2022 O'Brien County Value Added Ag Hall of Fame Awards Presented

Pictured L to R: Duane Wahlstrom, Gail Maurer, Kiana Johnson
Photo courtesy of the Sanborn Pioneer

Primghar, Iowa, July 27, 2022 – Since 2001, the O’Brien County Value Added Ag (VAA) Steering Committee has recognized an outstanding citizen with their annual Value Added Ag Hall of Fame Award. Beginning in 2016, a business category was added and from that time on, both an individual and a business have been recognized each year with this award.

The O’Brien County VAA Steering Committee presented their 2022 Ag Hall of Fame awards on July 25th at the O’Brien County Fair. The 2022 awards were presented to Duane Wahlstrom and Gail Maurer of Ken’s Feed Store.

According to the Ag Steering Committee, the successful candidate for this award must have demonstrated leadership, stewardship, community service and service to the agricultural industry. They must also be an O’Brien County resident or someone who engages in agricultural activity in the county.

Duane Wahlstrom began his agriculture teaching career in 1956, after serving his country in the Navy and then attending Iowa State College (now Iowa State University). After earning a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Ag Education from Iowa State, Duane taught Vocational Ag and lead an FFA Chapter in Paton, Iowa and then in Odebolt, Iowa. Duane and his family arrived in Sheldon in 1974, when Duane accepted a position at NCC—then called Northwest Iowa Technical College—as their Ag Business professor. Duane has played a key role in FAA leadership and taught several evening Veteran’s classes in addition to being Northwestern College’s Ag Business professor. Duane served his community as Mayor of Sheldon for eight years and also served on the Board of Adjustments and the O’Brien County Veteran’s Board. After retiring from teaching in 1993, Duane stayed active in the farming community, driving tractor for a local farmer each spring and fall. A true family man, Duane has always been active in his church and the communities in which he has lived. Duane Wahlstrom was nominated by Lorn Wills, Robert Henning and Craig Wahlstrom.

Gail Maurer is co-owner of Ken’s Feed Store and manager of their Sutherland location. Gail has been instrumental in helping livestock producers of all sizes operate at their most efficient and cost effective level. Taking an individual approach, Gail has assisted many livestock producers in formulating feed rations to reach their production goals. Numerous grain producers and buyers have benefitted from Gail’s knowledge of grain markets. Gail supports his church and community by being an active member of the Sutherland Church of Christ and the Sutherland Fire & Ambulance squads. Gail has generously shared his extensive knowledge, serving the ag community, the people of Sutherland and Calumet, as well as O’Brien County and the surrounding area. Gail Maurer’s nomination was submitted by Dan Friedrichsen.

The O’Brien County Value Added Ag Steering Committee is honored to add Duane Wohlstrom and Gail Maurer to their Ag Hall of Fame.

O’Brien County Agriculture Hall of Fame Nominations are accepted year round and those received are saved and considered the next year if that nominee does not win. For more information, contact Kiana Johnson, O’Brien County Economic Development at 712.957.1313 or e-mail ocedc@tcaexpress.net .