly coordinated.

A lifelong avid WIBW listener, our dedication expanded when Kelly took agriculture reins. Print corrections, immediate updates, and personal events were guided to WIBW through Kelly.

Upon our abrupt firing from print profession, grapevine informed Kelly, who within four days was entirely instrumental positioning us for a radio career.

Indebtedness to our mentor, hero is eternal: Thanks Kelly.

Reminds us of Isaiah 54:14: “What a mentor for all generations.” So, First Corinthians 2:9: “We gratefully recognize the benefits that have been bestowed.” Actually, Luke 17:16: “We couldn’t thank him enough.” Thus, First Thessalonians 5:18: “For this is the will of God.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.


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