Otts named Farm Family of the Year

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Contributed photo/TSnews The Ott family, from southern Sedgwick County, has been named as one of this year’s Farm Bureau Farm Families of the Year.

By Sam Jack, TSnews

The Kansas Farm Bureau has named Kent and Rebecca Ott one of its 2022 Farm Families of the Year.
The purpose of the award is to recognize families who have distinguished themselves through participation in Farm Bureau programs and leadership as well as community service, civic service and family activities, while also displaying good farm operation management.
It’s safe to say that the Ott family, which also includes daughters Lindsey and Rachel Ott, is strong in all of those categories. The family, which farms land on the south edge of Sedgwick County, has a long list of community involvements.
Kent Ott said he feels honored to accept the award on behalf of Rebecca as well as himself. Rebecca died a little over a year ago.
“She was really the CFO of our farm. She had a finance major, and she spent the early part of her career working at First National – now Intrust – Bank, in the credit card area. She ran that area for a short period of time,” Kent said. “Then she quit her job to work full time on the farm and raise her kids.”
Rebecca also helped start an after-school program at her church, and kept working with kids even during the most challenging days of COVID-19.
“She always had a heart for kids,” Kent said. “Her faith in God was very important to her, and she tried to live that out the best she could.”
She and Kent were married just shy of 40 years.
“She was a city girl. Her dad was an engineer at Boeing. But she grew to love the farm and became very involved in our farming operation,” Kent said.
Kent grew up on the farm of his parents, Patricia and Charles Ott, located near Peck. He studied agricultural economics at Kansas State University.
“I had a chance to go to work in agribusiness, but I decided to come back to the farm, and I’ve been at it my whole life,” Kent said.
Kent has served on the board of the Sedgwick County Farm Bureau, and has been a voting delegate at state-level Farm Bureau meetings. Currently, he and his daughter, Lindsey, are both involved in Kansas Agriculture and Rural Leadership (KARL), a two-year leadership program.
“They have a class of 30, and they expose them to all areas of agriculture as well as local, state and national politics,” Kent said. “This class is actually going to travel to Spain. It’s a good organization for training up young people to contribute to our state and to the agriculture industry.”
Kent’s other community and civic involvements include serving on local co-op and extension boards, as well as the local school board in Mulvane. From 1981 to 1986, he was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives.
Kent said he considers the Farm Bureau the premier agricultural organization in the state, and the nation.
“Their core mission is to be a voice for agriculture, to advocate for farming and farming families, and rural communities,” he said.