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K-State Today

December 21, 2021

Ron Wilson receives We Kan! Award from Kansas Sampler Foundation

Submitted by Pat Melgares

Ron WIison (center) receives the We Kan! award from representatives of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

The Kansas Sampler Foundation has awarded a 2021 We Kan! Award to Kansas State University's Ron Wilson, the director of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development, honoring his commitment to promoting the culture and entrepreneurship in rural Kansas.

The award is for those who display a cooperative spirit, enthusiasm and dedication for their community, and whose efforts have made a difference in rural Kansas.

For more than 20 years, Wilson has produced a weekly radio show and news column titled "Kansas Profile," featuring small town entrepreneurs and community leaders. It's estimated he has profiled more than 1,000 stories during that time.

Marci Penner, executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation, and a group of supporters surprised Wilson with the award at his ranch on Dec. 10.

"I've been blessed to be surrounded by excellent team members, including my co-worker Janice Lierz and my colleagues on the KSRE Community Vitality staff," Wilson said. "It's especially nice to receive this honor when it comes from Marci Penner and the Kansas Sampler Foundation, which does such great work on behalf of rural Kansas."

The We Kan! awards have been given every year since 1993. Most years, the Kansas Sampler Foundation gives 10 awards; this year, only four have been given so far.