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Annual banquet will recognize farmers





The Hays Area Chamber of Commerce invites the community to attend the annual farmer's appreciation dinner from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center, 1232 240th Ave.

Tammy Wellbrock, executive director of the HACC, said the tradition began in 1989 after financial institutions approached the HACC about acknowledging the agricultural industry's economic impact. Twenty-four years later, the annual free program has become a much-anticipated event.

Two hundred people are expected to attend the free hamburger and bratwurst dinner. Everyone in attendance is eligible for prize drawings that begin at 6 p.m.

Wellbrock said the program serves to celebrate the relationship between the agricultural industry and the area.

"There's a quality of life that we enjoy here, not just from an economic standpoint, but from character and compassion and love for the land and for the people," she said.

Bob Templeton, executive director for the HACC who served from 1989 to 2000 and organized the first dinner, said the event's longevity and growth reflects the area's values.

"It shows the overall appreciation by the merchants and the people for all the work the farmers do and the support they give," Templeton said.

Free tickets can be picked up at most local banks, credit unions and the HACC inside the Hays Welcome Center, 2700 Vine.