Monday, December 22, 2014

Sylvesters honored for growing community ties

By ABBY ECKEL, Herald Staff Writer | 4/11/2014

The award is the cream of the crop, Sandy Sylvester said.

Sylvester and her husband Russ, owners of Sylvester Ranch, 1906 Kingman Road, Ottawa, were the recent recipients of the 2013 Kansas Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemaker award.

The award is the cream of the crop, Sandy Sylvester said.

Sylvester and her husband Russ, owners of Sylvester Ranch, 1906 Kingman Road, Ottawa, were the recent recipients of the 2013 Kansas Master Farmer and Master Farm Homemaker award.

The award program began in 1927 and is sponsored by K-State Research and Extension and Kansas Farm magazine, according to the frontier extension districts website.

“This year there were six couples recognized and it’s kind of folks who have demonstrated excellence in farming, stewardship in the land and are involved in quite a few communities,” Sandy Sylvester said. “We felt very honored to be added to that group.”

The couple has been on the farm since 1966 where they raise soybeans, corn and wheat, as well as being part owners of the Midland Seed Company, she said.

The Sylvesters sell their corn to East Kansas Agri-Energy ethanol plant in Garnett, where they are shareholders.

Their grain also is sold at the Ottawa Co-op, where the Sylvesters are stockholders.

As well as farming, the Sylvester’s lend the use of their farm out for various events each year, Sandy Sylvester said.

“We have hosted Day on the Farm for 15 years now,” she said. “It involves all third-graders in Franklin County and their teachers and some parents and we work with the Farm Bureau and extension to do this. It’s mainly to educate children and adults about agriculture and let them know where their food comes from, because it doesn’t originate in the grocery store.”

The Sylvester’s farm also has played host to the Christmastime “Walk to Bethlehem” event the past two years, Sandy Sylvester said. The event features a re-enactment of the time and place of Biblical Bethlehem.

Sandy Sylvester said she and her husband are grateful to be able to lend their farm for those activities, and honored by the recognition.

“We felt humbled to receive [the award] because there are many others out there who have done the same things,” she said. “We feel very honored.”

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