Nebraska Farm Bureau awarded its highest honor, the Silver Eagle, last month to retired State Sen. Bob Kremer of Aurora. The recognition came in Kearney at the group's annual convention.
The award honors outstanding leadership and distinguished service to the agricultural industry.
Kremer chaired the Nebraska Legislature's Agriculture Committee from 2002 to 2006. "As chair of the ag committee, Bob was always willing to tackle the controversial issues," says Keith Olsen, Nebraska Farm Bureau president. "He led the efforts to reduce the valuation of ag land from 80% of market to 75%. He always had the property tax burden experienced by farmers and ranchers in mind when making tax decisions."
"He introduced legislation, despite the controversy, to respond to potential court rulings in regard to Initiative 300, by introducing a bill to study and prepare possible state responses," Olsen notes. "He was also key in inserting language in tax incentive bills promoting livestock development and rural economic development."
Kremer was instrumental in several pieces of legislation which addressed ethanol production incentives and funding the incentives, and he worked to assure agriculture and the state were partners in funding ethanol programs, Olsen says.
As a member of the Legislature's Natural Resources Committee, Kremer helped pass major changes to Nebraska water law, including LB 962. He also took the lead in passing landowner-friendly changes to Nebraska's endangered species law.