Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce hosts speaker for annual gala, celebrates top businesses.

Trent Loos is passionate about farming. This sixth generation farmer shared his philosophy about educating the public on what farmers and ranchers do at the annual Pratt Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Gala on Oct. 8.

Loos shared with Gala attenders that he wanted to educate people about what really goes on in agriculture because anti-agriculture activists were threatening the farming way of life with misinformation.

In 2001, he started "Loos Tales" a series of educational programs that airs on over 100 radio stations and has 3 million listeners on-air and online. In 2008, West Quest named Loos "Voice of Rural America" for advocating for agriculture and speaking on behalf of farmers.

His mission is to correct misinformation out there about farmers and those who support agriculture.

"People who are not involved with farming and ranching don't understand what we do," Loos said. "We haven't used our freedom of speech enough."

Education is vital to getting the message out to the public about what it really going on in the farming industry, he said. Farmers are experts in what really happens in agriculture and can share that with the public.

Loos said that messages about cows are causing climate change and killing the planet are presenting a false image of what is really happening. Cows should not be demonized. Cows are part of the solution to the green house gas pollution problems, he said.

While Loos uses mass media to get his message to the public, others can spread the truth by simply sharing what they know with others, he said. People can start by talking with their own family but they need to share the message with someone.

"My formula is educate one person at a time," Loos said."There is much work to do because many think they know what is happening in agriculture. Yet, there are things they consume everyday that have properties they don't realize are there."

Loos said those that want only organically grown foods, might reconsider that cup of coffee or any product with caffeine. Caffeine is a pesticide that plants produce naturally to protect themselves from insects.

"It's the individuals, not the institutions, that make the USA the best place to live," Loos said.

Loos lives in Nebraska with wife Kelli and their three daughters. They have horses and raise cattle, hogs and meat goats.

Besides guest speaker Loos, an auction and awards were presented at the annual Chamber Gala. Outstanding business awards were presented to Joni's Stitch by Stitch, Scoular Grain and Next GINeration Cotton Gin. Kent Moore was honored as an Unspoken Hero for his advocacy in water rights and other natural resources. Scott Goodheart was named 2019 Young Professional of the year.

Several photographs and paintings by Miss Kansas Annika Wooton and Darrin Parker were auctioned off to raise money for Chamber projects. Photos by Stan Reimer, John Patton, Jessica (DeWeese) Hacker and Wooton's and Parker's paintings brought in $1,415.