Kansas and Kansas Forage & Grassland Council Well Represented at AFGC Annual Meeting in Wichita

[MANHATTAN, KANSAS, January 31, 2022] – Several Kansas Forage and Grassland Council (KSFGC) members participated, presented, and won awards and competitions at the recent American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) Annual meeting in Wichita, January 9 – 12, 2022.

“This is the first time that the AFGC Annual meeting was held in Kansas,” said Mark Nelson, KSFGC Executive Secretary-Treasurer. “And there were nearly 200 forage enthusiasts from all over Kansas and the U.S. in attendance.”

The conference is an educational event with several workshops, seminars, poster sessions, trade show and competitions, and Kansas was well represented throughout.

Award winners included Dale Helwig, rancher, KSFGC Board member and Cherokee County Extension Ag Agent, who won the highly popular Forage Spokesperson Award over five other contestants from across the U.S. The emphasis in this competition is demonstrating how forage management contributes to their overall farm objectives and marketing and includes a fifteen-minute presentation from each contestant.

Other winners included KSFGC members, Drs. Walt Fick, KSU-Extension, State Rangeland Management Specialist (KSFGC Board), and Keith Harmoney, Range Scientist, KSU, Ag Research Center – Hays. Both earning Merit Awards, for superior contributions in forage and grassland agriculture. Merit awards indicate recognition among their colleagues for work and productivity in forage or grassland agriculture in research, teaching, Extension, production, or industrial development.

Kansas State University’s Forage Bowl Team also competed, losing a close semifinal to eventual champion, the University of Wisconsin-River Falls.

Overall, the meeting kicked off early Monday morning with Karen Woodrich, Kansas State Conservationist, welcoming the group and introducing keynote speaker, Robert Bonnie, USDA Undersecretary, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Beam, provided the luncheon keynote address.

Two popular workshops spearheaded by Kansas forage specialists included, “Forage Production in Water Limited Environments,” moderated by Dr. Keith Harmoney, and including presentations by Drs. John Holman, Augustine Obour, Freddie Lamm and Keith Harmoney. The second, “Winter Feeding: Hay and Supplementation,” moderated by Dr. Jaymelynn Farney, and including presentations by Drs. Justin Waggoner, Eric Bailey (MU), Gregg Hanzlicek, and Shane Gadberry (UA).

Other Kansas-based forage participation included oral presentations by Dr. Bruno Pedreira and Logan Simon, and posters by Augustine Obour, John Holman, Rudra Baral, Walt Fick, and Keith Harmoney.

To learn more or join the Kansas Forage and Grassland Council, go to, www.ksfgc.org


Dale Helwig (center) with his AFGC Forage Spokesperson Award, along AFGC President Chris Penrose (r) and Jason Tower, AFGC Vice-President.
Walt Fick (center), AFGC Merit Award winner and left-to-right, Dr. Doohong Min, KSU and Chris Penrose, AFGC President
Keith Harmoney, AFGC Merit Award Winner (center)and Chris Penrose, AFGC President, Dale Helwig
KSFGC members at the AFGC Awards Banquet, Tuesday, January 11, 2022
left to right: Kim Nettleton, KS State Hay Reporter (KDA) & KSFGC Board member, Karen Woodrich, Kansas State Conservationist (KS-NRCS), Robert Bonnie, USDA Undersecretary, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), and Dale Helwig, Cherokee County KSU-Extension Agent & KSFGC Board member.
Kansas Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Beam
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