Category Archives: People

Nominating commission to interview nominees for Osage County magistrate judge vacancy

LYNDON, Kan. – The 4th Judicial District Nominating Commission will convene May 9, 2018, to interview five nominees to fill a district magistrate judge vacancy in Osage County.

The vacancy was created when the former magistrate, Taylor J. Wine, was appointed as district judge and chief judge of the 4th Judicial District.

The commission will convene at 9 a.m. in the Osage County Courthouse, 717 Topeka Ave., Lyndon, Kan. Interviews are open to the public.

The 4th Judicial District is composed of Osage, Anderson, Coffey, and Franklin counties.
The nominees to be interviewed are:

  • Jennifer Jolene Friend, non-attorney, Fredonia.
  • Bryan K. Joy, attorney, Burlington.
  • Robert Wayne Lattin, attorney, Independence.
  • Elizabeth Lee Oliver, attorney, Baldwin City.
  • Shannon D. Rush, attorney, Osage City.

A nominee for district magistrate judge must be a graduate of a high school, a secondary school, or the equivalent; a resident of Osage County at the time of taking office and while holding office; and either a lawyer admitted to practice in Kansas, or able to pass an examination given by the Supreme Court to become certified within 18 months.

MdCV FFA celebrates year of successes with annual banquet

New and retiring officers of the MdCV FFA include, front from left, Josey Weimer, Kali Holt, Brookelyn Janssen, Chloe Volkman, Bayleigh Lacey, Kathryn Vaught, Alaina Marsh, Grace Bradely; back, Frank Warner, Dalton Hook, and Koby Vanderpool.

By Grace Bradley

On Thursday, April 12, 2018, the Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA chapter hosted its annual chapter banquet at the Melvern Community Center. Chapter treasurer Kali Holt opened the banquet with the invocation, which was then followed by the yearly potluck dinner.

This year’s president, Josey Weimer, spoke on behalf of the chapter in welcoming everyone to the banquet and thanking the chapter for a year full of achievements and plenty of activities that kept the MdCV chapter busy.

Sharon Thielen was keynote speaker at the MdCV FFA banquet.

Chloe Volkman, MdCV FFA secretary,  introduced this year’s guest speaker, Sharon Thielen, an MdCV graduate and former FFA member. Thielen spoke about how FFA played a major role in influencing the career path she chose to take on and how the lessons she learned through FFA were lessons she will continue to pass on. Thielen’s message not only spoke to the FFA kids in the room but it spoke to the adults in the room as well. Her main lesson to the crowd was, “To never skip a step.” Meaning, do not just jump to the good parts of life, take every step, even the tough ones.

The banquet gives chapter advisor Danny Rice a chance every year to recognize the personal achievements of the FFA students, and announce scholarships awarded to senior members. For the class of 2018, senior Jevan Gregg received the Hometown Agriculture Scholarship. The Don Lichtenauer Family Scholarship was awarded to Dalton Hook, who also received the Marais des Cygnes Valley FFA Scholarship along with Josey Weimer and Kali Holt. Scholarships were also awarded to three sophomores who will be attending the Washington Leadership Conference in June that is held in Washington, D.C. Bayleigh Lacey and Grace Bradley were awarded the Lehning Scholarship, and receiving the Casten Memorial Scholarship was Kaelin Criqui.

Over the course of the year students accumulate points by participating in activities for the sweepstakes award. This year the top five winners were Kali Holt, Bayleigh Lacey, Chloe Volkman, Kaelin Criqui, and Josey Weimer. For the Greenhands, the winners were Colby Vogeler, Izzy Toman, and Sadie McGowin. The Proficiency Award winners for this school year were Dalton Hook in beef production, Josey Weimer in outdoor recreation, and Kali Holt in veterinary science. Each year two Star Greenhands are chosen for the integrity and work they put into excelling in the FFA program – this year Sadie McGowin and Izzy Toman were chosen as the chapter’s star Greenhands.

One of the highest honors in the Kansas FFA Association is the State Degree. Only three percent of the state’s membership are awarded this honor. Three MdCV FFA members were given this honor recognizing their outstanding involvement in the FFA: Josey Weimer, Dalton Hook and Kali Holt.

Friends of the Burlingame Community Library plan annual meeting, author presentation

The annual meeting of the Friends of the Burlingame Community Library will be held Saturday, April 21, 2018, at the Schuyler Community Center, 218 W. Fremont, Burlingame, Kan. Everyone is invited to attend a presentation by local author Anna Hefley at 7 p.m., and make reservations for dinner to be served at 6 p.m.

“I Love You Bigger Than the World” is a poetic conversation written by Anna Hefley to honor her young son.

Reservations can be made until April 13 for the dinner of pork chop, baked potato, green beans, slaw, dessert, dinner roll, coffee and tea, for $12 per plate. Make reservations at the library, 122 W. Santa Fe Ave., Burlingame, or by mailing name, phone number, and number of dinners to Friends of the Library, 133 W. Lincoln St., Burlingame, KS 66413. Checks should be made to Friends of the Library.

Speaker for the evening will be Hefley, an Overbrook resident and author. She is a mother, full-time preschool para-educator, and part-time substitute teacher of grades pre-K through high school. She is a lifelong resident of Kansas, where she enjoys her home in the country and loves her supportive small-town community. She is working on her MA in English at Emporia State University and will graduate in May 2018.

Lyndon Leaders sample international cuisine

Lyndon Leaders show off their delicious international food dishes. Shoup photo.

By Garrett Shoup
Club Reporter

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had their monthly meeting on April 8, 2018. The meeting started with roll call of “What’s your favorite Easter candy?”

During new business, the club voted to pay $100 per 4-H member wanting to attend camp and that met the requirements for the club scholarship application. So far there are at least five members from the club planning to attend camp.

The parent committee announced the club met on March 18 to add soil to the landscaping and wall project on Topeka Avenue. They also discussed that the weed guard and river rock would be finished in the upcoming week. All the club has left to do is start planting plants.

Next was the program, which included a demonstration by Josye Hutchroft on how to make oobleck. Following this, Kendall Young and Morgan Gross gave a presentation on how to play the trumpet.

The meeting ended with each member sharing their international food dish they prepared for the club to sample. The members agreed that this is their favorite meeting of the year because it is so exciting to anticipate what each member will bring!

The next meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. June 10, at the Kneisler farm, for the Lyndon Leaders’ annual potluck dinner, farm tour and project show.

Hogline BBQ heads home to Minnesota as Smoke in the Spring’s grand champion

Hogline BBQ team of Mary and Dustin Reese accepts the grand champion awards from Corey Linton.

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Barbecue teams stoked their cookers all night long Friday, fighting cold wintery winds to cook up the best of the best for Saturday’s 15th annual Smoke in the Spring State BBQ Championship, at Osage City, Kan. Cooks reported a miserable night of cooking, while the next day some judges complained of tough ribs, but others praised the brisket as “the best they’d ever tasted.”

Hogline BBQ and its head cook, Dustin Reese, of Owatonna, Minn., captured the top score – and the judges’ palates – to take home the grand championship prize of $3,000. The team’s win took away bragging rights from the defending two-time Smoke in the Spring championship team of the Clark Crew BBQ and Travis Clark, of Yukon, Okla.

4 Legs Up BBQ, with head cook Kelly Wertz, of Great Bend, Kan., turned in the second best scored samples to take reserve grand champion and the $1,500 prize money.

Hogline BBQ’s chicken sample shot the team to the top with a perfect 180 score and first place in that category. The team also took home extra prize money in two other categories, placing ninth in brisket and ninth in pork, but turned in one non-prize winner at 31st in ribs.

4 Legs Up BBQ won reserve champion by taking third in brisket, 10th in pork, and finishing just out of the money at 16th in both chicken and ribs.

While no longer Smoke in the Spring’s grand champion, Clark Crew BBQ still took home prize money, finishing sixth place overall with fourth in brisket, fifth in ribs, 12th in chicken, and 42nd in pork.

Lyndon Leaders cook up plans for International Foods Night

By Garrett Shoup, Club Reporter

Lyndon Leaders participate in a team building activity.

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had its monthly meeting on March 11, 2018. The meeting started with roll call of “What are you doing for spring break?”

During new business, the club voted to host their second annual International Foods Night, when members will make a dish, announce where it originated from, and allow everyone to sample it. This will take place during the April meeting.

The parent committee announced the club will be having a work day on March 18 at noon, to add soil to the landscaping in front of the wall project on main street.

The program included Brynna Peterson giving a demonstration on how to make your own slime.

The meeting ended with a team building activity, led by the Wise family. Groups had to get a chewy lifesaver around a gummy worm, without touching it with their hands and using limited supplies.

The next Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. April 8, in the Lyndon High School cafeteria.

Hidden History: Burlingame’s ‘Aunt Emily’ endeared for her strength and virtue

By Wendi Bevitt

You probably haven’t heard of her, but Aunt Emily Ford was one of the most beloved citizens of Burlingame, Kansas. At a time when prejudice and segregation ran rampant throughout most of the country, the color line however did not exist for Aunt Emily in her adopted community, and she held a special place of honor and respect there.

Aunt Emily Ford was a spry little figure, with toil-scarred hands and a kindly face. “To know her [was] to love her” and later in her life, the local newspapers would run lengthy articles on the occasion of her birthday celebrating her many years, or an interview inquiring about her past.

“I shouldn’t think anyone would want to hear about slaves and slavery,” she said, but the reply was, “Yes, but everyone especially those of the younger generation know little of slavery and such an article would be of interest to the readers.”

This is her story.

Emily was born in North Carolina in 1813. Her family was owned by a family named White. The Whites treated their slaves harshly and used them for hard manual labor clearing trees and grubbing out shrubs when they moved to Tennessee.

As was the custom for slave owners, when Mr. White’s daughter was married to a man by the name of Farmer, she was given Emily as part of her dowry. Emily was two years older than her new mistress, and the two had shared a childhood together. Because of this familiarity, Emily found herself in a much more hospitable environment in her new home. Emily served as a cook in the Farmer household. The family moved to the Springfield, Missouri, area in 1837. It was there that she was allowed to marry another local slave, Daniel Ford.

When the area was invaded by Union soldiers in 1861, the Union forces freed slaves on the farms they encountered. Daniel Haney, of Burlingame, was with the 1st Kansas regiment when their company came upon Daniel Ford hauling potatoes in from the fields with his master’s wagon.

“Come with us to freedom!” was the call. Daniel Haney helped the Fords load all their children, earthly possessions, and even the feather mattress from the big house into the master’s wagon and the family followed the soldiers to a new life.

Their eventual arrival in Burlingame found the family without much means to start their new life. Instead of letting them remain relegated to their poor status, the people of Burlingame gave them a fair shot at success in their new life.

Osage City Kiwanis’ recycling program highlighted in national service competition

By Dave Azwell

Kiwanis International sponsors a “Signature Service Project” competition for Kiwanis Districts across the U.S. Kiwanis Clubs submit information concerning their signature service project that they perform during the year.

Each district selects one project to represent their district in the competition. Osage City Kiwanis Club has been named as the representative for the Kansas Kiwanis District in this year’s competition. The overall winner is announced at the Kiwanis International convention.

The Osage City Kiwanis’ signature service project is the operation of a weekly miscellaneous paper recycling project in conjunction with the city’s recycling program. It has been the Signature Service Project for more than 30 years.

Originally started as a last Saturday of the month citywide and surrounding area pick-up, it has expanded to twice a week pick-ups plus the Saturday pick-up. Paper is collected from local homes, businesses and anyone in the surrounding area who needs it which amounts to 10-12 miles every last Saturday per truckload and many miles locally on Monday and Friday pick-ups.

Two bins for miscellaneous papers, magazines and shredded paper are provided by the city and are located at the city maintenance yard. Osage City Kiwanis members empty the bins twice a week on Monday and Friday mornings at 7:30 a.m. into a semi trailer located in the maintenance yard. It takes approximately ½ -1 ½ hours each morning to complete the process. The city has provided two semi-trailers, used on an alternating basis – a loaded trailer is sent, an empty trailer is returned. City workers bring the bins to the trailer where club members unload them. Transportation for the loads of paper to the recycling company is provided by local trucking companies and independent drivers. The city and club provide a token payment to help defray trucking costs.

Osage City Kiwanis continues its original paper recycling service project which still functions on the last Saturday of each month starting at 9 a.m. Club members and local volunteers drive around the city and area to collect miscellaneous papers, magazines and shredded paper that have been placed at curbside.

Local Republican women can promote good government through community service

By Sue Anderson

Becky Johnson, left, former 1st vice president of the National Federation of Republican Women, was the featured speaker at the March 6 meeting of the Osage County Republican Women. Lois Butel, president of Osage County Republican Women, presented Johnson with a gift of appreciation.

The Osage County Federation of Republican Women hosted a get-acquainted meeting March 6, 2018, to introduce new members and guests to the many ways in which Republican women take an active part in the political process. Guest speaker was Becky Johnson, of Parker, Kan., who has held numerous leadership positions within both the state and federal federations, including the office of president of the Kansas Federation of Republican Women and most recently as first vice president of the National Federation of Republican Women.

Johnson addressed the importance of community service and working to increase the effectiveness of women in the cause of good government. She encouraged the club to continue its work in the Caring for America Project.

By taking an active role in the political system of our country, women can make a difference in helping both their individual communities and also political candidates on the local, state and national level. Group volunteer efforts are extremely important in reaching a larger number of voters. Johnson encouraged those in attendance to make a difference in their communities and to take full advantage of the many materials available from both NFRW and KFRW.

Local 4-H clubs make quilts for county fair – one brush stroke at a time

By Garrett Shoup, Club Reporter

Working on a barn quilt that will be auctioned at the Osage County Fair are, from left, Garrett Shoup, Leanne Shoup, Allie Kneisler and Kendall Young. Courtesy photo.

On Feb. 18, 2018, Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club members Garrett Shoup, Leanne Shoup, Allie Kneisler and Kendall Young met other 4-H club representatives at the pavilion in Osage City to work on making a barn quilt.

Each club is making its own barn quilt, which will be displayed during the Osage County Fair. The quilts will then be sold at the livestock auction at the fair, as a fundraiser for the Osage County Fair Association.

This is the second time the Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club has made a barn quilt for the event and members really enjoyed the outcome of their hard work.

Come check it out at the Osage County Fair this summer, June 27 to July 1, 2018, at Osage City.

District Judge Wine appointed as chief judge of 4th Judicial District

Judge Taylor Wine

TOPEKA, Kan. – Chief Justice Lawton R. Nuss announced today the Kansas Supreme Court has appointed Judge Taylor J. Wine as chief judge of the 4th Judicial District, effective through December 31, 2019.

Wine was appointed as a district judge in January to succeed Judge Phillip Fromme, who retired. Fromme had served as chief judge of the 4th Judicial District, composed of Anderson, Coffey, Franklin and Osage counties, since 2003.

“Judge Wine was a very capable leader in the Kansas District Magistrate Judges Association,” Nuss said. “The Supreme Court looks forward to his bringing that same leadership ability to the position of chief judge of the 4th Judicial District.”

Governor appoints Wine as district judge for 4th District

TOPEKA, Kan. – Before leaving the governor’s position in January, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback appointed Taylor J. Wine, of Lyndon,, Kan., as a district judge in the 4th Judicial District. Wine will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Phillip M. Fromme.

“I am pleased to appoint Taylor Wine to the 4th District court,” Brownback said. “His strong experience serving as a district magistrate judge will serve the citizens in his district well.”

Wine served as a magistrate judge in the 4th District and serves as a municipal judge for five cities. He previously was in private practice in Lyndon. He received his undergraduate degree from Pittsburg State University, and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.

4-H club goes ‘whole hog’ for raffle

By Garrett Shoup, Club Reporter

Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club draws for hog raffle winners at center court. Shoup photo.

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H club has been selling hog raffle tickets at all the Lyndon home basketball games over the last few months. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, they drew the tickets during halftime of the Lyndon-Waverly boys basketball game and announced the lucky winners: Zach Matheny, Topeka, and Scott Jones, Lyndon.

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club would like to thank the Lyndon Community and the surrounding areas for supporting 4-H and the raffle.

Lyndon Leaders and Melvern Jr. Highline hold joint 4-H exchange meeting

Lyndon Leaders and Melvern Jr. Highline gather at Melvern community building for an exchange meeting. Shoup photo.

By Garrett Shoup
Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club Reporter

The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club had their monthly meeting on Feb. 11, 2018, as part of an exchange meeting with the Melvern Jr. Highline 4-H Club. The meeting was held in the Melvern community building. The meeting started with roll call of “What’s your favorite Olympic sport?”

Before the officer reports, clubs presented a plaque to Larry and Kay Salisbury for the Friend of 4-H award, since they could not attend Achievement Night in November.  Next were announcements of District Club Days on Feb. 24, availability of scholarship applications for 4-H camp and Discovery Days, and 4-H camp, and barn quilt workshops in February.

The program for the evening was Braelyn McNally giving a talk on getting her steer ready for the fair; Ethan Kneisler giving a demonstration on how to wire an outlet; and Allie Kneisler explaining how to show a hog at the fair.

The meeting ended with a song from 4-H camp, a fun game of sucking Jell-O out of a straw, and lastly refreshments. The Lyndon Leaders 4-H Club will have their next meeting at 4:30 p.m. March 11, in the Lyndon High School cafeteria.

Hidden History: Early trekkers cross Kansas, pulling cart, pushing for better U.S. roads

Smith and Miller were photographed with their cart, the “Fordlet”, and featured in the Hoisington Distpatch, Nov. 25, 1915.

By Wendi Bevitt

With the invention of the automobile, America needed roads, good roads – which created a push for the creation of highways, namely a highway that would cross the entire country east to west. To draw attention to this need, and following a movement created by the government to See America First, people started taking up the challenge of traveling the completed and proposed parts of this highway. Two men that took up this challenge were Edward J. Smith, age 20, and Carl A. Miller, age 19, both of New York state.

The pair left New York City in July of 1915 and headed for California with $5 in their pockets, 250 pounds of gear, and a mandolin in their cart, which they called a “Fordlet”. America was to be their school, nature their books, and the people they met along the way their teachers. Their goal was to make the trip from NYC to California in seven months. By comparison, a motorist would expect to make the journey in 30 days, which would be at a rate of 18 miles per hour and six hours per day, costing $5 per day per person.

Smith and Miller as pictured in the Palladium Item, Richmond, Ind., Sept. 13, 1915.

Ed and Carl made up for their lack of funds for the trip by lecturing about their travels and selling photographs of themselves along the route, all while promoting their hope for a book on their travels. They kept an extensive scrapbook, tucking away the letters of recommendation from various government officials or people they encountered, as well as mementos of sights along the way. They stayed at local YMCAs, gracious individuals’ houses, or just slept under the stars.

In Ohio, they befriended a dog that joined the caravan and whom they named Frisco. It was also in this area of the country that the roads became less travel worthy. Ruts and mud were a foot deep. Ed Miller commented that “you could not take a step without lifting an abnormal portion of the county with you.”

Once the pair finally reached Kansas City, they shifted their travel from the proposed route of the Lincoln Highway to that of following the Santa Fe Trail. The old Santa Fe Trail closely follows modern day Highway 56 in Osage County. Some of the points that would have been seen at that time and can still be viewed today are Simmons Point Station in extreme western Douglas County, and McGee-Harris Station near Scranton.

Ed and Carl arrived in northeast Kansas right after Arthur Capper had declared Good Road Days for Kansas, so he was glad to meet with them when they made a detour from their Santa Fe Trail route to visit the capital city.

Osage County’s top spellers compete at Lyndon

Schools from across the county sent their best spellers to Lyndon to compete in the countywide spelling bee Feb. 2, 2018. Competitors, from left, were Riley Patterson, Madison Cormode, Olivia Lacey, Sadie Shoemaker, Kendalan VanCamp, Kaelee Washington, Graham Newberry, Marlen Long, Serray Shinn, and Mason Flickinger.

Hopefully sixth-grader Kaelee Washington won’t ever be incarcerated, but she knows how to spell it. “Incarcerated” was the final word in a seven-round match that gave Kaelee the championship at the 2018 Osage County Spelling Bee, held Friday morning at Lyndon High School.

Osage County’s champion spellers, from left, Kaelee Washington, first place, and Serray Shinn, second place.

Kaelee, who attends Carbondale Attendance Center, competed against nine other top spellers from schools around the county. With Heather Green as pronouncer and Peggy Morstorf as judge, the quick match dropped five competitors in the first round with words such as cordial, reservoir, quantum, calamine and jauntily. Round two had two more misses with “azalea” and “sophomore”, leaving three competitors, Serray Shinn, Burlingame eighth-grader, Mason Flickinger, Burlingame seventh-grader, and Kaelee for round three.

The word “impeccable” took out Mason, leaving two final competitors to spell “repugnance” and “strenuous” in round four, and “sherpa” and “crematoria” in round five. In round six, Serray had a “voluminous” error, giving Kaelee a “proviso” that sent her to the final one-word round. Correctly spelling “incarcerated”, Kaelee became the countywide champion.

Kaelee and second-place winner Serray will compete at the regional spelling bee to be held March 10 at Topeka.

Marais des Cygnes Valley High School to crown Queen of Courts 2018

The 2018 Marais des Cygnes Valley High School Queen of Courts ceremony will be tonight, Feb. 2, 2018, during the home basketball games against Cornerstone.

Assisting with the ceremony will be the 2017 Queen of Courts King Dakota Jackson and Queen Kelsey Lowe.

The freshman attendants will be Isabella Toman and Donovan Holloway. Isabella is the daughter of Andrea and Keith Schattak. Izzy has participated in FFA, volleyball, and basketball; and plans on playing softball this year. Donovan is the son of Jason and Tracie Holloway. He has participated in band this year, and plans to play basketball next year.

The sophomore attendants will be Bayleigh Lacey and Koby Vanderpool. Bayleigh is the daughter of Mark and Judy Lacey. She is a member of MdCV volleyball, basketball and scholars bowl. She has also participated in Stuco, FBLA, FFA, and has been on the Trojan Honor Roll for two years. She plans on being on the softball team this year. Bayleigh has been a representative for multiple organizations; she is also a member of the Osage County Fire for three years, and is an active member at True Grace Community Church and the Mt. Pleasant youth group. Koby is the son of Re and Tammy Vanderpool. Koby has participated in football, basketball, FFA, FBLA, and FCCLA for two years, and he plans on participating on the baseball team this year.

The junior attendants are Destiny Massey and Gannon Schimmel. Destiny is the daughter of Bill and Tamara Massey. Destiny is a member of FBLA (secretary), FFA (Stuco rep), FCCLA  (president), and Stuco. She has participated in volleyball and basketball for two years, and track for three years. She has been on the scholars bowl and cheerleading team for one year, and named to the National Honor Society. She plans to continue with these activities through their high school years. On her free time, Destiny is also an Awana church leader. Gannon is the son of Jon and Jenny Schimmel. Gannon has been a member of the MdCV football team for three years, basketball team for two years, track for one year, and plans on playing baseball this year. He has also been a member of FFA for three years, FCCLA for one year, and has been on the honor roll for two years. He plans to go to Berkley College of Music to get a master’s degree in music production.

The senior attendants are Kali Holt, Mya Hidalgo, Brennan Irey and Noah Criqui.

Students show appreciation for watersheds in poster, essay and limerick contest

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District

Each year the Osage County Conservation District sponsors a poster, essay and limerick contest. Information is given to the schools in late October, and entries are due before Christmas break. The theme each year is determined by the National Association of Conservation Districts. This year’s theme was “Watersheds: Our Water, Our Home”. A total of 342 entries were received.

This year’s winners are:

  • Essays: Lexi Boss, purple, Osage City Elementary School.
  • Limericks: Emory Speece, purple; Lexi Boss, blue; Luke Orender, red; Emily Whalen, white. All limerick winners are from Osage City Elementary School.
  • Posters fourth, fifth and sixth grade: Carolina White, purple, Osage City; Jacie Koch, blue, Osage City; Allison Sloop, red, Osage City; Ashton Rowsey, white, Osage City.
  • Posters second and third grade: Landon Reed, purple, Marais des Cygnes Valley Elementary School; Roslyn Atchison, blue, Burlingame Elementary School; Braelyn McNally, red, MdCV; Shae Greene, white, Overbrook Attendance Center.
  • Posters kindergarten and first grade: Teighlynn Olson, purple; Meka Rogers, blue; Greyson Stephens, red; Graci Williams, white. All winners are in first grade at MdCV.

The top winner in each poster and essay division and the top two winners in the limerick division are sent to the state competition, which is held in the fall.

This year there were three students that received state honors: Riley Jo Petitjean, honorable mention for her poster in the fourth through sixth grade division; Colby Hokanson, honorable mention for his limerick; and Allyson Sage, second place for her limerick. All three students attend Osage City schools.

Cains earn wildlife habitat award for longtime conservation practices

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District

Gayle Cain and his son, Russell, will receive the 2017 Wildlife Habitat Award at the upcoming Osage County Conservation District annual meeting. This award recognizes individuals who have excelled in improving wildlife habitat on their land in addition to conserving soil and water resources. The award is sponsored by the Kansas Bankers Association and the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Gayle enrolled some of his ground into the Conservation Reserve Program when it first became available in 1987. The long-term goal of CRP is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. Gayle continued to reenroll his land into CRP for as long as it was eligible. Some of his land has been in CRP for 30 years.

Gayle is enrolled in a variety of CRP practices including CP25, the restoration of rare and declining habitat, CP21, filter strips, and CP33, habitat buffers for upland game birds. All his CRP acreage is planted to native grass with forbs and is managed to help improve wildlife habitat.   

Stromgren’s hard work recognized with Young Farmer Award

Young Farm Award winner Austin Stromgren.

By Lori Kuykendall
Osage County Conservation District

This year’s Osage County Young Farmer Award will be presented to Austin Stromgren, of rural Scranton. Austin has farming in his blood and in his background. He is a fourth generation farmer on both his mom’s side of the family (Bryson) and his dad’s side. Austin has worked alongside his dad for as long as he can remember.

The first job Austin remembers doing is working cattle. Austin was quick to learn and eager to help. He started raking hay when he was 8 or 9 years old, and since he could run the tractor he also did field cultivating and disking. He was driving the semi and running the combine when he was 10 years old.

Austin’s dad gave him his first cow when he was in the second grade. Austin kept back heifers from that cow and when he was 10 he purchased a couple of cows with his own money. After he graduated from high school he bought 20 cows and his first bull. Austin’s herd has grown to 40.

“I take a lot of pride in my cattle,” Austin said.

Austin began farming full-time when he was 13 years old, after his father and he were in a wreck that left his dad paralyzed. Austin’s knowledge and strong work ethic helped him take care of everything on the farm and attend high school. During his senior year he went to a half day of high school and attended Flint Hills Technical College for a half day. He graduated from high school in 2015 and vo-tech in 2016 as a certified automotive mechanic. While at Flint Hills, his team went to Pittsburg to compete in the Ford AAA state competition.

Austin now takes care of 130 head of cattle. He manages the grazing to prevent overgrazing or undergrazing. He has a tree saw and works to keep the trees out of his pastures. He also does some tree removal work for his neighbors. He also manages 600 acres of farm ground south of Burlingame. He does a corn-bean rotation with some wheat. He keeps his waterways and terraces in good shape and has started trying no-till farming practices.

Soil Conservation Award: Sturdy Farms honored as stewards of the land

Honored for preserving soil on their Osage County family farm are the Sturdys, from left, Candi, Clint, Sandy, Darrell, Lori and Rod.

By Rod Schaub
Frontier Extension District

On Jan. 22, 2018, Sturdy Farms will receive the Kansas Bankers Award for Soil Conservation at the Osage County Conservation District’s annual meeting.

The Sturdy family being honored includes Darrell and Sandy, who have owned and operated the farm for nearly 50 years, and two of their sons and their families. Their son Rod and his wife Lori have five children, Kelsey, Kandace, Megan, Shawna and Cheyenne. Son Clint and his wife Candi have two children, Teagan and Jensen. Darrell and Sandy have another son not involved in the farm, Jeff and his family, who live near Wamego.

The Sturdy homestead was founded in 1900 when Frank Wolfe brought his family to Osage County. Upon Mr. Wolfe’s death, he left the farm to his daughter Maggie and son-in-law Ray Sturdy. Today, Sturdy Farm is owned and operated by the fourth and fifth generations of that family.

The operation has evolved over the years to include a commercial cow herd, a stocker summer grazing program, fall development program for replacement heifers, haying, and growing crops, mostly corn and soybeans with a few acres of wheat.

When asked how the family divided up the work load when they have both crops and livestock, Clint responded, “For the most part we do the chores we enjoy the most.”

Rod prefers to do the field work, Clint and Darrell prefer the livestock chores, but for many of the jobs the family works together to get the job done.

“When we work cattle the whole family works together,” Darrell said.

Contact us: Osage County News | P.O. Box 62, Lyndon, KS 66451 | [email protected] | 785-828-4994 | Powered by Osage County, Kansas