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The Hesston Record
347 B Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831

Support For Excel Coming From Around The County

Posted 4/8/2016

The Hesston Community Foundation has collected $75,000 from over 170 donations to aid those affected by the Feb. 25 shooting at Excel Industries.  Thus far, the foundation has issued more than $36,000 in grants.  

Last week, Hesston Golf Park and Sand Creek Station coordinated a golf tournament which brought in nearly $6,000, according to Director Susan Lamb.  

“We were so honored that Sand Creek Station and Hesston Golf Park teamed up to support this important cause,” she said. 

Lamb said the event drew attention from far outside Harvey County, including that of PGA member Woody Austin.  

“This is indicative of the type of support we have received; checks and online donations are coming from across the country,” she said.  

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Jolliff Lays Out Qualifications, Plans, In Bid For Sheriff

Posted 4/8/2016

Bruce Jolliff, a candidate for the Harvey County Sheriff’s race, addressed the Hesston Chamber of Commerce at the Thursday Chamber Luncheon.  

Joliff said he has been a resident of Newton for “all [his] life.”  With over 30 years in law enforcement, Joliff said he holds a degree in criminal justice, is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and has been active on a number of boards in Harvey County including the Harvey County Mental Health Board, Big Brothers Big Sisters and the Substance Abuse Board.  

Jolliff added he has been an officer instructor, training more than 4,000 officers in the state of Kansas. He has trained officers in death and injury interviews, emergency vehicle training, officer survival, standard field sobriety testing, crime scene investigation and battle field first aid - tactical combat casualty.

Jolliff said is is proud of his involvement in the tactical combat casualty training.

“There are times you can’t let EMS in. This teaches officers how to stop the killing and deal with the critically wounded,” he said. 


For more of this story and more on Jolliff, see the April 7 print edition. 

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Hesston High Artists Featured At WalkAbout Gallery

Posted 4/8/2016

This month the Walkabout Gallery will be filled with several different artists, all of them members of the Hesston High art program.

Instructor Holly Savage chose pieces of two-diminutional art of several different styles and mediums to showcase the talent of high school artists. 

“This is a wide array of artists, not just a senior show.  There are a lot of pieces that won awards at the Scholastic Art Show.  I am hanging pieces that were well-composed and students handled the medium well. They are pieces that are well done and deserve to be shown,” she said. 

Senior Katelynn Thrasher was pleased to have pieces of work to be displayed in her first public showing. 

“I was grateful that some of my work could be shown off,” she said.

The WalkAbout Gallery is located in the lower level of the Hesston Wellness Center. 


For more on this story, see the April 7 print edition. 

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HC Celebrating Students At LarkFest

Posted 4/8/2016

The Hesston and Harvey County community is invited to join Hesston College in taking a day off from classes Thursday, April 14, for the annual Larkfest event which highlights student work and achievements. 

David LeVan, business faculty, says, “Larkfest was created to highlight two important values of Hesston College -- academic excellence and service to others. On Larkfest, the community comes together to celebrate the best of Hesston College.”

In the morning, every on-campus student will take part in a service project throughout the community of Hesston and Harvey County, followed by an awards ceremony in celebration of student academic and extracurricular achievement at 11 a.m., at Hesston Mennonite Church. The afternoon includes student presentations showcasing academic work, beginning at 1 p.m., in Kropf, Charles Hall, and Hesston Mennonite Church. The public is invited to attend the awards ceremony and presentations.

The presentation schedule can be found online at or will be posted on site the day of the event. 

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AGCO Celebrates 100,000th Swather

Posted 3/31/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Hesston’s AGCO has produced its 100,000th iconic product, the swather.  The milestone comes during a time of milestone celebrations for the Hesston AGCO location, celebrating its 70th anniversary as a company in Hesston and the 60th anniversary of producing the swather.

Mayor Dave Kauffman said the production of the 100,000th swather in Hesston is a huge achievement.

“They have to be making 4.5 per day for the last 60 years to reach this goal,” he said.

Kauffman added AGCO has invested over $270 million in the Hesston facility - including a multi-million dollar paint booth plant with state of the art technology.

“AGCO, in many ways, defines the city of Hesston. Our mascot is the Swather.  AGCO is the largest employer in our community. Its greatest asset is its people. They are part of our community in supporting our schools, churches, on our councils. They give financially to local organizations.  They fill our restaurants and keep our economy strong,” he said during the unveiling ceremony of the 100,000th swather.

The milestone swather will be making its way north to Moo Mountain Milk, a 20,000-head dairy operation in Burley, Idaho. 

Moo Mountain Milk is owned and operated by third generation dairymen, the Robinson family - Ray, Justin, Blake and Ryan.

Ray Robinson said this will be the seventh windrower purchased by the dairy, which farms on 25,000 acres where they also grow corn, hay and alfalfa.  The dairy also has over 350 employees. 

“I wasn’t really buying this machine with 100,000th windrower in mind.  I was just buying the new machine because it’s important to our business to have the best machines running in our fields,” he said.

AGCO Vice President of Manufacturing Operations Robert Ciecko gave the Robinson family the opportunity to see a windrower produced from start to finish.

“From the steel coils to making parts to seeing where each piece goes, through paint, they got to see the whole process. They were very surprised how many of the individual parts we make here at our facility,” he said. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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MCC Man Gets Motors Running

Posted 3/31/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Jerry Toews, a retired music teacher turned mechanic, has had his hands on and in nearly every vehicle to pass through the MCC Vehicle Auction for the past two decades.

Despite being a choir director, Toews has always enjoyed getting his hands dirty, .

“My hobby has always been mechanical.  I have collected old tractors built before 1917.  They have usually been basket cases meaning that they are taken apart or projects starting with many parts missing.  So I have mechanical skills,” he said.

Growing up, Toews would tinker with anything with gears - from old clocks to building hotrods in high school shop class.  In his 30s, he began collecting and restoring antique tractors.

With his reputation preceding him, Toews was approached to help restore one of the first MCC vehicle donations.

“Milt and Selma Schmidt, of Tabor Church came to me in church one time and wondered if I might get an old car running for them that was in their round top shed.  They were thinking of donating it to the MCC Sale in Kansas and wanted it to be running.  I told them that I could probably do it,” said Toews.

When he pulled up to the Schmidt’s barn, he found an all-original  1928 Star Coupe that had not been started in nearly 40 years, but had been kept indoors.   

“I got it running and cleaned it all up and it brought good money.  The next year George and Edna Dyck (tabor church) asked if I would restore an old Fordson tractor for the MCC Sale.  George knew of one that was taken apart in Canada.  I said that I would,” said Toews.

The history behind the Fordson tractor made it a compelling historical piece at the sale.  One of MCC’s first projects was shipping 50 of the tractors to starving Russian Mennonites in 1922. 

“It was a historic tractor as far as the history of MCC went and we made a big deal out of it,” he said.

Soon, the word got out that there was a fellow in Goessel that would fix up old tractors, cars, trucks, that were donated to the MCC Sale.

To read more see this weeks print edition

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New Fishing Hole Coming To Hesston

Posted 3/31/2016

By Jackie Nelson

Interstate Pond will become Hesstons newest fishing spot thanks to the Kansas Department of Wildlife Parks and Tourism Community Fishing Assistance Program.

Spearheaded by Hesston Rec Director Brad Kohlman. 

Kohlman began working on the program just a few weeks into his tenure with the Rec. 

“I approached the city, and they said, ‘Go for it.’ and I wanted to see what KDWPT could do,” he said.

The Fishing Assistance Program began in 2005 and now stocks and monitors over 200 fishing ponds in over 125 communities. 

Jessica Mounts, KDWPT district fisheries biologist, will be assisting with the process of stocking three species of fish - large mouth bass, channel catfish and bluegill sunfish. 

“I have been involved with the program since the beginning - in fact, my career with KDWPT began as the statewide coordinator and organizer for the program.  While I changed positions in 2008, it is exciting for me to continue to watch it grow from my current position as a fisheries biologist for KDWPT in Sedgwick, Harvey, Reno, Kingman and Harper counties. I'm so happy to welcome the City of Hesston and Interstate Park Pond as our newest partner,” said Mounts.

Kohlman said as soon as the pond is established as a stocked fishing location, Hesston will be listed on a state-wide map of ponds.

“I hope that will bring in some outside anglers as well,” said Kohlman.

A Kansas fishing license is required to fish in public waters, but children under 16 are exempt from needing a license. All Kansas fishing license regulations can be found at

Kohlman said anglers with licenses see a return on their investment through programs like the Community Fishing Assistance Program stocking locations like Interstate Pond.

“All that funding is derived from the fees anglers pay for licenses through the state,” he said.

In addition to stocking fish free of charge to the community, the Kohlman said there are funds available to make capital improvements to Interstate Park to “enhance the angling experience” at reduced cost - such as the installation of docks and handicap accessible fishing locations. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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Hesston Loses $47,000 In New Funding Formula

Posted 3/31/2016

By Jackie Nelson

At the Monday evening USD 460 school board meeting, financing was a topic of conversation, as well as the projections for the 2017 budget.

With state funding tentatively in place, Superintendent Ben Proctor said the district would begin building a budget using the formula presented by legislators.

“Some say it will satisfy the requirements, others say it won’t. It all depends on who you talk to,” he said.

The newly adopted formula is a throwback to the formula used prior to the block grant funding currently in place.

Proctor explained with the 2017 funding formula, which has yet to be approved by the courts, USD 460 would be losing a net of $46,000, the equivalent of about one mill, in funding. 

“There are a couple of important points to keep in mind as we look at this plan.  First, it must be approved by the Kansas Supreme Court.  The whole reason this plan was developed was to satisfy the equity requirement for public education found in the Kansas Constitution.  If this plan does not meet that standard, then it is back to the drawing board.  Second, this is a one year "fix" and would only apply for the 2016-17 school year,” he said. 

To read more see this weeks print edition

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