Rural Life Day & Century Farm Award

Nurturing Rural Life Through Faith

Rural Life Day is held annually to award families with the Monsignor John George Weber Century Farm Award to celebrate families in the diocese who have farmed or have owned their farm for 100 years or longer. Each year the event is held in a different deanery of the diocese and is held in the middle of August. Everyone in the Diocese is welcome and encouraged to attend to share in the stories of these families and share in the faith that held the family together for over 100 years. 

To apply for the Century Farm Award, please click HERE.

2023 Century Farm Awards

On August 13th, 2023 The Diocese of Salina, Kansas and the Rural Life Commission celebrated Rural Life Day and presented the Century Farm Awards at St. Joseph Parish, Oakley, KS. Fr. Luke Thielen served as host for the event as well as giving a closing prayer. Rural Life Day was observed by the families of the Msgr. John George Weber Century Farm Awards and other local parishioners. Approximately 40 people were in attendance. All of the families involved expressed that the many blessings given to them are the result of their Catholic Faith. Faith is one of the backbones that has contributed the the history of farming in the rather unpredictable Great Plains Farm Life.

Monsignor John George Weber was born Aug 10, 1916, in Victoria to Jacob and Rosa (Herrman) Weber. He was ordained on May 30, 1943, and celebrated his first Solemn Mass in Park, KS, on June 5, 1943. On Feb. 10, 1960, he was named executive secretary for the National Catholic Rural Life Conference in Des Moines, IA. IN June 1963, he was named Papal Chamberlain to Pope John XXIII in in May 1968, he was named Domestic Prelate. Msgr. John George Weber served in many parishes during his life and retired in Salina where he served as part-time associate pastor at St Mary’s Catholic Church and was very active at St Mary’s Grade School, where the children loved and adored him. He died at age 93 on July 1, 2010.

The Century Farms Awards were presented to: Joe and Vicki Schmidt, Rawlins County; and Eugene C. and Margaret Wetter, Norton County.

The Schmidt Family: Chuck & Tobina Norris, Joe & Vicki Schmidt, and the Norris children: Josey, Trent, and Cord.
The Wetter Family: (Front row) Eugene & Margaret Wetter; (back from left to right)

The 2024 Rural Life Day and Century Farm Awards, tentatively set for August 24, 2024, will be held in the East Deanery. Next year we will also be taking nominations for a Half Century Business Award. Please check back for more information as it becomes available.

A video of Rural Life Day and the Century Farm Awards.

Past Recipients of the Msgr. John George Weber Century Farm Awards:

Joe & Vicki Schmidt Farm
Eugene C & Margret Wetter Farm

Charles & Marlene Brill Farm
Lloyd Cervosky Farm
Myron & Monica Dreilling Farm
Curtis Kuhn Farm Farm
Patrick & Paula Zwenger Farm

Michael Griffin
Martin Family Farm
Frank Schwarzenburger
Norbert Family Farm
Irma Matson
Weis Family Farm

Hubert Diederich
Isidore & Agatha Reichert
Vincent Coufal

Emma & Dale Davidson
E.G. Hanley
Murphy Farm
Jeremy & Jennifer Reidel
The Schulte Farm
Zachary J. Stadelman

Richard & Connie (Curry) Allamon
Mark & Denise Becker Family
Eileen Bellairs
Thomas & Therese Haas Family
Allen & Ellen Schmidt/ Brett & Ashley Schmidt Family
Donna “Cole” Stahl Family
Ronald & Jo Whitmer Family

John Billinger 
Bouska Family
Steve Jr. & Carmel Dlabal
Raymond Kepka Sr. 
Barbara A. Princ
Ron & Virginia Ptacek
Susan Thielen Family
John & Verna Wetter

John & Elaine Moellering
Karol Dean Riener
Aaron & Marci Sis