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A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications

Innovative agricultural newspaper and award-winning broadcaster honored

Tom Taylor and Holly Martin of the High Plains Journal in Dodge City and Tad Felts of KKAN/KQMA Radio in Phillipsburg were honored Oct. 16 for outstanding work in community newspapers and radio, respectively. Taylor and Martin received the 2014 Huck Boyd Leader of the Year award in Community Newspapers and Felts received the Huck Boyd Leader of the Year award in Community Radio. The Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development and the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media at Kansas State University made these selections and presented the awards at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

"These journalists have demonstrated outstanding business leadership and commitment to their communities," said Clare Gustin, chair of the Huck Boyd Institute Board of Directors.

Tom Taylor is publisher and Holly Martin is editor of the High Plains Journal, which was founded by Joe Berkely in Dodge City. The High Plains Journal produces five editions weekly, tailored to the cropping regions that it serves, with 75 employees and nearly 50,000 subscribers across the nation. The Journal is also using innovative formats such as various electronic media to extend its reach. In 2014, a High Plains Journal article, "Story of a Steak," was named the American Agricultural Editors' Association national Story of the Year.

"The High Plains Journal has shown that community or niche publications can succeed in today's tough market," said Gloria Freeland, director of Kansas State University's Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media. "By covering topics that are of vital interest to their audience — and producing them in print, online, video and blogging formats — they provide an essential service."

Tad Felts has been in broadcasting for 66 years and is still going. He is the news and sports director for KKAN/KQMA radio in Phillipsburg, covering countless ball games, major events, city council and school board meetings. He produces a daily radio program called the Tad Poll. For three decades, he has accompanied local students on a school-sanctioned educational trip to Washington D.C. with broadcasts along the way. The Kansas Association of Broadcasters annually awards the Hod Humiston Award for Sports Broadcasting, the Sonny Slater Award for Service to Station and Community, and membership into the KAB Hall of Fame. Tad is the only Kansas broadcaster to have received all three honors.

"If you're ever in Phillipsburg and you mention the name Tad Felts, you won't find anyone who doesn't know him," said Steve Smethers, associate director of the A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications at K-State. "Tad is a well-known broadcaster and community leader who has spent most of his life working for the betterment of Phillipsburg and Phillips County."

The Huck Boyd Institute honors Leaders of the Year annually in several categories from among those featured on its weekly Kansas Profile radio program and column during the previous 12 months. Kansas Profile is distributed by the K-State Radio Network and K-State Research and Extension News to radio stations and newspapers state-wide and beyond. For more information, see www.kansasprofile.com.

The Huck Boyd Foundation of Phillipsburg, Kansas, supports two projects at K-State: the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development in partnership with K-State Research and Extension and the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media in the A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

 

High Plains Journal
Huck Boyd Institute and Center board and staff present Huck Boyd Leader of the Year Award in Community Newspapers to the High Plains Journal. From left, Steven Graham, Gloria Freeland, Kyle Bauer, Clare Gustin, Don Landoll, Holly Martin, Ron Wilson, Larry Dreiling, Dan Caffrey, Mike James.

 

Tad Felts
Huck Boyd Institute and Center board and staff present Huck Boyd Leader of the Year Award in Community Radio to Tad Felts of KKAN/KQMA. From left, Gloria Freeland, Steven Graham, Kyle Bauer, Clare Gustin, Don Landoll, Tad Felts, Ron Wilson, Dan Caffrey, Mike James.