Speaker urges finding common ground at Farm-City Breakfast

When Kirby Green and her husband moved from Mayfield to Indianapolis in 2013, Green said her city neighbors were fascinated with her work in agriculture, and by the fact that she would often come home dirty after a day of working with farmers.

“We were the epitome of farm to city,” Green told a large group of farmers and community leaders at the 41st annual Farm-City Breakfast at Daviess County High School. Green, a Breckinridge County native who grew up on the family farm, found herself meeting and becoming friends with “people who had always known the city,” Green said.

The differences between city and farm people, Green said, really weren’t that vast.

“We learned in those years that beneficial connections could (form) in people who grew up in totally different environments,” Green said.

The Farm-City Breakfast was created as a way to build stronger ties between the agricultural community and city residents who are not overly familiar with farming. The Event is hosted by Daviess County Farm Bureau and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce.

“We are better together,” chamber President and CEO Candance Castlen Brake told the crowd. “We are better united.”

Green, who now lives in Daviess County with her family, received the Young Farmers & Ranchers “Excellence in Agriculture Award” from American Farm Bureau Federation in January.

Green, who is a Field Sales Representative for DeKalb & Asgrow at Bayer Crop Science, said she often finds herself between the agricultural and urban communities, but said people from either walk of life have much in common.

“We literally and figuratively share common ground,” Green said.

Green said farmers today are producing more food with fewer farms. “Do you know what farmers do? They do the impossible,” Green said. “… We are winning the fight to feed and clothe the world, and that’s remarkable.”

Farmers have “grit” and “gratitude,” as do other members of the community, Green said. Green urged people to let farmers know they are appreciated.

“Fight the good fight … to find that common ground,” Green said, and asked the audience to “tell a farmer, ‘thank you.’ ”

Greg Schadler, a St. Joseph farmer and captain of the St. Joseph Fire Department, was presented with the 2019 Humanitarian award. Clint Hardy, Daviess County’s Extension agent for agricultural and natural resources, said Schadler was selected because he is known to be a constant help, as a firefighter, volunteer at local youth sporting events and in the community.

“I appreciate that I can get out in the community and help,” Schadler told the audience. “I strive to be a good neighbor.”

After the presentation, Brake said Schadler goes out of his way to help others.

“Farming is such an intensive, 24-hour a day profession,” Brake said. “For someone to step outside of that profession (for) community service, that’s inspirational.”

Schadler said he knew something was happening when people began inquiring whether he was planning to attend the annual breakfast, and said officials told him he had been selected on Friday.

“I feel right up there with my dad,” Schadler said. Schadler’s father, Frank Schadler Jr., was a farmer and agribusinessman who served as director of the Owensboro-Daviess County Airport board, a member of the Kentucky State Fair board and was involved with agencies such as the Kentucky Grain insurance board and National Farmers Organization.

“He did a lot for the community, and he was active in local politics,” Greg Schadler said. “I think (the award) would have made him proud.”

By Jim Mayse Messenger-Inquirer