By Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University.
It’s time to change the channel. No, I’m not referring to the remote control for your television set, I’m talking about a remarkable broadcaster who found a new channel of communication through which to serve his community.
Tad Felts is a longtime, award-winning Kansas broadcaster who is now reaching his community through new channels of communication. Tad grew up in Garden City. While working on the high school newspaper, Tad would ask his classmates questions about various things such as school lunch or who they thought would win the football game. He published the informal results in a newspaper column which he creatively named The Tadpoll. That name would become his trademark through the decades.
From scholarships to strategies, from volunteers to entrepreneurs, from rural health care to community betterment: All those elements are being supported by the Dane G. Hansen Foundation which is investing deeply and strategically in northwest Kansas.
Betsy Wearing is coordinator of programs, communications, and new initiatives for the Dane G. Hansen Foundation. Betsy was a long-time director of the Greater Salina Community Foundation before joining Hansen.
Last week we learned about successful entrepreneur Dane Hansen. His estate plan provided part of his assets for a foundation in his hometown of Logan to benefit northwest Kansas. A group of excellent trustees has grown those assets through the years.
For decades, the Hansen Foundation has been known for the scholarships it provides to students in northwest Kansas. There are several categories of these renewable college scholarships which can provide a student up to $10,000 per year. Last year 280 total scholarships were made available.
What do you do with 100 extra mules? That’s probably not a problem you’ve dealt with lately, but it’s an interesting sidelight on the early career of a Kansas entrepreneur years ago. He became a titan of Kansas business, a behind-the-scenes leader in the nation’s government, and a tremendous benefactor of rural Kansas.
Dane Hansen was born in 1883 to pioneer parents. His father was a Danish immigrant who came to Kansas and met and married a young schoolteacher in Logan. Logan is in Phillips County in northwest Kansas.
Dane grew up in Logan. He had the mind of an entrepreneur. As a child, his father had a grist mill. Young Dane would go to the river crossing to watch for farmers bringing wagon loads of wheat to town to be processed. Dane would ask for a ride and then direct them to his father’s mill, until it was time to go again for the next prospective customer. That’s pretty creative.
Ron Wilson, director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development at Kansas State University writes Kansas Profile. The weekly posts highlight individuals or companies in rural Kansas who are making a difference to their community and state.
The Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development is a public / private partnership between Kansas State University and the Huck Boyd Foundation. The mission of the institute is to help rural people help themselves. Learn more at www.huckboydinstitute.org.