Power of 7 Seminar Tradition Continues

March 25, 2022

KANSAS CITY, MO. — “Being able to meet and learn from various FarmHouse men alone would have made the whole experience worthwhile. The fellow undergraduates were top-notch in intellect and solidarity. The alumni provided rich insight on their experiences within FarmHouse, the opportunities it has granted them, and ways to capitalize on those opportunities. The environment in which we were surrounded during the Seminar is unparalleled,” said Jared Mulder (Nebraska 19) about his experience at the 15th Annual Power of 7 Seminar at the historic Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C., March 11-13, 2022.   

Transferring wisdom, sharing life lessons, networking, celebrating brotherhood and learning across generations is at the heart of the FarmHouse Foundation’s Power of 7 Seminar, which gathered alumni donors, Fraternity and Foundation board members, spouses and 12 undergraduate leaders from across the country. 

“The chance to interact and network with current students and alumni from across the country was simply an awesome experience. The chance to learn from others both young and ‘older’ is something we all need in our present-day life experience,” said Corby Fichter (Iowa State 78), a Seminar sponsor and mentor. 

The Seminar opened with a networking reception with Washington, D.C., area FH alumni, generously hosted by Kyle Gilster (Nebraska 91) at the law firm of Husch Blackwell. Following, a welcome dinner was held at The Mayflower Hotel with a tribute to the late Clayton Yeutter (Nebraska 49), Master Builder, and a posthumous presentation of the FarmHouse Foundation’s Philanthropy Laureate given by Master Builder Jim Tobin (Iowa State 76). 

The evening continued with the Seminar’s annual “Clayton Yeutter Lecture: Lessons in Leadership” with keynote remarks by IEB Member Eric Steiner (Purdue 98). Eric shared practical advice, life experiences and leadership tips based on his long-time career as Vice President of Government Affairs for the American Forest & Paper Association and as a parent, community volunteer and leader in FarmHouse.   

On Saturday, roundtable discussions on the topics of agriculture today, the global economy, personal finance, lifting personal and population health, mentorship and networking, workforce issues and adversity were led by questions from the undergraduate attendees. Attendees deliberated about many national and world challenges as well as opportunities they face in their daily professional and personal lives.

“The Seminar participants provided remarkable real-time insights and expertise regarding the fast-changing events in Ukraine and around the world and how those affect us here in the United States,” said Foundation Trustee Charlie Oellermann (Nebraska 77)

 The day ended with a private thank you dinner at The Hamilton with special recognition of the Claude B. Hutchison Award to Brent Bible (Purdue 93) and Ron Vaske (South Dakota State 87), and the Robert L. Off Servant Leader Award to Kent Horsager (Minnesota 81), Master Builder, for their dedicated service to FarmHouse. Following dinner, Lynden Armstrong (New Mexico State 90), Deputy Assistant Sergeant of Arms and Chief Information Officer for the U.S. Senate, spoke about his long-time career with the U.S. Senate and lessons he learned in FarmHouse. He oversees an organization of more than 350 employees who support 100 Senators, 28 Committees and 457 offices throughout the United States. 

“I really loved getting to hear from Lynden,” said undergraduate Manny Heilman (Ohio State 19). “Overall, the dinner showcased many amazing people involved in FarmHouse. I was beyond honored to attend the Power of 7 Seminar and thank the alumni for their time, treasure and trust.” 

The Seminar concluded Sunday morning with advice, lessons and reflections from the undergraduates, alumni and spouses in attendance. Participants also spent time touring Smithsonian museums and the national monuments, which were within walking distance of the host hotel

“Sharing three days with thoughtful, accepting, exemplary FarmHouse members, alumni and students alike, is a life lifting and inspiring experience for all,” said sponsor and mentor Bill Appelgate (Iowa State 65). 

The Power of 7 Seminar experience is also a unique fundraising tradition in support of the FarmHouse Excellence Fund. Alumni who make a gift of $10,000 or more to the FH Excellence Fund are invited to attend and mentor one of FarmHouse’s top undergraduate leaders.

“I am proud of these young men,” said sponsor and mentor Jim Hendrix (Colorado State 72). “They will be instrumental as leaders in their chosen field, serving as role models and mentors to others. Never bet against the long-term success of America.”

A very special thank you to the Second 7 Founders who helped make the Seminar experience possible: Bill Appelgate (Iowa State 65), Brent Bible (Purdue 93), Corby Fichter (Iowa State 78), Jim Hendrix (Colorado State 72), Jim Tobin (Iowa State 76) and Ron Vaske (South Dakota State 87). Also, thank you to Denzil Clegg (Nebraska 51), Steve Davis (Oklahoma State 77), Wayne Engstrom (Washington State 60), Jim Herbert (Tennessee 61), Jim Hericks (South Dakota State 70), Bob Knief (Illinois 89), Joel McClure (Iowa State 59), Doug Sims (Illinois 65), Noel Stuckman (Purdue 54) and Jim Wieland (North Dakota State 72) who generously made gifts of $10,000 or more FH Excellence Fund gifts, in support of the Power of 7 Seminar, but were unable to attend.

The undergraduates selected to participate included: JR Adkins (Missouri 20), Dominik Becerra (Colorado State 20), Riley Bergmann (Illinois 19), Dalton Cates (Troy 21), Max Harman (Kansas State 18), Manny Heilman (Ohio State 19), Joseph Leibig (Minnesota 20), Jared Mulder (Nebraska 19), Lewis Rogers (Alberta 19), Craig Santema (South Dakota State 19), Jake Stenzel (Iowa State 19) and Griffin Wild (Texas Tech 19).

Interested in attending in 2023? Save the Date! The 16th Annual Power of 7 Seminar will be held in April 2023. Please contact Allison Rickels for more information and to reserve your seat today. 

The FarmHouse Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public educational foundation, organized in 1965 as a Trust, to support the Fraternity and its high standards of scholarship, character, personal growth, unity and leadership among members of FarmHouse Fraternity, Inc.

The funds entrusted to the Foundation are used for educational grants and scholarships including assistance to students based on financial need and merit, study abroad opportunities, values-based leadership programs, educational initiatives, as well as loans and grants to improve housing and living/learning environments for members of the Fraternity.

The Foundation, through its Board of Trustees and Staff, oversees fundraising efforts and administers grants and finances of the Foundation for the benefit of members of the Fraternity.