Among the pacesetters awards recently presented at the chamber of commerce banquet was the Agri-business Pacesetter awarded to Hardin Farms, they were recognized for providing classroom agriculture education.
Michael Brown, representing Ag Provision, LLC, the 2007 Agri-business Pacesetter, presented the award. He said, "The benefits of this type of ongoing education are not just for the student as it benefits the entire community as a whole."
Jim Hardin said that the award meant a lot to him. He described their operation as low profile people making a living. Jim and Rhonda established the farm enterprise with neither being raised on a farm. Now the operation includes their son Dwain and son-in-law Greg Cliffman.
The Hardins' daughter Tracy Cliffman is now a sixth grade teacher, but while she was teaching fourth grade she suggested going to the farm with about 200 kids. This was started about eight or nine years ago.
The Hardin farm hosts the students near harvest time when the students can see the farming enterprise in operation. Prior to going to the farm, the teachers start talking to the students about farming. At the farm they observe either soybeans or corn being harvested. Among those helping with the field trip is the Farm Bureau.
Jim said that many kids are not connected to a farm through their families, and this gives them information about what farming is about.
The Hardin Farm is among many other farms in the area that contributes much to the agriculture industry. They do row cropping, have 400 or 500 "mommy" cows with as much as 1,000 head of cattle on the farm at one time. In addition they have a trucking operation where they transport soybeans and corn to Murphy Farms and do other trucking. Jim said that they buy everything locally.
Congratulations go to the Hardin Farms for being named as the Agri-business Pacesetter of the Year. Jim emphasized that they are "low profile people, making a living."
The other two finalists are also well deserving of recognition. They include Focal Dairies and Record Harvest. Focal Dairies is a large dairy operation in the northeast part of the county. They are innovators and taking the lead in grassland dairying. Record Harvest is rather a quiet operation, but much bigger than many of us realize. They are leading precision agricultural equipment dealers, serving much of Missouri, Kansas and other states. This is a commerce group that has received national recognition.
There are several businesses in Vernon County that are accomplishing great things with their business and making great contributions to the community in a number of ways. Pacesetter awards are awarded each year to a small business and to a large business. The number of employees determines the size of the business .
Several weeks ago, I visited with Martin Hill, of Precision Machine Parts. He told me that his firm was busy and had many orders. He had more business than they could keep up with. In this economic climate we are now in, it sounds good that a local company was meeting with success. It was this company that was named as the 2008 Small Business Pacesetter. Presenting the award was Seth Barrett, 2009 chamber president for Fortner Graphic solutions 2007 Small business Pacesetter..
In presenting the recognition, Barrett said, "This local company has expanded their employee base and their business nation wide and in doing so provided exposure for Nevada."
The other finalists for the Small Business Pacesetter award were the Nevada Medical Clinic, recognized for providing extended hours to accommodate the public and quality health care and Nevada Urgent Care for providing services for extended hours and those needing urgent care.
Again we have a large business that we are fortunate chose Nevada as a place to locate. They are now in their fifth year and will soon be celebrating their five year anniversary. I am sure that if the national economy was doing better, they would do even better. Still, they a have expanded their employee base due to contracts, kitting parts, and growth in bonding based on military contracts.
The large businesses recognition was presented to Precision Aero Service by Mike Ham, CEO, Heartland Behavior Health Center, recipient of the 2007 Large Business Pacesetter. During the presentation he said, "In a time of economic downsizing you have maintained and expanded your employee base, which reflects the quality of your team and your product. You see the importance of economic development in this community and when able use the resources our community has to offer. Thank you for your presence in our city."
Finalists for the Large Business Pacesetter were Nevada R-5 schools, especially recognized for being accredited with distinction for eight consecutive years; and US Bank Mortgage Services, recognized for their commitment to community projects.
Congratulations go to the two business pacesetters and also to the finalists in each category.
Further discussion about the awards is to be included next week -- if the Lord is willing and the creeks don't rise.