25 Aug Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association selects Dustin Kuntz as chairman at annual meeting
Amidst the excitement of returning to an in-person annual meeting, Kansas Agribusiness Retailers Association’s 20-plus member board of directors selected Dustin Kuntz of Harveyville Seed Company, Inc., to serve a two-year term as chairman through August of 2023 earlier this week in Manhattan.
“I am humbled and honored to carry this baton of leadership for our industry,” Kuntz, whose father also served as the association’s chairman in 1987, said. “I intend to continue building on the rich legacy of the many volunteer leaders who have served before me.”
Kuntz is the 55th industry leader since 1960 to be picked into KARA’s pinnacle role after serving as a devoted volunteer-leader within the association most of his life.
“Dustin, and Harveyville Seed as a whole, have always been tremendous assets to our association,” KARA president and CEO Ron Seeber said. “We are excited to embrace Dustin’s guidance and thoughtful insight as we continue to evolve our association to enhance our value to our membership.”
KARA members also picked an officer succession consisting of vice chairman, Kevin Dieckmann of Brandt Inc., and second vice chairman Scott Morris of ProValue Insurance. Other members elected to new, or renewed terms on the board of directors were: Bryan Bucl (Nutrien), Justin Foss (Simplot Grower Solutions), Jim Grilliot (Midwest Laboratories), O.J. Pearl (J.B. Pearl Sales and Service), Mark Wegner (ADM Fertilizer) and Toby Witthuhn (Bondurant Crop Service).
The members also bestowed two Distinguished Service Awards, the association’s most prestigious honor given annually to recognize someone who has made a significant and notable contribution to the industry. Due to a modified annual meeting in 2020 and the desire to present the plaques in person, the two recipients were Gary Cless and Dave Wilcox.
Prior to their recent retirements, Cless was a fixture at KARA’s annual anhydrous ammonia safety trainings for many years, while Wilcox was a precision-agriculture expert and a mainstay on the association’s board and Kansas Agri Business Expo committee.
During the two-day event at the Hilton Garden Inn, nearly 100 KARA members enjoyed networking and educational activities. The association hosted a special panel concerning EPA updates and opportunities with acting EPA Region 7 administrator Edward Chu partaking in a discussion with Daren Coppock of Ag Retailers Association and Tucker Stewart of Senator Roger Marshall’s office. Kansas Secretary of Agriculture Mike Beam closed out the meeting’s formal sessions prior to a hot afternoon of golf at the Manhattan Country Club.