Oregon Farm Bureau Honors Kathy Hadley of Polk County with Top Hand Award | News

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RICKREALL – Polk County Farm Bureau member Kathy Hadley received the 2021 Oregon Farm Bureau Top Hand Award on December 9 at the 89th Oregon Farm Bureau (OFB) Convention at Eagle Crest Resort in Redmond.

The OFB Top Hand Award recognizes a member of the Farm Bureau who has devoted an extraordinary amount of time, energy and leadership to furthering the goals of the office during the past year of membership. Nominees for this award are submitted by their county agricultural offices to the OFB Membership and Recognition Committee for review.

“Although she runs a farm, is the wife and mother of three young boys, and volunteers for many organizations, Kathy has long been a reference person for Farm Bureau,” said the president. ofB, Angi Bailey. “No matter how busy she is, she always answers the call, the email and somehow finds time to help, whether it’s talking to an elected official, attending a event or give an interview to the media. She is determined, dedicated and has a strong work ethic. When she says she is going to do something, you can count on it being done efficiently and well. Equally important, she inspires others to do the same and get involved. “

Hadley said she was honored to be recognized by the organization with the Top Hand Award.

“Knowing that people appreciate my efforts and the work I do for the Oregon Farm Bureau and Agriculture is what makes it worthwhile for me, taking that time away from my own farms and my family,” Hadley said.

As a former OFB Young Farmers & Ranchers (YF&R) committee chair and member of the OFB Ag Education committee, reaching out to young people has been a long-standing passion for Hadley. Events she has hosted include the YF&R Tractor Driving Competition for FFA Students at the Oregon State Fair and Agricultural Awards at the Polk County Fair.

As the winner of the 2015 YF&R State Discussion Meeting, Hadley went on to represent Oregon as a contestant at the National YF&R Discussion Meeting at the 2016 American Farm Bureau convention, where she made it all the way to Sweet 16. In 2017, she entered the National Ag Achievement Award competition.

For many years, Hadley participated in the Farm Bureau booth at the Oregon Ag Fest, giving families the chance to meet a farmer and experience farming.

Over the past year, Hadley has devoted countless hours to finding sponsors and raising funds for the OFB Trap Shoot, a boon for the OFB’s Political Action Committee. She helped secure a record 41 sponsors for the event.

Always seeking to defend agriculture, Hadley volunteered to testify at numerous legislative committee meetings during the last state session. She is able to connect the dots on complex topics and explain to lawmakers how their actions would impact the farming industry and her own family farm in Rickreall.

“I really believe in being active beyond our own fences, with so many people so far removed from farming,” Hadley said. “It could be volunteering with a local FFA chapter, serving on a State Department advisory committee, posting educational images about your farm on social media, testifying on a bill in the Legislature.” , there are many ways to make a difference in agriculture. Farmers and ranchers need all the promotion and education we can get.

Hadley cultivates with her father Dean Freeborn, and increasingly with her son Grant, in Rickreall. She also helps her husband Troy Hadley on a farm in Silverton. Freeborn Family Farms raises beef, grass seeds, grains and legumes.

“My favorite thing about our family’s generational involvement with Farm Bureau is the network of friends we have from literally all over the state,” added Hadley.

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