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Natural Resources Hub is place for free trees, advice

NRD showcases a new app for crop reporting and fertilizer recommendations.

Elizabeth Hodges, Staff Writer

August 15, 2023

2 Min Read
man holding free young tree at HHD
PLANT A TREE: A HHD visitor picks up a free tree from the NRD building — a favorite stop for many during the show. Farm Progress

Help offset your carbon emissions this year by picking up a free Colorado blue spruce from the Natural Resources District building at Lot 39E.

Each year, Nebraska’s NRDs help landowners plant more than a million trees throughout the state as part of the Conservation Tree Program. There are 23 NRDs in Nebraska that provide trees and shrubs for local landowners. Each district varies, but possible services include:

  • planting

  • weed barrier installation or weed control

  • drip irrigation

However, you won’t just leave Husker Harvest Days with a tree. Here are a few other things you will find in the Natural Resources District building:

New app. Producer Connect lets producers access their crop reporting data and provides fertilizer recommendations based on yield goals. The app’s goal is to assist ag producers to optimize inputs, enhance agricultural profitability, improve water quality and be more efficient with irrigation.

Free seed. As part of the Native Prairie and Pollinator Awareness Project, free prairie grass seed will be available.

Cost-share consideration. Specialists will be available for conservation assistance, cost-share opportunities and producer programs.

Water test. Bring a sample of your well water for a free nitrate screening. The Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy Water Well Standards Program will conduct on-site testing. Private well owners should bring a cup-size sample of water in a clean container to utilize these services.

NRD Hall of Famers announced

Join the Natural Resources Districts as they introduce the 2023 NRD Hall of Fame
inductees. The event will take place on the Nebraska Farmer Hospitality Tent Stage at 2 p.m. Sept. 13. The public and media are invited to attend and celebrate the honorees.

Each year, the NRDs induct three individuals into the NRD Hall of Fame for their contributions to protect the state’s natural resources. Current NRD managers and directors vote for nominated candidates. Hall of Fame categories include board member, employee and supporter.

The NRD works with individual districts to protect lives, property and the future of Nebraska’s natural resources. NRDs are unique to Nebraska, and act as local government entities with broad responsibilities to protect Nebraska’s natural resources. Major Nebraska river basins form the boundaries of the 23 NRDs, enabling districts to respond to local conservation and resource management needs. Visit

About the Author(s)

Elizabeth Hodges

Staff Writer, Farm Progress

Growing up on a third-generation purebred Berkshire hog operation, Elizabeth Hodges of Julian, Neb., credits her farm background as showing her what it takes to be involved in the ag industry. She began her journalism career while in high school, reporting on producer progress for the Midwest Messenger newspaper.

While a student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, she became a Husker Harvest Days intern at Nebraska Farmer in 2022. The next year, she was hired full time as a staff writer for Farm Progress. She plans to graduate in 2024 with a double major in ag and environmental sciences communications, as well as animal science.

Being on the 2022 Meat Judging team at UNL led her to be on the 2023 Livestock Judging team, where she saw all aspects of the livestock industry. She is also in Block and Bridle and has held different leadership positions within the club.

Hodges’ father, Michael, raises hogs, and her mother, Christy, is an ag education teacher and FFA advisor at Johnson County Central. Hodges is the oldest sibling of four.

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