At a ceremony at the site of KAAPA Ethanol Holding's future headquarters in Kearney, Gov. Pete Ricketts was recognized as a 2018 High Octane Champion by Renewable Fuels Nebraska, the trade association for Nebraska's ethanol industry. The award was developed by the RFN membership as a way to recognize public policy leaders that strongly support Nebraska's $5 billion ethanol industry.
Ricketts took the lead on offering the state of Nebraska to conduct a scientific study to test the use of E30 blended gasoline in conventional, non-flex-fuel state vehicles. EPA recently announced the application for the study was approved. The study will be administered by the state of Nebraska in conjunction with the University of Nebraska and will be completed in 18 months.
Bruning receives namesake banking award
The Ag Bankers Association will honor Fred Bruning, CEO of Bruning State Bank with the Bruning Award at the ABA National Agricultural Bankers Conference in November. Named after Fred's father, Frank, the Bruning Award recognizes the lifetime achievement of individuals for leadership and dedication to providing credit and financial guidance to farmers, ranchers and businesses in rural America.
Bruning is a fourth-generation banker serving at his family-owned, ag-focused bank for 27 years. One of his most notable accomplishments is the creation of the ag banking and finance major at UNL.
Bruning was a founding member of the Farmers and Ranchers College. He has been a Nebraska LEAD fellow, a member of USDA's Task Force on Ag Policy and Rural Development, and a Nebraska Community Foundation board member. He is president of the Bruning Community Foundation.
$55K awarded to local FFA chapters
Eleven Nebraska FFA chapters were awarded funds through the Nebraska FFA Foundation local chapter grant program. This program, in its second year, supports Nebraska agricultural education classrooms, FFA programs and individual student entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experiences.
The 11 grant recipients follow:
• Valentine agricultural education program received $10,000 for a torchmate plasma table.
• Rock County FFA received $3,850 for its school-based enterprise called "On-the-go Gelato."
• Ogallala FFA received $3,500 for its school-based enterprise for a bee cooperative.
• Wauneta-Palisade ag education program received $9,363 for updating shop equipment.
• Amherst ag education program received $8,000 for a new greenhouse.
• McCook ag education program received $5,000 for tower gardens.
• Lakeview FFA received $4,500 for updating and fixing its greenhouse.
• McPherson County ag education program received $4,139 for a CNC router.
• Tri-County ag education program received $2,500 for updating greenhouse equipment.
• Norfolk ag education program received $500 for its "Grow, Show, Know" fish project.
• High Plains ag education program received $3,750 for an animal learning lab shelter.
Foster inducted into Cooperative Hall of Fame
The Nebraska Cooperative Council's board of directors implemented the NCC Cooperative Hall of Fame in 1999 to recognize individuals for their support of the cooperative system in Nebraska.
In November, at their 73rd annual meeting, the council will induct Ed Foster into the Nebraska Cooperative Council Hall of Fame.
Foster grew up near Ericson. After graduating from what was then Kearney State College, he moved to Gothenburg and began his career at Farmland Service Coop in Gothenburg in 1971. He started at the service station and quickly moved up to become assistant office manager, and then office manager in 1977. After a short stint as controller, Foster was named general manager of the cooperative in 1985, and continued in this role for 28 years until his retirement in 2013.