Producers receive Farmers Union President’s Award | TheFencePost.com
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Producers receive Farmers Union President’s Award

The Nebraska Farmers Union recently completed the organization’s 108th annual state convention, using a virtual Zoom format. During the convention, members elected John Hansen to his 17th two-year term as state president, continuing a legacy for Hansen at the helm of the group for 32 years, dating back to 1990.

The President’s Award is NeFU’s highest award, and it is presented to individuals who provide outstanding service and leadership to family farmers, ranchers and rural communities at the state or national levels.

This year’s President’s Award winner was retiring NeFU board of director Jim Knopik and his wife, Carolyn, of Belgrade, Neb.



“For many decades, Jim and Carolyn have shown an amazing commitment to support and serve family farmers, ranchers and the rural community,” Hansen said. “Rural Nebraska is a better place thanks to their efforts. They are great role models. We are grateful for their service and dedication.”

Nebraska Extension appoints Bright as Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension educator

Nebraska Extension has announced the appointment of Jamie Bright as Rural Prosperity Nebraska Extension Educator, effective Dec. 1. She will be based in Cheyenne County and serve clientele in Cheyenne, Kimball, Banner, Scotts Bluff, Morrill, Garden, Deuel, Keith and Arthur counties.



The Rural Prosperity Nebraska Educator Team engages Nebraska communities to strengthen vitality through six areas of focus to help Nebraska thrive. The team offers resources in people attraction, leadership development, economic development, placemaking, regional food systems, and community engagement. For more on the Rural Prosperity Nebraska Team visit: https://ruralprosperityne.unl.edu/.

Bright has experience working with local businesses, community organizations, and development groups in rural western Nebraska. While working for SourceLink Nebraska this past year, she worked closely with Rural Prosperity Nebraska and local and regional development groups. SourceLink Nebraska connects entrepreneurs, business owners and community leaders to solutions by curating resources in one online platform.

She also has professional experience in customer service, research, editing, marketing, training, technology support, and grant writing from her varied background working in insurance, the library field, the nonprofit sector and education. She recently completed a master’s degree in applied science with a specialization in community development from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

A native of Rushville, Bright received a bachelor’s degree in English literature with minors in anthropology and linguistics. While completing terms of service with AmeriCorps in Denver and Casper, she obtained a certification in nonprofit management through the University of Montana.

She returned to western Nebraska to open The Sisters Grimm, a bookstore and coffee shop in Bushnell, and the experience as a business operator prompted her to take classes offered by Nebraska Extension and collaborate with 4-H on programs and projects while working part-time with the Kimball Public Library. She served as a board member on the Kimball-Banner-Cheyenne County Extension board and on the Kimball-Banner Chamber of Commerce board, the Kimball County Visitors Committee, the Citizens Advisory Board for Economic Development in Kimball, and the Kimball Public Library Board.

Bright said, “I have lived in the Panhandle most of my life and know a lot of folks, but am looking forward to meeting the community leaders, volunteers, development professionals and business owners I haven’t yet met. Please feel free to stop by my office in Sidney or call or email to arrange a meeting in another community.”

“I hope to have a regular presence in each of the nine counties in my region, and I am looking forward to working with all of you to increase prosperity and vitality in our rural communities. I would love to hear your ideas on keeping young people in their hometowns or encouraging them to return after college, as well as other thoughts on how the region can work together to build upon the assets we already have and highlight the things we love about our communities.”


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