Illinois country father of the year.

Mark Kaufman

Nominated by Lindsey Wilkerson, Nichole Grice and Kelsey Kaufman his Daughters

Mark Kaufman is from Corn Belt Energy Corporation

Throughout our lives our dad has been a role model of stability, selflessness and a loving husband. These are the qualities that stand out when thinking of our dad. Now as a grandfather, we hope that those traits are appreciated and reflected by his grandchildren that are such a large part of his life.

During our childhood our dad was the rock of our household. His drive and focus to ensure that our every need was provided for was unwavering. Often times our dad would work all day on the farm then rush home for a birthday party or attend one of our sporting events. Our dad is always composed and relaxed when confronting all of life’s challenges. Being wrapped up in one of his hugs feels like one of the safest places in the world. Those hugs have been there to support us through trying relationships, challenges in school and work, and through losses of family members.

As a farmer, there as certain times of year in which our dad has many demands placed on his time. However, he always managed to be there for us in the times that truly mattered. Whether that meant taking time from planting to come to the senior night softball game or spending all night in a hospital waiting room awaiting the arrival of his grandson. As we have all grown and now have families of our own, he continues to show the same level of commitment to us. He makes our families a priority and is a tremendous supporter of all his grandchildren in every interest or activity in which they are involved. And as a dad of three girls he will never escape the calls when something isn’t acting quite right with a car or someone has gotten their car stuck in a snow storm yet again. Even though he has so much going on in his own life, he never hesitates to come running when one of his daughters needs him.

Finally, our dad set an outstanding example of what it means to be a loving husband. He has been there for our mom throughout battles with health, the grief of losing loved ones and the stress of raising three girls. But through it all we witnessed the constant love between them shown through his commitment, respect and their expression of love for one another. Our dad provided us with one of the best lessons in life by setting an example of what it means to be an amazing husband. We have been fortunate to have him as our dad and for him to set the bar for what we all deserve in our lives.

Certainly raising three girls was a challenge and can still be testing at times. But our dad was always there for us and will continue to be there. His thoughtfulness and compassion have never gone unnoticed and we will always be proud to call him dad.