The Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation announced the induction of The Pat Koons Family of Burdick, Kansas as the 2022 Wall of Honor inductee in a combination of their 2022 Boots and Bling event and then again during the Kansas State Fair Grand Drive Breeding Female Supreme drive. Pat and his family have been life-long supporters of the Kansas livestock industry and the Kansas State Fair with Pat serving on the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation Board of Directors from 2008 to 2016.
The patriarch of the family, Pat Koons, was born near Council Grove. Attended Kansas State University and majored in Animal Sciences and Industry. He actively participated in many clubs, the Little American Royal, judging teams, and worked as well as lived at the purebred beef barn under the direction of Dr. Miles McKee. He attended his first State Fair while working at the purebred barn, preparing KSU cattle for exhibition at the 1959 Kansas State Fair and showing in the Bison Arena.
Upon graduation in 1964, Pat served his country in the U.S. Army for two years. In 1966, he returned to Kansas and assumed the position of purebred herd manager at the Dewey Ranch south of Manhattan. He also married his first wife Patricia “Mrs. Pat” in 1966 and they had two sons, Vince, and Bill. He then managed the OK Ranch south of Junction City, Kansas. In 1971, Pat went to work for CattleFax as a market analyst and developing grass roots producer support for a fledging entity. In 1972, Pat assumed the general manager position of Kearny County Feeders Inc. near Lakin, Kansas. In 1983, Pat and his young boys, lost their beloved wife and mother to cancer.
During the next 34 years Pat developed natural, NHTC, source and age programs, Bred Heifer Program and Auction, and was responsible for pricing options, feed yard operations and customer relations. In his spare time, he served on the KLA Board of Directors, Feeder Council chairman, and the Beef Empire Days board of directors as well as past president. Along with serving on the National Livestock and Beef Board, as well as sharing his time with the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation.
In 1984, Pat married Sharon, a former Kansas Wheat Queen, and they enjoyed the blessing of three additional children born into the family, John, Danny, and Betsy. All five of the Koons children grew up active in 4-H and participating in various activities at the State Fair. The children excelled in 4-H qualifying for the State Fair in cooking, baking, style review, clothing construction, photography, public speaking, and demonstrations. They also exhibited lambs, horses, Angus, Hereford, Shorthorn, Maine-Anjou, Chianina, AOB and crossbred steers and heifers. Pat noted that 2006 was a very memorable year when the Koons children, as they exhibited both the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Hereford Steers at the 2006 Kansas State Fair.
Pat is a member of the Livestock and Meat Industry Council Royal Board and past president. Pat was the lead in raising funds for the construction of the Stanley Stout Center and part of the team that oversaw building this remarkable highly utilized facility.
In 2008, Pat and Sharon chose to return to his roots in the Flint Hills and became a self-employed rancher overseeing a cow-calf and stocker operation. Pat continues to share the life experience and insight of the cattle industry as cattle feeding consultant.
Pat and his wife, Sharon, have been married for 39 years. Pat’s five children and 14 grandchildren maintain a presence at livestock shows and competitions. While on the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation Board, Pat served as Wall of Honor chairman, actively involved in the selection of the honorees. The Foundation Board spearheaded the building of the Lair White House on the Kansas State Fairgrounds during Pat’s tenure, which now is home to the State Fair Museum and the Foundation’s office.
The family has a passion for agriculture and in particular the livestock industry. A big part of the Koons family activities is an involvement in consumer education, to inform the general public on the importance of American agriculture and the livestock industry.
As the legacy of The Pat Koons Family is written, it will show the importance of “Family”, to understand that you should treat everyone fair, that your word is your bond and that you always “Ride for the Brand”.
The Pat Koons Family includes:
Pat and Sharon Koons
Vince Koons, wife Lisa with children Amber, Ryan, and Walker
Bill Koons, wife Jennifer with children Baxter and Charlie
John Koons, wife Marley with children Kirbe, Kipton, and Kolby
Danny Koons, wife Jessika with children Kamryn, Presley, and Sawyer
Betsy Gilchrist, husband David with children Grant, Jake, and Elly
For more information on how you can support the Wall of Honor and the Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation please contact James Fisher at 816-262-1157 or James.Fisher@KansasSFF.org.
The Wall of Honor is located in the Prairie Pavilion on the Kansas State Fairgrounds and is available for viewing during the Kansas State Fair and other special events held at the Prairie Pavilion throughout the year.
The Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation is recognized as a nonprofit 501(c)3 charitable organization.
To inspire excellence and understanding of Kansas agriculture, industry and culture through the Kansas State Fair, activities, educational programs and opportunities.