Lavern Potuzak was awarded the prestigious 2014 Ruth Hirsh Award during Kansas Farmers Union’s annual convention banquet held Friday, Dec. 5 in Manhattan.
Potuzak, who farms near Agenda in Republic County, joined KFU in 1974, served as a KFU board member from 2006-2011, and has been the organization’s vice president since 2011.
He is an avid supporter of community events, serves on various boards and committees, and attends and supports many of the statewide events held by KFU throughout the year. Potuzak is the father of Molly (Justin) Hug and Alex, and proud grandfather of Jacob Hug.
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.