Humanitarian Award presented to 10 farm families for helping harvest Sparks crop; Farm City breakfast addresses mental health

February 27, 2022 | 12:08 am

Updated February 26, 2022 | 11:58 pm

The 42nd Annual Farm City Breakfast returned Saturday. After focusing discussions on mental health in ag for much of the program, 10 area farms were presented with a 2022 Humanitarian Award for helping to harvest the Sparks family crop last year following the passing of David Sparks. 

Clint Hardy, Daviess County’s Extension agent for agricultural and natural resources, presented the awards. 

“It is really nice when we can recognize a group or an individual who really went above and beyond their typical day-to-day activities and reached out to help someone else,” Hardy said. “This year’s award is a recognition of something that happened in our community that is really important for us.”

The Starks farm is a family business in the Philpot area that farms large acreage from south Owensboro into Hancock County. The farm was run by brothers Mark and David. Hardy said that at the beginning of the fall harvest David got COVID-19 and spent time in the hospital before he passed away from it.

“It put Mark and the farm in need for help getting all their crops harvested,” Hardy said. “So a lot of their friends and neighbors, people who farm nearby, came out and helped harvest their corn and soybean crop.”

The 2022 Humanitarian Award winners are listed below:

Bill and Lucas Brey; Jerry, Kenny, Mark, Donnie, and Ron Knott; Wes Poole; Danny and Tony Ebehlhar; Lee Allen Mitchell; Carl Mulligan; Richard and Jason Strode; Randy and Tanner Stroop; Rick and Philip Castlen; and Matt Castlen. 

The breakfast was presented by Daviess County Farm Bureau and the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and was held at Daviess County High School.  The event was sponsored by local farmers and area businesses. The breakfast was prepared by Ole South Barbeque and was served by local FFA volunteers.

The program featured a panel discussion on mental health in agriculture. Panelists included Joan Hayden with Hayden Farms, Dr. Wanda Figueroa Peralta with RiverValley Behavioral Health, and Dr. Julie Marfell with the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. Additionally, Chloe Ebelhar with Apollo High School FFA presented her award-winning speech on mental health to the crowd.

February 27, 2022 | 12:08 am

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