It will be a homecoming of sorts when Lost Springs native Jerry Fenske takes over as chief executive officer of Cooperative Grain and Supply on April 1.
Fenske has spent the past year as general manager of Leavenworth County Cooperative Association at Lansing.
He said being closer to family was a big factor in pursuing his new position. His wife, Sarah, is from Herington, and his parents live in the Wichita area.
“It will be nice to live where everyone knows each other,” he said, “and it will be a good place to raise our four children.”
Fenske said his mother’s experiences as a nurse led him to pursue a degree in social welfare from the University of Kansas after graduating from Centre High School in 1999.
His intent was to join his father in the K&F Distributors business after college. He was managing a convenience store and car wash in Manhattan when he was invited to join Farmers Cooperative Association in Manhattan as energy manager.
He was there for six years and went to Leavenworth when the co-op voted to merge with Mid-Kansas Co-op.
He said his degree in social welfare and his own studies and observations have helped him in dealing with people.
“In the co-op system, you have people all around you,” he noted.
He is looking forward to managing a different coop.
“I’m about promoting what is local,” he said. “I hope I can build it up and preserve it.”
“We believe Jerry will provide the leadership we need,” said CG&S board president Kevin Suderman. “The board is looking forward to working with Jerry to develop a vision for the future of our co-op, so that we may continue to provide outstanding services to our membership.”