TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) A Kansan is being recognized as "America's Farmer Mom of the Year."
Gov. Sam Brownback recognized White City rancher Debbie Lyons-Blythe at the Statehouse Thursday.
Debbie was nominated for the national award by her family. After winning the southwest region's mom of the year award, she became a national finalist in the contest decided by online voting.
She was presented Thursday with a check for $10,000 from the Monsanto Farming Company.
Debbie and her family run Blythe Angus near White City.
News release from Gov. Brownback's office about Blythe's honor:
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback recognized White City Rancher Debbie Lyons-Blythe today for earning the title of Monsanto’s America’s Farmers Mom of the Year 2012.
“On behalf of our great state, I’m excited to recognize a Kansas rancher and farm mom as America’s Farmers Mom of the Year,” Gov. Brownback said. “Debbie is a perfect example of the kind of hardworking, dynamic people who see to it that our farms, families and communities succeed. This is a well-deserved honor.”
Lyons-Blythe was nominated for the award by her five children, Meghan, Allie, Trenton, Tyler and Eric, and by her aunt, Mary Ferguson, who she describes as “more of a friend than an aunt.”
“What an honor that my children and my aunt, who is also a busy rancher, would nominate me for America’s Farmers Mom of the Year, especially this time of year when we are often working until 9:30 at night and focused full-time on getting cattle bred, fences fixes and cows to grass,” Lyons-Blythe said.
Lyons-Blythe was selected as the Southwest Region’s Farm Mom of the Year by a panel of judges from American Agri-Women and Monsanto. Her nomination was then posted to www.AmericasFarmers.com, along with those of the four other regional winners. Online voting determined Lyons-Blythe the national winner just in time for Mother’s Day.
“I’m flying high with the support I’ve been given from people who matter the most to me. I love to say I raise kids and cows – and I really love both,” Lyons-Blythe said.
All five regional winners won a $5,000 cash prize from Monsanto. Lyons-Blythe received an additional $5,000 from the company for winning the national title. Monsanto representatives presented her check at today’s ceremony.
Lyons-Blythe and her family run Blythe Angus near White City. They raise 250 registered Angus cows and sell registered bulls. They also run a commercial heifer development program. In addition, they have a diversified cropping operation, which includes growing hay to feed the cowherd. Although all five of her children help on the ranch, it is Lyons-Blythe who provides most of the daily labor. Her husband Duane works in town and is very supportive of her passion for ranching.
A graduate of Kansas State University, Lyons-Blythe serves on the board of directors for the Kansas Livestock Association, Kansas Angus Association and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. She also authors an online blog, “Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch,” with which she strives to give consumers a glimpse of life on a family farm. Lyons-Blythe’s blog can be found at www.kansascattleranch.blogspot.com. You also can find “Life on a Kansas Cattle Ranch” on Facebook and follow Lyons-Blythe on Twitter at @DebbieLB.