One of the first meetings I had after starting in Boone County was with a group known as the Boone County Breeders and Feeders. This is a group of farmers and one of their main "jobs" (I'm using quotes because they're all volunteers) is to plan and conduct their annual Awards Banquet and Fish Fry. On March 6 I had my first opportunity to attend this event.
There was a nice crowd in attendance for the 77th version of the Awards Banquet (for those who don't want to do the math, this was first held in 1938). Nobody does a head count but 520 chairs were set up and there weren't a lot of empty spaces plus there were quite a few helpers who, as far as I could see, never sat down. I would guess that attendance was somewhere between 450-500. And while we didn't run out of fish - the fish was excellent BTW - we had almost none left over.
The Trio (above) and The Treblemakers (right) from the Purduettes. Abby Everett, whose grandfather was an honoree, is third from the right on the Treblemakers.
However the real focus of the evening was the three Distinguished Agriculture Career Awards Recipients; Aaron Everett, Bob Lamb, and Stan Rader. I won't provide the full bio of these long-time Boone County Farmers and Agribusinessmen, but I would like to offer a few highlights.
Aaron EverettAaron started farming in Perry Township in the 1940's by renting farms owned by his grandparents and aunt and expanded by renting some neighborhood farms. In addition to farming, he was a founding member of the Perry Township Fire Department in 1961, has been a 4-H Leader and a member of various organizations including the Boone County Pork Producers, Boone County SWCD and Boone County FSA. He is currently a Boone County Farm Bureau Board member. He and his wife, Carolyn, live on the family farm with his son Doug, Doug's wife Nanette, and their four children. One of Aaron's grandchildren, Abby Everett, is a Purduette Member and performed at the banquet. Aaron continues to be active in the farming operation and in the community.
Bob LambShortly after leaving the Air Force, Bob and his wife Diana began farming, in 1963. Bob had no farming experience but he started by managing a farm owned by Cecil Bennington, then managed the Robert Nash Farms in Tipton. In 1969 he and his family moved back to Boone County and started their own farming operation on 430 acres of rented ground. The operation expanded from there and today Lamb Farms has three business entities. The farm grows corn, seed beans, seed wheat, popcorn, and waxy corn. Ag Recycle concentrates on mulch, composting, and recycling organics. Lamb Farms Agronomy focuses on crop input sales and technical support.
Bob is actively involved in Boone County and serves and has served on a variety of boards and committees, both in and outside of agriculture. Some of these include being a founding member of the New Hope Christian Church, a member of the Lebanon School Board, The Boone County Extension Board and 4-H Council, and the SWCD Board. He has been involved in doing missionary work in Panama for the past 10 years and he and Diana have created a non-profit charitable organization, Agri-Stewards, which is involved in spreading improved farming techniques and God's word throughout the world. Bob and Diana have 5 children and 11 grandchildren.
Stan RaderStan Rader's farming career really got its start in 1943 when his family purchased 80 acres near Mechanicsburg in Boone County. On graduating from high school Stan began working for Dick Lenox as a mechanic working on Oliver tractors. In 1969 he and his father-in-law, Monte Jones, founded R&J Oliver Sales. Over the next thrity years Stan owned and operated he dealership. While sales were obviously important, Stan's true love was in the customer service aspect of the business. He enjoyed talking to farmers about their equipment and equipment needs and helping them meet challenges and solve problems. Stan has been active in the community as a member and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Centenary United Methodist Church, and UMCOR where he and Beverly travel to Louisiana for two weeks each year to help with disaster relief. Stan and his wife Beverly have three children, 16 grandchildren and, so far, 10 great grandchildren.
The was a great evening, the fish was fantastic, and I had a lot of fun. I didn't pull my camera out until about halfway through the program. I'll know better next year. I also didn't get a picture of the twelve Breeders and Feeders Directors whose hard work makes this event happen. I'll have to settle for naming them: Chris Branaman, Don. M. Gibbs, Jeff Jackson, Craig Kouns - President, Danny Lawson, Tim Luse - Vice President, John Michalke, David Mitchell, Allen Mohler, Buddy Padgett, Gerald Shelburne - Secretary/Treasurer, and Mark Starkey. A big thank you also goes to Tom Dull for serving as Master of Ceremonies and all of the extra help who pitched in the night of the banquet. If you want to see more pictures, you can find them on the Facebook Page for Purdue Extension - Boone County Agriculture. I'm not sure if you need to like the page to see them or not.