Rahjes donates to KARL

MANHATTAN – Ron Rahjes, Class I graduate of Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL), contributed $10,000 to the non-profit educational organization through his affiliation with CoBank. The gift is additional support to last year’s identical gift for KARL Class XII. This contribution will be applied to year 2 programming for the class. Rahjes is a member of the cooperative bank’s board of directors. Ron is a partner in a family farming corporation that produces wheat, corn, soybeans, and grain sorghum, and is owner of R&C Tax Service, an accounting and tax firm in Kensington, Kansas.

The contribution is part of CoBank’s corporate giving program which, in 2013, provided more than $6.3 million in aid to charitable organizations throughout the country. As part of the program, CoBank allows its employees and board members to direct bank donations to their choice of non-profit organizations and programs, benefitting local communities where its employees and directors live and work. The KARL Program is a two-year intensive study, training and travel series of seminars that provides growth and development opportunities for emerging leaders in the state’s agriculture and rural communities. Since 1990, the non-profit has helped develop decisive, informed spokespeople to be effective representatives for the ever-changing farming and ranching industries and rural communities they thrive in.

Cost for each class of 30 members is $600,000. “The generosity of donors such as CoBank is critically important to the continuation of our efforts to create ambassadors for rural communities, agriculture and the way of life associated with each of those,” said Al Davis, president of KARL. “This gift will benefit the current Class XII members by helping us maintain a cutting edge training experience for rural Kansas leaders.”

Ron Rahjes was a member of KARL’s first class and attributes his many leadership roles from the local through the national level to his KARL experience from 1991-93. Since Ron’s class of 30 graduated, more than 330 more participants from 101 of Kansas’ counties have been able to participate in the 12 seminar series. “I had the distinct privilege of being selected to participate in this program’s initial class, what our program director, Jack Lindquist, refers to as ‘KARL’s Test Pilots’. What I learned has been invaluable to me over the years,” proclaimed Rahjes. “CoBank’s donation will help KARL in its mission to develop strong, progressive leaders for our communities and it helps maintain its mantra of ‘Developing Leadership Excellence’.”