The Buzz

A small-town success story culminates in Osborne.

Published on: Apr 1, 2007

Many years ago, I traveled to Osborne to visit with Osborne Industries co-founder and president Stan Thibault. I was struck at how committed to the community Thibault remained, even though the county struck down his attempt to build a large swine farm that would serve as a "testing facility" for the company's products. Osborne Industries had been approached by many potential suitors, but Thibault knew the only assurance the business would remain in Osborne would be through local ownership…

  • Never did I dream that Thibault would turn ownership over to the company's 120 employees, but that's what happened two weeks ago during a celebration ceremony in Osborne. According to the Salina Journal, the company's employees have been given shares of Osborne Industries stock, essentially becoming employee-owned…
  • The article reports that Osborne Industries' new general manager, Steve Langley, "challenged the new owners to accept the challenge to grow sales by 50% over the next five years – and to have fun."
  • If you check the weather on the Internet, like I do, you may be interested in a new feature on the Weather Channel Web site, www.weather.com. After entering the zip code of where you wish to observe the weather, look for a menu option called "Radar Map," along the top menu bar. Users can manipulate the interactive map to zero in on individual counties, townships – even farms – to see whether that location is receiving any precipitation…
  • From the stupid crime file: a Berryton man faces up to 86 months in prison and more than $900,000 in fines after soliciting more than $1.3 million from eight Kansas investors for investment in a fictitious cattle embryo transfer program in 2001…
  • Kansas Securities Commissioner Chris Biggs announced last week that Donald Atteberry was found guilty several felony counts of securities fraud, failure to register as a broker, dealer or agent and offer or sale of unregistered securities. Investors were issued promissory notes and advised by Atteberry that they would realize a 5-15% return on investment within 1-6 months…
  • Atteberry, a licensed veterinarian when the offenses occurred, did not invest in the embryo transfer program, but instead paid off earlier investors in what Biggs calls the "Ponzi" scheme. He also used money for personal use, including gambling at area casinos, Biggs reports…
  • Sylvan Grove farmer John Thaemert, the president of National Association of Wheat Growers, testified last week before Congress that the 2007 Farm Bill needs to address failures for wheat growers stemming from the 2002 Farm Bill…
  • Thaemert says wheat growers have received no benefits from the loan deficiency payment and minute benefits from the counter-cyclical payment over the term of the 2002 Bill; he adds that NAWG's 2007 Farm Bill proposal for wheat would increase the wheat direct payment to $1.19 and an increase in the wheat target price to $5.29…
  • Meanwhile, Greg Shelor, Minneola farmer and past-president of the National Sorghum Producers, also testified last week before the House Ag Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk Management. Shelor says sorghum producers generally support the 2002 farm bill, because it improved the status of sorghum compared to other feedgrains…
  • Shelor says, however, that priorities for the 2007 bill are to equalize the sorghum loan rate on the county level with other feedgrains, maintain guaranteed direct payments and preserve loan deficiency and counter-cyclical payments.