May 2, 2023
Learn about successful Finney County community visit with recap, photos
Anthony Reardon, horticulture agent for K-State Research and Extension — Finney County, right, demonstrates how to plant a tomato container garden during a community visit session that highlighted K-State Research and Extension programs to bring nutrition and horticulture education to immigrants in Garden City.
Kansas State University engaged with nearly 200 community members during the recent presidential community visit to Finney County and the Garden City region.
President Richard Linton and several Connected 'Cats students led the K-State team of faculty, staff and extension professionals who visited Finney County on April 24 and 25. The visit included community conversations, recruitment activities and events to highlight university partnerships and K-State Research and Extension relationships.
View photos of the events throughout the Finney County community visit. More photos will be added in the coming days.
The two-day Finney County community visit started on April 24 with a Calling All 'Cats recruitment event. On April 25, Linton and the K-State team began the day with a community open forum that highlighted university connections in the Garden City area.
Other events throughout the day included a conversation with Garden City Community College and industry partners on opportunities and pathways for careers in agriculture in the region. An afternoon session included a facilitated conversation with Finney County stakeholders about how they have embraced change in their local demographics through intentional collaborations. The session also highlighted K-State Research and Extension programs to bring nutrition and horticulture education to immigrants in Garden City. The day concluded with a conversation about the future of the Ogallala Aquifer in southwest Kansas.
The two-day visit provided many opportunities for the two Finney County Connected 'Cats student event leaders to share their K-State stories with their hometown community.
"Going back to my hometown Garden City was incredibly special to me, and I am glad I was able to share my K-State story with the rest of the community," said Jade Valdez-Gomez, junior in dietetics with a minor in leadership studies, Garden City. "My favorite part of the day was awarding the Spirit of K-State Award to my high school counselor, Mrs. Emily Hamlin-DeLoach, because she supported me through the entire college application process. Overall, I am grateful for the connections we were able to make and look forward to the future collaborations we'll be able to engage in."
"I hope the next generations of first-generation students can use us — Jade and I — as examples that there are endless opportunities at K-State," said Tram Pham, senior in accounting and finance, Garden City. "I'm so proud to call Garden City my hometown. My favorite part was definitely surprising Mrs. Amy Anderson with the Spirit of K-State Award. She inspired me to get to where I am today, and the student she picks will be a future leader at K-State."
Tram Pham, senior in accounting and finance, recognizes Amy Anderson, business/computer instructor at Garden City High School, with the Connected 'Cats Spirit of K-State Award.
University recognizes two Garden City High School educators with Connected 'Cats Spirit of K-State awards
K-State continues recognizing local educators with the Connected 'Cats Spirit of K-State Award. At every community visit, the Connected 'Cats choose educators from their hometown high schools to recognize for their inspiration and positive influence in helping the Connected 'Cats get to where they are today.
Educators who receive Spirit of K-State awards are recognized in a surprise ceremony at the high school, and they are given a certificate for a $1,000 scholarship to give to a current high school student who plans to attend K-State.
In Finney County, Tram Pham and Jade Valdez-Gomez recognized two educators at Garden City High School.
Pham chose to recognize Amy Anderson, business/computer instructor at Garden City High School.
"To receive this award was a big surprise and an even greater honor!" Anderson said. "Connected 'Cats is one of KSU's great student/community leadership organizations. Thank you, Tram Pham, Connected 'Cats and Kansas State University!"
Valdez-Gomez chose to recognize Emily Hamlin-DeLoach, Health Academy counselor at Garden City High School.
"It is an honor to be a recipient of the Connected 'Cats Spirit of K-State Award and an incredible blessing to be included through the efforts of Jade Valdez-Gomez," Hamlin-DeLoach said. "I am grateful for the variety of opportunities provided to our Garden City High School graduates through the university and especially for how an award like this provides a way to pay it forward to our current students by seeing the successes possible from those who walked the GCHS halls before, and the amazing support shown by a college! For me personally, too — to receive this recognition related to a student-driven choice — means everything. It is incredibly special to know that the time in which Jade and I collaborated together made a positive impact on her future. Thank you, Jade and K-State, for making a difference in my life and career!"
Jade Valdez-Gomez, junior in dietetics with a minor in leadership studies, surprises Emily Hamlin-DeLoach, Health Academy counselor at Garden City High School, with the Connected 'Cats Spirit of K-State Award.
About the community visit initiative
K-State continues traveling the state as part of the presidential community visit initiative that focuses on the people of Kansas and their communities. The initiative consists of nine community visits throughout the state this academic year. See where K-State has been and where the university is going next.
A communications toolkit is available to help K-Staters share a consistent message about the university's relationships, partnerships and contributions throughout the state of Kansas. The toolkit offers a pathway for any university unit to plug in to the initiative and help share stories of engagement across the state.
Access the communications toolkit on the community visit website. Please be prepared to enter your K-State eID and password to access the information.
Members of a Garden City Community College team, including President Ryan Ruda, center, give the K-State team a tour of the college's meat lab.