Shank’s Take: The Wall of Honor – Recognizing Leadership in Livestock and Agriculture

The Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation, established in 2003, moved swiftly to create an annual award designed to recognize Kansans for extraordinary leadership in the livestock industry, and who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to support the Kansas State Fair. 

The award is fittingly called the “Wall of Honor,” and plaques honoring past recipients are permanently displayed in the Prairie Pavilion on the Kansas State Fairgrounds.  

The 2024 Wall of Honor recipient will be announced during this year’s “Boots and Bling,” an annual auction held to raise funds for the betterment of the Kansas State Fair, which is slated for 5:30 p.m. Saturday, August 12. A video created to highlight the contribution of the winner will be shown during Boots and Bling along with other events planned during the Kansas State Fair. 

Video from the 2018 Wall of Honor designees, Lori and Galen Fink

Past Wall of Honor designees include Brad Rayl, long-time governing and foundation board member, Mary and Andy McCurry along with Lori and Galen Fink. Rayl serves as Chairman of the Wall of Honor Selection Committee. 

The criteria for selection are twofold:

• What the nominee did to make a significant difference in livestock shows at the Kansas State Fair?

• What has the nominee done to make an essential difference in agriculture in Kansas?

Rayl invites Kansans from across the state to submit nominations each year. The deadline for next year’s winner is March 1, 2024. A selection committee of Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation board members and other interested parties review all nominations. The final selection is made by the Kansas Fair Foundation Board of Directors. 

“The mandate of the Selection Committee is to pick a leader in the livestock industry who gives back to the Kansas State Fair to make it what it is,” Rayl said. 

For 110 years, Kansans from all walks of life have pitched in their time and treasure to further the success of the Kansas State Fair. Livestock producers were an important part of the first Kansas State Fair, a relationship that remains unbroken to this day.  

The Kansas Fairgrounds Foundation is privileged to present the Wall of Honor award to this vital segment of our state’s agriculture industry.

See you soon at Boots and Bling and the Kansas State Fair.

-Richard Shank

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