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A local man has been honored for decades of dedication to agriculture.
Kenneth Hayden, who lives near Cecilia, received the Kentucky Farm Bureau’s annual award for distinguished service Friday.
Hayden, a former Hardin County Schools board member, won the award at the county level after serving on the board of the local organization for 47 years, attending more than 40 state conventions and serving on many committees for Kentucky Farm Bureau.
The local recognition for that volunteerism meant Hayden was entered along with all other county winners throughout the state for a chance at the state award, which he received during the organization’s annual state convention Friday in Louisville.
Hayden has been farming for about 60 years, growing corn, soybeans and wheat.
His parents taught him and his brother to farm, and he has loved it ever since.
“It’s something new every year,” he said. “It’s something new all the time.
Hayden likes being innovative to face various challenges and always look forward to the next growing year.
His love of agriculture grew into a calling to help others in his field, advocating agriculture, health and other concerns to legislators and others with the Kentucky Farm Bureau.
“In my book, they’re the spokesmen for agriculture in the state of Kentucky,” he said.
The bureau has been successful during the past half a century because it bands people together in an organized group to do things individuals likely couldn’t, Hayden said.
“Somebody has to do this, or we’d be walking around by the wayside if we didn’t have an organization that will look out for us,” he said. “You need to work together.”
Hayden said he felt humble when he found out two weeks ago that he had been selected as the state winner.
“I was very excited,” he said. “I really didn’t know what to say or do.”
During the convention, the Hardin County Farm Bureau was recognized for outstanding membership and program achievement, received the 2012 Young Farmer Gold Star Award of Excellence and received the 2012 Women’s Gold Star of Excellence.
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or firstname.lastname@example.org.