O’Brien County Value Added Agriculture Steering Committee Awards 2020 and 2021 Hall of Fame Recipients
Primghar, Iowa, August 03, 2021 – The O’Brien County Value Added Agriculture (VAA) Steering Committee has recognized an outstanding citizen with their annual Value Added Ag Hall of Fame Award since 2001. Beginning in 2016, a business category was added and in the following years, both an individual and a business were recognized with this award. This year, the Value Added Ag Steering Committee presented both the 2020 and 2021 Ag Hall of Fame awards on July 26th at the O’Brien County Fair. The 2020 recipients were Jamie Sickelka and Scott Chrisman of the Sanborn Pioneer while the 2021 awards were presented to Burdette Faust and Tom and Ruth Konz of Tom’s Repair.
According to the Ag Steering Committee, the successful candidate for this award must have demonstrated leadership, stewardship, community service and service to the agricultural industry. They must also be an O’Brien County resident or someone who engages in agricultural activity in the county.
Jamie Sickelka has been an Ag loan officer with Security State Bank for the past 27 years during which time he has consistently demonstrated his dedication to agriculture. He is extremely well respected among his banking peers as well as in the local farm community. Jamie has helped many farmers through difficult times by putting the best interest of the customer first. He has promoted development and growth within the community through activity in various civic organizations. Jamie has a particular interest in helping young farmers get their start in the industry and encouraging them to remain in our small communities. In addition to his professional leadership and dedication, Jamie farms and raises livestock with his family, which enables him to understand and stay in touch with the needs of the farm community. Jamie Sickelka was nominated by James Johnson.
Scott Chrisman is well known to the Sanborn community as the former editor of the Sanborn Pioneer, a local newspaper, which for many years has kept people up to date on a local, state and national level. Through the newspaper, Scott took on a leadership role of letting the people of the area know about local government and Scott has always provided a thorough coverage of the O’Brien County Fair, all agriculture and Agri business in O’Brien County, local business and
even community celebrations. Scott is a well-deserving recipient of this award through his dedication to his community and O’Brien County. Scott Chrisman’s nomination was submitted by Fran Peelen.
Burdette Faust started his life on the farm and purchased the fertilizer plant in Calumet, renaming it Burt’s Farm Service. In 1976 he sold the fertilizer business to Craig Struve and began his own journey of buying farm ground and operating a farrow to finish hog operation. Burdette has served on the Zion United Church of Christ Church Board and Calumet School board for many years. Even on his 85th birthday, he was tilling the farm ground and is always willing to help his children anyway he can. This nomination was made by Burdette’s children, who expressed their pride in this lifetime farmer.
Tom and Ruth Konz, as a team, are extraordinarily gifted to recognize and fulfill value added agricultural needs. With roots deep in O’Brien County, Tom and Ruth had their start as a more typical grain farming operation, now known as Good Earth Farms. With teamwork and vision, they recognized a need in 1997 for farm equipment repair, which led them to open what has become Tom’s Repair, Inc. located on their farm. Tom’s Repair has grown into a large operation, servicing and repairing John Deere, Case IH, and even semi-trucks in O’Brien, Sioux and surrounding counties. Tom’s Repair provides farm repair services, farm equipment advertising, and parts for the local area. Toms Repair has service trucks for in- field needs and they have a knack for identifying great young future employees and then developing those individuals into dedicated, hardworking and skilled mechanics. Tom’s Repair also offers planting equipment, spraying equipment and mowers, grain carts, head trailers, gravity wagons, and snow blowers. Keeping up with technology, they offer Ag Leader precision agriculture which has led to a tiling and trenching operation. This tiling and trenching operation compliments their already established custom farming component to their grain farming operations. The recent addition of an expansive Golden Harvest Seed sales operation observes the next generation, Tyler and his wife, Sara, taking the lead. The Konz farmstead is a hub of activity all related to helping their neighbors and friends. Denise Steffens made this business nomination of Tom and Ruth Konz and Tom’s Repair, Inc.
The O’Brien County Value Added Ag Steering Committee is honored to add Jamie Sickelka, Scott Chrisman, Burdette Faust and Tom and Ruth Konz to their Ag Hall of Fame.
O’Brien County Agriculture Hall of Fame Nominations are accepted year round and those received are saved and considered the next year if that nominee does not win. For more information, contact Kiana Johnson, O’Brien County Economic Development at 712.957.1313 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .