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.
Kansas Farmers Union proudly honors the legacy of Ruth Hirsh through its award in her name which is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to agriculture and/or the efforts of the Farmers Union.
Ruth Hirsh was a strong advocate for a viable education program in Farmers Union; not only for the children, but also for the general public. Hirsh championed equal rights and equal pay for farmers and also supported equality for farm wives. She felt if all Americans recognized the challenges that family farmers faced, they would help change the laws in their favor.
Previous recipients of the Ruth Hirsh Award 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; and Henry Strnad, Republic County.