KENTLAND, INDIANA (November 6, 2014) — This Veteran’s Day, AgVenture of Nebraska Seed Partners (AVN) has taken time to acknowledge a special customer who has had an exceptional career. AVN owner Dennis Kenyon said, Ray Siekman has been a leader in agriculture. A loyal AVN customer, Ray has grown many corn and soybean seed test plots for AVN while farming over 2,000 acres of row crops, 1,200 acres of hay and pasture and maintaining a cow-calf herd of 100 head of Red Angus cattle near Lincoln, Nebraska. But there’s much more to the story.”
“Leadership and service always have been a part of Ray’s life,” said Kenyon. “His influence in his distinguished military career is something to be acknowledged, respected and honored this Veteran’s Day.”
AgVenture Yield Specialist Dale VanAckeren has worked closely with Siekman the past several years. “Ray was recently honored by the Kiwanis as Farm Family of the year for Lancaster County, Nebraska.” VanAckeren notes, “It was an honor well deserved. His dedication to advancing agriculture production practices has not only advanced his own operation, but has inspired others as he has shared results and encouraged fellow farmers. Beyond his agricultural leadership, Ray has been a highly decorated serviceman. He is the essence of what makes our community and our country great. We are very proud of him.”
Born in Lincoln in 1941, Siekman fell in love with farming on the family farm. From the one room schoolhouse, to vocational agriculture preparation and FFA involvement at Walton, Siekman actively participated, was involved and engaged in agriculture, education and sharing what he has learned. As a member of the ROTC while in college, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army upon graduation with a degree in vocational agriculture and natural science from the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
Siekman served at numerous military posts including Germany, Korea and the Pentagon. In 1967-68 during his first tour in Vietnam, he flew a turbo-prop Mohawk during surveillance missions over North Vietnam and during his second tour, flew a Huey helicopter. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Distinguished Flying Cross with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, The Air Medal with 60 Oak Leaf Clusters, The Master Army Aviation Badge, and numerous other medals and commendations. In 1983, while serving at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, he retired after 20 years of service as a Lieutenant Colonel where General Colin Powell presided at his retirement ceremony.
Kenyon noted, “We are so grateful for all the men and women who have served our country in the military throughout the years, and for those who continue to do so today. As our company serves agriculture, we are humbled and proud of the many sacrifices Ray and others have made that allow us to do so.”
Siekman has 3 children, Son Dennis and wife Sue, daughters Anne Marie and Amy Michelle. Dennis also has 5 grandchildren and a special friend, Dianne Deskins. An inspiration to his family, all four of his brothers were members of the Waverly FFA chapter, officers and state farmers, attended University of Nebraska, and were officers in the army. He is a member of the Sesostris Shrine, Scottish Rite, Masons, Military Order of the Purple Heart, VFW and the American Legion.
AgVenture, Inc. is the nation’s largest network of independently owned regional seed companies. Based in Kentland, Indiana, AgVenture provides this growing network of independently owned and managed seed business owners with seed products meeting exacting standards for quality, together with leading-edge genetics and technology. Since 1983, this unique marketing approach has allowed each individual company to match the hybrids it sells to the specific needs of the geographical area it serves. Combined with professional seed representation at a local level, AgVenture strives to help every grower realize more profit from every field.