Converse County’s Frank and Leslie Eathorne receive Wyoming Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award – Nov. 20, 2013

LARAMIE—Frank and Leslie Eathorne, of Converse County, were awarded the 2013 Farm Bureau Distinguished Service Award at the 94th annual meeting of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation (WyFB).  Presented Nov. 15, the award is given to those who have gone above and beyond in their service to agriculture.

“Frank and Leslie have never lost sight of their goal,” stated Wyoming Farm Bureau President Perry Livingston.  “We appreciate all they have done for the good of the Farm Bureau organization and the good of agriculture in Converse County and Wyoming.”

Frank and Leslie met in Florida while Frank was attending flight school at MacDill Air Force Base.  They married in 1965 and Frank shipped out to Vietnam immediately following their honeymoon.  The Eathornes returned to the ranch north of Douglas in 1974 immersing themselves in their ranching operation and beginning a long relationship with a number of organizations.

As lifetime members of Farm Bureau, Frank and Leslie have devoted much time and dedication to the organization.  Frank has served in many leadership roles in Farm Bureau including:  Converse County Farm Bureau President from 1979-1984; Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation State Government Affairs State Committee Chair; and WyFB Vice President.

Along with supporting Frank in his leadership roles, Leslie has also served in many different positions including county Farm Bureau treasurer and Fruit and Vegetable Coordinator.

“The protection of private property rights has always been at the top of Frank and Leslie’s list of things worth fighting for,” Livingston said.  “As members of the Converse County Landowners Association they have worked diligently to safeguard those rights and gain transparency, bargaining momentum and efficiency of process when dealing with pipeline projects, oil and gas development issues and more recently; wind development issues.”

In 1999, Frank was a founding member of the Thunder Basin Grasslands Prairie Ecosystem Association; a group interested in protecting landowner property rights amid endangered species concerns.  Working with the Forest Service, Wyoming Game and Fish, and other interagency personnel; Frank and Leslie support a common sense approach to candidate species and species of concern under the Endangered Species Act.  They have worked tirelessly to develop a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances to provide landowners with protection of their property and livelihood if a species does get listed.

Frank served as a Converse County Commissioner from May 1999 to December 2006.  He served as chairman of the commission and worked on many issues during his tenure.  Frank feels strongly about using the coordination process in dealing with federal land management agencies and helped Converse County Farm Bureau provide training for area elected officials and other affected parties.  Frank currently serves as chairman of the Converse County Natural Resource Policy Committee and is currently working once again on comments to the Forest Service regarding the prairie dog. 

“The Eathornes have stood up for agriculture when it really counted and spent many late nights reading a draft plan and providing comments; made sandwiches for weary firemen; sent one more e-mail; or helped put the finishing touches on a 4-H project,” Livingston said about the Eathorne’s distinguished service. 

“It is very special to get this award from Farm Bureau,” Frank and Leslie Eathorne said.  “We have talked many times over the years about different ranch issues we face and know Farm Bureau is the organization we can count on when we are looking for solutions.”

“The staff is always ready and so willing to help,” They continued.  “Whenever an issue comes up we know we can call the office and get some guidance that is always so helpful.”

“Then of course the friendships we have made around the state is another thing we have grown to appreciate over the years,” Frank and Leslie said.  “We always look forward to coming to the Farm Bureau meetings and those are the reasons.”

“We feel very blessed to be honored by this group of people,” They concluded.   

 “The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is proud to honor Frank and Leslie Eathorne with the 2013 Distinguished Service Award honoring their distinguished service,” Livingston concluded.  “We thank Frank and Leslie for their dedicated leadership on behalf of the Converse County Farm Bureau, the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation and the state’s agriculture industry.”

            The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation is the state’s largest general agriculture organization.  Members work together from the grassroots to develop agricultural policy, programs and services to enhance the rural lifestyle of Wyoming.  On the web, www.wyfb.org.

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