Kansas agriculture has lost a true statesman and friend.
Doyle D. Rahjes, 85, a small grains and livestock farmer, who served as President of the Kansas Farm Bureau from 1983 to 1994, passed away Friday evening, Oct. 2 following a short illness.
After serving in the Army from 1952 – 1954, and Kansas National Guard Active Reserves through 1965, Rahjes began his involvement in the state’s largest farm organization in Phillips County near Agra. He began his service on the Phillips County Farm Bureau board in 1966. He then was elected to the Kansas Farm Bureau board in 1971, served as vice president from 1973 to 1983, then as president until 1994. Rahjes represented Farm Bureau on the state, national and international levels, including as trade negotiations consultant for the American Farm Bureau Federation. Among appointments to numerous positions by governors and U.S. presidents, Rahjes was one of the first agriculture leaders from the United States to travel to the former Soviet Union to help organize local farm organizations.
“Doyle was a constant champion of Kansas and U.S. agriculture in so many capacities,” Rich Felts, Kansas Farm Bureau president said. “But beyond his service to agriculture around the world, Doyle will be remembered as a man of honesty, integrity, and charity. He will be missed for those characteristics as well.”
In a statement U.S. Senator Pat Roberts said, “Doyle was a true friend and statesman who was a universally admired and respected advocate for agriculture and farm and ranch families. I shall miss his wise counsel, solid advice and personal relationship that was very special. He will be missed but his positive legacy lives on. My thoughts and prayers are with Charlotte and his family.”
U.S. Senator Jerry Moran said he has lost a true friend.
“For more than twenty-five years Doyle Rahjes has significantly influenced my life. He chaired each of my campaigns for Congress, and we visited often about the issues of the day and things that really mattered in life. He earned the admiration and respect of all who knew him in Kansas and around the country. He loved Charlotte and their family and farm, and worked with Farm Bureau to make life better for all of us in rural America. Most importantly, central to Doyle was his personal relationship with Jesus. Doyle made a difference, and the world is better because of him.”
During his Farm Bureau tenure and beyond, Rahjes also served as trustee of the Dane G. Hansen Foundation, a group who hosted, evaluated and counseled many candidates running for office on the state and national level.
After retirement, Rahjes returned to the family farm near Agra in North Central Kansas where he continued to serve on several local boards and committees. He is survived by his wife Charlotte, two children and four grandchildren.
More on Doyle Rahjes can be found at www.kfb.org/rahjes.
Source: Kansas Farm Bureau