2009 Kansas Cooperative Hall of Fame
Harley Foulks

Harley Foulks' efforts to advance the cooperative way of doing business were ongoing throughout his career.  He always focused on, "How can we do this better by working together with other cooperatives".  His leadership was instrumental in starting the Southwest Kansas Managers Committee which resulted in a strong bond of cooperation among the managers in the area in order to better serve all the producers of the area.  His honesty, integrity and dignity encouraged the respect of his peers and his advice was often called upon.  His vision was not just confined to the local or national level, but the international level as well.  In 1988, he helped the Garden City Co-op form a "Cooperative to Cooperative" relationship with the Santa Clara Cooperative in El Salvador through the Cooperative League of the United States and the Agency for International Development.  After his retirement, he continued his volunteer international work.

Harley was diligent in his work and a very successful, competent manager.  He was the General Manager of the Garden City Co-op from 1972 to 1991.  Harley demonstrated a superior ability to organize and inspire a highly successful team of people to operate our business while at all times keeping the Board of Directors in close contact with our operations. 

The Garden City Co-op experienced continued positive growth under his leadership.  He not only understood and had a command of the financial management of the cooperative, but also understood the importance of helping the employees grow in knowledge and skills, making sure that training was taking place.  As a statesman, he helped promote the advancement of others.  Patron committees representing the various business divisions of the cooperative were utilized on a regular basis for customer and owner input.

In 1990, Harley received the Dreyer Award presented by Farmland Industries for Outstanding Management of a Local Cooperative.

Beyond the requirements of his local cooperative, he also devoted his time at the Regional cooperative level helping promote the various regional enterprises.  Harley has served as President of the Kansas Cooperative Co-op Council, member of the National Cooperative Business Association, Chairman of the Promark Advisory Committee, been a committee member of the Co-op Employee Retirement Plan, a Board Member of Golden Plains Credit Union, President of the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce, President of the Garden City Lions Club, President and Show Chairman for the Annual Beef Empire Days of Garden City, and Trustee for St. Catherine's Hospital for 14 years.

In 1987, Harley spent ten days in El Salvador consulting with and training Directors of a newly formed Cooperative.  This was a plantation that was taken over by the Salvadoran Government and given to the former workers who lived on the plantation to operate it as a Farmer Cooperative.

In 1992, Harley spent five weeks in Slovakia consulting with members of a former Collective Farm in their efforts to convert to a Cooperative Farm.  This was a VOCA mission.

In 1993, Harley spent three weeks in Kaliningrad, Russia on a VOCA mission consulting with farmers in their efforts to acquire private land and operate it or join with other producers in a Cooperative Farm.

In 2004, Harley spent ten days in Honduras building homes with a First United Methodist Church Mission.