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Kansas Wheat presents Distinguished Service Awards

Kansas

The Kansas Wheat Commission and Kansas Association of Wheat Growers presented Distinguished Service Awards to Larry Kepley, Ulysses and Norbert Gerstenkorn, Conway Springs, during the groups' joint annual meeting at the Kansas Wheat Conference July 30.

Gerstenkorn retired this year as chief executive officer of the Farmers Cooperative Grain Association in Conway Springs. A 40-year veteran of that institution, he began his grain handling career 50 years ago with the Farmers Cooperative Elevator Company in Garden Plain. Gerstenkorn served as a director and chairman of the Kansas Farmers Service Association board from 2005 to 2008 and as a trustee for the Kansas Grain Inspection Service. Norbert has filled a host of local and state leadership roles, including school board, bank board and several cooperative-related boards.

Kepley recently completed six years of service to the Kansas Wheat Commission and before that, served several years on the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers board of directors. He held a number of state and national leadership positions in both organizations. A diversified grain and livestock farmer near Ulysses, Kepley operates a certified seed facility and has long been a champion of the advancement of white wheat. Upon graduation from Kansas State University, he taught high school vocational agriculture, was a county Extension agent and worked for the Kansas Farm Management Association before returning to the farm. Kepley also volunteers on the local Basin Advisory Board, Farm Credit Council, Grant County Conservation District and Santa Fe Trail Resource Conservation and Development organization.

"Norbert and Larry lead by example and each has spent countless hours volunteering time and resources to improve the Kansas wheat industry," says Doug Keesling, chairman of the Kansas Wheat Commission.

Paul Penner, president of the Kansas Association of Wheat Growers, adds that Gerstenkorn and Kepley each have left an indelible mark on Kansas agriculture. "They have spent long careers selflessly helping young people becoming leaders in their own right," Penner says. "It is an honor to recognize Norbert and Larry for all they have done to further our great industry."



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