Two Chosen For Ag Hall Of Fame Award

Primghar, Iowa — Two O’Brien County individuals have received a county-wide annual agriculture industry honor this week at the O’Brien County Fair.

According to the O’Brien County Value-Added Agriculture Steering Committee, they have recognized an outstanding citizen each year with the Value Added Ag Hall of Fame Award since 2001. This year, the Value Added Ag Steering Committee chose two individuals to receive the award.

Denise Steffen of Sutherland and Dan Hunt of Granville were honored as the 2018 recipients of the Value Added Ag Hall of Fame Award. The presentation was at the O’Brien County Farm Bureau and O’Brien County Extension 100th Anniversary celebration held at the O’Brien County Fair.

Officials say they look for someone who has demonstrated leadership, stewardship, community service and service to the agricultural industry. They must also be an O’Brien County resident or someone who engages in agricultural activity in the county.

Steering committee officials tell us Denise Steffen has spent her life helping O’Brien County’s agricultural families and businesses, utilizing her natural leadership abilities through her work as well as through the roles she has taken in her church and community life. Steffen began her career in banking in 1972 as the computer age was transforming that industry and worked tirelessly to help her O’Brien County farm, commercial and consumer customers survive the 1980’s farm crisis. They tell us Steffen made a career change to the insurance industry in 2008, taking over the O’Brien County Farm Bureau in Primghar, where she “continues to serve her customers with a caring and individualized approach.” We are told that Steffen has served her church, leading a non-denominational youth bible study along with her husband, Dave, for almost 30 years. They tell us that Steffen has also played a key role in many community organizations and currently serves as chairperson of O’Brien County Economic Development Corporation’s Revolving Loan Fund Committee and as an active member of the O’Brien County Foundation Board.

They tell us that the other recipient, Dan Hunt, has farmed a grain and cattle operation in Caledonia Township in southwest O’Brien County for many years. The committee says Hunt has always been a good steward of the land, but “perhaps his greatest contribution to the agricultural community has been through his involvement with the Caledonia Ramblers 4-H Club.” Hunt was asked to be a 4-H leader in 1975 and agreed, in spite of the many commitments he already had to his farm, young family, church, and community. They say Hunt was instrumental in turning the Ramblers into the most active 4-H club in the county. Hunt has continued his involvement in 4-H and currently serves as the beef superintendent for the O’Brien County Fair, “spending many hours each year to ensure a successful outcome.” The committee says Hunt has had a very positive impact on the future of our agricultural industry through his influence on generations of O’Brien County youth. They say, “He is a true example of a leader and a teacher.”

O’Brien County Agriculture Hall of Fame Nominations are accepted year-round and those received are saved and considered the next year if that nominee does not win. For more information, you can contact Kiana Johnson, O’Brien County Economic Development at 712-957-1313 or e-mail

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