Flack Family thanks many for Farm Family Award

By Joseph Slacian

A celebration honoring those in the agriculture industry took place Wednesday, March 11, at the Heartland REMC community room.

A crowd of 120 people was on hand to watch Steve and Lisa Flack accept the 2019 Farm Family of the Year Award on behalf of Flack Farms.

They also heard from John Sampson, President and CEO of the Northeast Regional Partnership, the night’s keynote speaker. The event was sponsored by Grow Wabash County’s Ag Committee.

The Flacks received the award from 2018 recipients Mike and Jay Reed of Reed Farms.

During an emotional acceptance speech, Steve Flack, with a little help from wife, Lisa, thanked all those involved with the dinner and selecting the farm for the honor.

Steve Flack, his voice cracking with emotion, thanked Grow Wabash County and the committee for the honor. He said farming is often difficult and few people understand what farmers do or why farmers do it.

“We would also like to say thank you to our family, friends, neighbors and employees, many of who are here tonight,” Lisa said, taking over for her husband.

Of the employees, she said, “we hate to call them employees; we talked about this when we were putting this together … thank you for representing our business so well.”

“We’re very proud to have you driving our trucks, talking with our customers, treating our business as if it was your own,” she said. “We consider all of you a huge part of our success.”

There really wasn’t a plan in Indiana for what the Flacks had hope to accomplish, she said, admitting they made a lot of mistakes along the way.

“But from the beginning, our friends, family and neighbors were always there and willing to lend a hand when needed,” she said. “Whether it was unloading trucks, hauling hay, shuttling people back and forth, working on equipment or even occasionally helping to put out a fire or two.

“Our friends, family and neighbors were always, and they still are, there for us.”

Steve, taking over from Lisa, said the pair would especially like to thank their children, Austin, Kayla and Derek, “who ended up in the hay business whether they liked it or not.”

“They learned at a young age that the weatherman wasn’t, or more truthfully, hardly ever, right,” he said. “They were pulled out of bed early and sometimes worked into the night to make sure the hay got made and put up before the rain. I’m not going to say they did all this without complaining at times, but the point is they did what we asked. We wouldn’t be here today without their help through the years.”

Steve also thanked God, saying, “through all the ups and downs, God has always provided a way for us to keep going. Often our prayers were expressed with gratitude and joy, sometime with fear and with tears, and a few times with desperation.

“Many times, I asked God, ‘Why did it rain on my hay now?’ But it’s a relief when you realize you don’t have to ask why. You can trust that everything happens for a reason, and God had it worked out all along. I’m extremely grateful for his blessings.”

Steve reiterated that the family appreciated being selected as Farm Family of the Year. But, he added, “there are farmers all over that experience the same struggles, anxieties, worries and ulcers that we do.”

“Every year we wonder, will we get to plant and harvest on time? Will there be a flood or a drought? Will the prices I get be enough to pay the bills? We all get up every morning and do it again.

“So, thank you to farmers everywhere who do it day after day with no recognition, because farming is part of who they are. It’s a special, exhilarating, one of a kind way of life. Our family is so blessed to be able to live the life we dreamed of in the agriculture industry with so many outstanding people to support us.”

Sampson, during his keynote address, spoke about the Regional Partnership and its association with agriculture. He also discussed the group’s future plans and what it plans to do to meet those goals.

Posted on 2020 Mar 17