Over a month ago (October 29-30), Ogallala Commons Board of Directors and Advisory Council held their semi-annual meeting in Atwood, Kansas. Several OC Staff members as well as some spouses of Board members attended a Field Tour on the morning of October 29th in St. Francis, Kansas, where the group visited Ross Manufacturing, to see how the Callicrate Bander is manufactured, assembled, and shipped across the country and around the world. The total operation employs over 60 people who live in this rural community! Our group was hosted by Mike Callicrate (who also owns Ranch Foods Direct) for a luncheon out at his feed yard south of St. Francis.
Later in the afternoon, our group enjoyed a walking tour of Atwood, starting at Currier Drug and Bison Pharmacy, owned by OC Board Member Dawn Hampton and her husband Jim. The tour also took in the city pool, where the Mayor spoke to the group about the multi-year process of achieving such a fine community asset. The tour ended at VIC Innovations, an internet provider for the community that is owned by a Simon Micek, who returned to Atwood after graduating from college.
Next, Ogallala Commons hosted an open meeting with the people of Atwood and surrounding towns about community projects that has been undertaken or accomplished with the help of Ogallala Commons over the past 11 years. In attendance was Jade Artzer, owner of Made by Jade. Jade is a 14-year-old girl with a successful and profitable bread mix that you can bake at home. We were inspired by her story: another example of how youth engagement and entrepreneurship is paying great dividends to the region.
The last event for the day was a Partner Reception at Mulligans in downtown Atwood. About 40 people gathered and enjoyed an evening smorgasbord of yak roast, chicken, and home-grown produce, mostly produced by local members of the High Plains Food Cooperative
OC’s Board & Advisers Meeting was held on the morning of OC 30th, in the Board Room and facilities at SureFire Ag, a fast-growing local business. We were joined at our meeting by our partners from South Dakota, intern alum Francine Richards, along with her supervisor Steve Hernandez and his wife Pauletta, all from Pine Ridge Reservation.
OC Board & Advisers will meet again on February 26, 2016 in Amarillo, Texas.