Buhler’s Daniel Friesen Among Huck Boyd Institute Leader of the Year Honorees

By K-State Research and Extension news service 


MANHATTAN, Kan. – “Ruralpreneurs” in business, tourism, technology and agriculture along with community volunteers are among those to be honored by K-State’s Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development as Leaders of the Year for 2022.

This year’s award categories and winners are:

The winners will be honored through a hybrid Zoom/in-person awards presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the K-State Student Union in Manhattan.

“Congratulations to these individuals and organizations for their creativity and commitment to rural communities,” said Shawna Moyer, chair of the Board of Directors of the Huck Boyd National Institute for Rural Development.

Cassidy Cage and Halle Schindler

When sorority sisters and roommates Cassidy Cage and Halle Schindler were visiting the Schindler family farm near Paola, they talked about a project they could do together. That led to the creation of C&H Designs, a startup business using a Cricut device to create customizable vinyl designs for shirts and other items. Their products have now been marketed across Kansas and beyond. For more information, search for C&H Designs on Instagram.

Daniel Friesen

Daniel Friesen was a tech-savvy kid in Buhler who started a computer repair business called IdeaTek while in high school. He went on to study information systems at Hutchinson Community College and Wichita State before pursuing his business full-time in Buhler. IdeaTek is now an Internet service provider with an emphasis on fiber optics. The company employs more than 120 people from Strong City to Liberal. For more information, see

Roxie Yonkey

Roxie Yonkey serves as her organization’s CEO – in this case, Chief Exploration Officer. After designing travel guides and promoting tourism from her home in Goodland, she became a travel writer and blogger. Roxie has published the book “100 Things to Do in Kansas Before You Die.” For more information, see

Danny Scott

Danny Scott was a banker in Caney who was concerned about the direction of the community. The grocery store had closed and downtown businesses were boarded up. Danny and his wife Norma joined with others and the local county extension agent to form the Caney Community Betterment Group Foundation which joined the Kansas PRIDE program.

Now a municipal-owned grocery store has opened, new businesses have moved downtown, and positive momentum is occurring. For more information, search for Caney Community Betterment Group Foundation on Facebook.

Steve Radley

Steve Radley, CEO of NetWork Kansas, wanted to create a way to encourage cross-sector collaboration, resource development and implementation for bold economic and community development improvements across Kansas. With the assistance of NetWork Kansas’ Strategic Inclusive Communications Director and marketing professional, Christina Long, a planning team was assembled and the NetWorked Partnership for Community Investment was created.

NetWorked expanded from statewide virtual convenings to a statewide in-person conference called NetWorked for Change, featuring resources for rural and urban communities with leading support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas and the Kansas Health Foundation. For more information, see

Landon Oldham

Landon Oldham founded Heartland Soil Services in Cunningham when he identified a need for more data to assist farmers with precision agriculture. Today, Heartland Soil Services specializes in soil sampling, yield mapping, imagery, irrigation management tools, variable rate seeding and fertilizer prescriptions, and end-of-season data analysis. Such data helps farmers apply their inputs in a more efficient, effective and environmentally-friendly way. For more information, see


The 2022 Huck Boyd Leaders of the Year winners were selected by entrepreneurship students in K-State’s College of Business and by agricultural communications students in K-State’s College of Agriculture. Each year the Huck Boyd Institute selects its leaders of the year from among those featured previously on its weekly Kansas Profile radio program and column.

Kansas Profile is distributed by the K-State Radio Network and K-State Research and Extension News Media Services to radio stations and newspapers statewide.

Daniel Friesen Profile for Web