American Farm Bureau Honors Kenneth Dierschke of San Angelo
NASHVILLE, TN — Kenneth Dierschke, San Angeloan and a fourth-generation West Texas cotton and grain farmer, has served as a Farm Bureau leader for more than 50 years. A former Texas Farm Bureau president and AFBF board member, Dierschke credits his father with first urging him to step up as an advocate for agriculture.
The American Farm Bureau Federation presented the Farm Bureau Founders Award to Dierschke during AFBF’s 2018 Annual Convention & IDEAg Trade Show in Nashville Sunday.
“I had a yearning to be a farmer all of my life, so I decided I’d come back to the farm and when I did, my father told me you just can’t come back here and sit around,” Dierschke said. “You need to get involved, and Farm Bureau is the organization you need to get involved in.”
Get involved he did. In his 12 years leading the Texas Farm Bureau, Dierschke was instrumental in gaining passage of three major farm bills.
“Farm bill was always high on his list,” said current Texas Farm Bureau President Russell Boening. “Being a West Texas farmer, cotton probably over most of his lifetime, he understood the importance of the farm bill, the importance of a good safety net.”
Dierschke fought, and won, other tough battles for agriculture like the Trans Texas Corridor—a massive private property takeover which threatened to run over farms and rural communities. He led by example to foster cooperation with other agricultural groups to the benefit of farmers and ranchers across his state and beyond. Dierschke also never missed an opportunity to discuss and promote trade of U.S. -grown and -raised products, and served as a member of the U.S. Trade Representative’s Advisory Council.
A lifelong advocate for agriculture, Dierschke continues to pass on the advice his father gave him as a young man:
“You are Farm Bureau. You’re the grassroots; that’s what this organization is all about. If you don’t do it, the leaders aren’t going to do it, because they listen to what you tell them, and that’s what drew me to Farm Bureau.”
Dierschke and his wife Binnie are lifelong residents of San Angelo. The have two sons and a daughter, and are the proud grandparents of many grandchildren. Dierschke retired as head of the Texas Farm Bureau in August 2014.
At the same meeting, the Farm Bureau presented its highest honor, the Distinguished Service Award, to Sen. James Inhofe.
The Oklahoma Farm Bureau nominated Sen. Inhofe to receive the DSA award; the Texas Farm Bureau nominated Dierschke to receive the Founders Award. A national Farm Bureau committee named each as winners.