The Washington County Farm Bureau (CFB) held their Annual Meeting on January 27th at St. Michael Church’s gymnasium in Radom. Tami Craig Schilling, Monsanto’s Vice-President of Technology Communications, wrapped up the evening with an informational program for the crowd of approximately 180 members. Mrs. Schilling described the similarities and differences between American agriculture and developing countries, and encouraged members to advocate for agriculture and share their stories.
An exciting new component of this year’s Annual Meeting was the Young Leader Committee’s first “Live Auction” to help raise funds for committee efforts and the county food pantry. At the conclusion of the auction, five committee members were able to exchange their labor or services for $690 in funds raised for their causes.
During the business meeting, President Gale Koelling provided some special recognition for a couple of CFB Directors. Jim Unverfehrt was presented with a personalized clock as he retired from the board after 13-years as the Venedy Township representative. Director Mike Chwasczinski was also recognized with a short slide-show and photo book for 25-years of farm tours at his Maple Hill Dairy.
Other notable activities included recognition of $7,250 in scholarships to Washington County students from the Farm Bureau’s Foundation. This past year the Foundation awarded six scholarships, and Foundation President Jeff Lehde presented $1,000 checks to eligible recipients in attendance. Scholarship recipients this year include: Katie Backs, Mark Dalman, Christian Fullerton, Alex Seering, Kane Lamczyk, and Lucas Green. The Foundation also awarded their 9th Annual Upperclassman Scholarship to Austin Hagene for $1,000 and the 2nd Annual Edna Newcomb Memorial Scholarship to Emily Gill for $250.
Rachel Recker, who also received Washington County’s $3,200 AFA scholarship, gave a detailed report on her trip to the AFA Leaders Conference in Kansas City, Mo. last November. Mark Dalman was also offered the opportunity to attend the conference in Kansas City. Rachel and Mark thanked all of the community businesses and individuals that donated to make the AFA Community Scholarship and conference attendance possible in 2015. In all, $10,450 in scholarships was given out from the Foundation and AFA Community Scholarship programs.
Farm Bureau Directors elected to serve 2-year terms included: David Rybacki (Beaucoup), Steve Launius (Covington), Alfred Meyer (Hoyleton), Wayne Lintker (Johannisburg), Scott Groennert (Nashville), Ronald Hackstadt (Okawville), Jeffrey Lehde (Plum Hill), and Jeff Jacobs (Venedy).
Other Directors (and their respective Townships) on the Washington CFB board include: Glen Bowers (Ashley), Mike Chwasczinski (Bolo), Gerald Kuberski (Du Bois), Gale Koelling (Irvington), Wes Fritsche (Lively Grove), Roger Greten (Oakdale), Michelle Patton (Pilot Knob), and Alan Newcomb (Richview).
To conclude the evening, there was a drawing for door prizes, announcement of the winners of the 6th annual member photography contest, recap of the Women’s Committee’s 3rd Annual “Silent Auction” that raised $514 for the Washington County Food Pantry, a drawing for a free membership from donors to the food pantry (40-lbs. of food collected), and everyone in attendance left with a pound of Prairie Farms butter and other Farm Bureau promotional items.