Greg Ibach, USDA Undersecretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs and former director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture
INDUSTRY SERVICE: This year, the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association presented the Industry Service Award to Greg Ibach, a USDA undersecretary and the former ag director for Nebraska.

Grain Sorghum Producers announce industry awards

Nebraska Digest: More news from the Corn Board, Hall of Agricultural Achievement and AFAN.

The Nebraska Grain Sorghum Producers Association recently presented annual service awards and recognized yield contest winners.

The Industry Service Award was presented to Greg Ibach, USDA undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs and the former director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

The Service to Sorghum Award was presented to Tyler Harris, editor of Nebraska Farmer.

NeGSPA also recognized state winners from the 2017 National Sorghum Producers Yield Contest. Receiving certificates of accomplishment were the following:

 Matthew Bloss of Pawnee County and Lynn Belitz of Nance County in the dryland conventional till category

 Mark Bloss of Pawnee County, Duane Vorderstrasse of Harlan County and Mike Scholting of Sarpy County in the dryland no-till category

 Debra Vorderstrasse of Harlan County, Duane Vorderstrasse of Harlan County and Matthew Bloss of Pawnee County in the dryland reduced till category

 Chad Dane of Clay County and Scott Jewett of Harlan County in the irrigated conventional till category

 Mike Baker of Hitchcock County, Tom Hartman of Hall County and Josh Cederburg of Kearney County in the irrigated reduced till category

 Ron Robison of Harlan County in the nonirrigated food grade and irrigated food-grade categories

2018 Ag Champions announced

The Nebraska Corn Board, in partnership with Nebraska FFA, recognized three Nebraska high school students as Ag Champions at the 2018 Nebraska State FFA Convention. The Ag Champions program is designed to encourage and develop future advocates for the agricultural industry.

The contest was open to all Nebraska FFA students. Students were asked to develop a website or blog to release educational, positive messages about Nebraska agriculture.

This year's Ag Champions award winners are:

 Kylie Gana, junior at Norris High

 Tayte Jussel, senior at O'Neill Public High

 Justin Mensik, senior at North Bend Central High

The three winners each receive $500 scholarships to be used to further their agricultural advocacy efforts.

Hall of Ag Achievement honors, elects members

Each year, the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement recognizes at least one honoree and elects new members.

This year, the organization honored David and Ann Bruntz of Friend and Don Hutchens of Lincoln.

David has served as chairman of the Nebraska Cattlemen Farmer and Stockman Council, and president of the Nebraska Cattlemen Research and Education Foundation. Ann has served as chairman of the board at the Nebraska Beef Council, and president of the Nebraska Livestock Feeders Auxiliary and the Nebraska Cattlewomen. In 2003, Ann was honored as the Nebraska Cattlewoman of the Year.

In 1985, Don Hutchens was named assistant director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, eventually serving as director in 1986. He was selected as executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board in 1987, a role he held until retiring in 2014.

This year's new NHAA members are Bill Adams, Jerry Adams and R.J. Thomas, all of Broken Bow; Dawn Caldwell of Edgar; Ed Woeppel of Firth; George Graef of Lincoln; Arden Wohlers of Scottsbluff; Fred Meyer of St. Paul; and Gregg Fujan of Weston.

AFAN announces 2 staff hires

The Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska has announced two new hires at its Lincoln office.

William Keech, from Hickman, has been named director of livestock development. He will take the lead in building relationships, programming and the creation of tools that will enhance ongoing development of livestock agriculture in Nebraska.

Ashley Babl, from Albion, has joined the AFAN team as livestock programming coordinator with responsibilities in creating and managing programming events for producers and communities to enhance education about the industry.

Keech comes to AFAN from the finance industry, where he created and led an agriculture lending division. Babl has worked with precision farming equipment where she served as a consultant to producers about technology.

TAGS: Sorghum Corn
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