KFU proudly honors the legacy of Ruth Hirsh through its award in her name which is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to agriculture and the efforts of the Farmers Union. Hirsh was a strong advocate for a viable education program in Farmers Union; not only for the children, but also for the general public. She felt if all Americans recognized the challenges that family farmers faced, they would help change the laws in their favor.

Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker represented the State of Kansas in the United States Senate from 1978 to 1997. She was the first woman to represent Kansas in the U.S. Senate, and was re-elected to her Senate seat in 1984 and 1990 but did not seek re-election in 1996.

Kassebaum Baker is an Advisory Board member for the Partnership for a Secure America, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to recreating the bipartisan center in American national security and foreign policy. She is also a member of the ReFormers Caucus of Issue One. Kassebaum Baker resides on the family ranch near Burdick, Kansas.

KFU President Donn Teske presents Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker with the 2017 Ruth Hirsh Award.

KFU President Donn Teske presents Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker with the 2017 Ruth Hirsh Award.

KFU President Donn Teske presents Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker with the 2017 Ruth Hirsh Award.

Prior to receiving the 2017 Ruth Hirsh Award, Senator Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker offered convention keynote. Watch the Facebook Live video.

Former Kansas Farmers Union Youth and Education Director Ruth Hirsh, at right, with past KFU staff member Jim Ploger and an unidentified woman in this undated Kansas Farmers Union archive photo.

Former Kansas Farmers Union Youth and Education Director Ruth Hirsh, at right, with past KFU staff member Jim Ploger and an unidentified woman in this undated Kansas Farmers Union archive photo.

Kansas Farmers Union proudly honors the legacy of Ruth Hirsh through its annual award in her name. The prestigious Ruth Hirsh Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to agriculture and/or the efforts of the Farmers Union.

Ruth Hirsh Award recipients include Dr. Daryll E. Ray, director and founder of the Agricultural Policy Analysis Center at the University of Tennessee; Emil Mushrush, former KFU director; Tom Giessel, honorary NFU historian and former KFU Vice-President; Linda Hessman, longtime ag mediator and KFU board member; Henry Strnad, Republic County; Lavern Potuzak, KFU Vice-President;  Nick Levendofsky, KFU Vice-President; Charlie Griffin, rural mental health advocate in Kansas and Research Assistant Professor in the School for Family Studies and Human Services at Kansas State University; Larry Mitchell,  Administrator of the USDA GIPSA and former Vice President of Government Relations for the NFU; Adrian Polansky, former state executive director of USDA’s Farm Service Agency in Kansas and secretary of the Kansas Department of Agriculture; Nancy Landon Kassebaum Baker, United States Senator; Char Henton and Forrest Buhler, K-State’s Kansas Agricultural Mediation Services (KAMS); Mary Fund, Jerry Jost, and Dan Nagengast of the Kansas Rural Center; and Gerard Steinlage, Nemaha County Farmers Union.