MANHATTAN, Kan. – How does a person build a new dairy halfway across a continent? How does a person help schools and businesses succeed with social media? How does a person honor the military with steak dinners across the nation? How does a person encourage creativity in a small-town café? How does a war orphan from Korea become a Kansas judge and a nationally-renowned speaker?
For the answers to those questions, meet the five Kansans who are recognized by Kansas State University’s Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development as 2013 Leaders of the Year.
“These Kansans have demonstrated a high level of innovation, hard work, and service to rural Kansas and beyond,” said Renee Shaw, chair of the board of directors of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development.
This year’s award categories and winners, along with their communities, are:
- Agriculture: Tom and Judy McCarty, McCarty Family Dairy, Bird City/Rexford/Scott City;
- Business and Entrepreneurship: Cody Heitschmidt, digital communications consultant, Nickerson;
- Community Service: Bill Broadie, All American Beef Battalion, Ashland;
- Retail and Tourism: Kim Coslett, Kaleo Café, Halstead; and
- Leadership: Judge Tommy Webb, Sublette.
Agriculture - Tom and Judy McCarty and their four sons Clay, Mike, David, and Ken were part of a long-time dairy family in Pennsylvania. When they needed room to grow in the 1990s, they relocated to Rexford in northwest Kansas and built a new dairy. They later expanded into a dairy at Bird City and then at Scott City. Today, McCarty Family Farms is milking 7,200 cows. The family operates a milk processor and evaporator at Rexford and has an exclusive rights agreement to provide all of the condensed skim milk for the Dannon Yogurt plant in Fort Worth, Texas. For more information, go to McCarty Family Farms.
Business and Entrepreneurship - Cody Heitschmidt is a digital communications consultant who helps clients with 21st century communications. A native of Hutchinson and resident of Nickerson, he learned the power of online marketing when he used it to expand the hunting and outfitting service which he founded. He then became a digital communications consultant to help clients with 21st century marketing. In practice, this means helping individuals, schools, and businesses understand how to use Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, and more. With his help, Cody has seen clients build their business 10-fold with the assistance of such social media. For more information, see Codytalks.com.
Community Service - Bill Broadie is the founder and chairman of the board of the All American Beef Battalion, a voluntary organization of people in the beef cattle industry working to support U.S. troops. Bill is a fourth generation cattleman from Ashland who works for Superior Livestock Auction. He is a Marine and a veteran who was wounded in the Viet Nam war. He founded the All American Beef Battalion to honor and support members of the military and their families by providing them free steak dinners. As of March 2013, the All American Beef Battalion has fed an estimated 165,000 people in 21 states. For more information, go to All American Beef Battalion.
Retail and Tourism - For two years, Kim Coslett and her husband Kirt operated the Kaleo Café in Halstead, featuring live music on Friday nights, artful decorations, and an upscale menu. Kim, a talented musician, plays and sings with the Prairie Rose Rangers as well as the Kim Coslett Band and is continuing to pursue her musical career. She is now working on a solo album of original songs. For more information, go to Kim Coslett Band.
Leadership - Tommy Webb is a district magistrate judge and professional speaker from Sublette, Kan. In 1952, he was a Korean war orphan living on the streets. He was ultimately adopted at the age of seven and brought to Oklahoma. When he was nine, his family moved to Junction City and lived there through high school. He went on to college and service in the Marines before moving to southwest Kansas. In 1988, he was elected a district magistrate judge and has been reelected ever since. Judge Webb is a sought-after speaker, sharing with state and national groups his personal story of making a positive difference in a negative world and the importance of valuing ourselves and others. For more information, go to Judge Tommy B. Webb.
The 2013 Huck Boyd Leaders of the Year winners were selected by students in an entrepreneurship class in K-State’s College of Business. Each year the Huck Boyd Institute selects its leaders of the year from among those featured on its weekly Kansas Profile radio program and column during the previous 12 months. Kansas Profile is distributed by the K-State Radio Network and K-State Research and Extension News Media Services to radio stations and newspapers state-wide.
The Huck Boyd Institute is a public/private partnership between K-State Research and Extension and the Huck Boyd Foundation. The foundation office is at the Huck Boyd Community Center in Phillipsburg. The institute office is at Kansas State University in Manhattan.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.
Story by: Ron Wilsonrwilson@oznet.ksu.eduK-State Research & Extension News
For more information: Ron Wilson, Huck Boyd Institute Director - 785-532-7690 or firstname.lastname@example.org