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Nebraska Farmer art director honored for infographic

Nebraska Notebook: Farm Bureau plans Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference.

Curt Arens

January 3, 2024

2 Min Read
planter in field
PREP FOR NEW SEASON: The schedule of activities for the upcoming Nebraska Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Kearney is packed with sessions to help producers prepare for the growing season. Curt Arens

Shelly Jarka, Nebraska Farmer art director, was recently honored — along with three other editorial team members from Farm Progress — by Graphic Design USA’s 60th anniversary American Graphic Design Awards.

Jarka won with an infographic she designed on combine fires that was published in the October 2023 issue of Nebraska Farmer.

With more than 8,000 entrants across different media, Farm Progress distinguished itself with top-notch design quality, landing in the top 10% of submissions. This recognition emphasizes the company’s commitment to excellence and affirms its position as a leader in the agriculture industry.

"This recognition is a testament to the immense creative and technical talent we have at Farm Progress," says Eric Braun, senior executive of content. "We are thrilled to see our hard work being recognized. But more importantly, we are excited about what this means for our readers — they are the reason we strive for excellence."

Combine fires infographic

In addition to Jarka’s infographic, the other Farm Progress award-winning entries included exceptional design and editorial work from a diverse range of publications:

  • Stephanie Sokol, for the September 2023 issue of Southeast Farm Press

  • Rosa Francis, for the September 2023 issue of Prairie Farmer

  • Lisa Lynd, for the September 2022 issue of Farm Futures

Related:Prevent the tragedy of combine fire

"It's an incredible honor to be recognized by the American Graphic Design Awards, and we look forward to pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in design and content," says Lisa Lynd, director of content design for Farm Progress.

Young Farmers and Ranchers to gather

Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers will gather for their annual conference on Feb. 2-3 at Younes Conference Center in Kearney.

The conference in 2024 includes tours and a dinner, followed by entertainment on Feb. 2. On Feb. 3, keynote speaker Marshall Sewell, from the podcast Mind Your Melon, will talk about mental health, overcoming challenges and making a difference.

Breakout sessions include costs involved in a cow herd; adding sheep and goats with cattle operations; telling your farm story on social media; understanding balance sheets and cash flow; the basics in direct beef marketing; fertigation tips; spray drones; regenerative ranching; and ag emergencies, among others.

To register, visit nefb.org.

Read more about:

Next Generation

About the Author(s)

Curt Arens

Editor, Nebraska Farmer

Curt Arens began writing about Nebraska’s farm families when he was in high school. Before joining Farm Progress as a field editor in April 2010, he had worked as a freelance farm writer for 27 years, first for newspapers and then for farm magazines, including Nebraska Farmer.

His real full-time career, however, during that same period was farming his family’s fourth generation land in northeast Nebraska. He also operated his Christmas tree farm and grew black oil sunflowers for wild birdseed. Curt continues to raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and runs a cow-calf herd.

Curt and his wife Donna have four children, Lauren, Taylor, Zachary and Benjamin. They are active in their church and St. Rose School in Crofton, where Donna teaches and their children attend classes.

Previously, the 1986 University of Nebraska animal science graduate wrote a weekly rural life column, developed a farm radio program and wrote books about farm direct marketing and farmers markets. He received media honors from the Nebraska Forest Service, Center for Rural Affairs and Northeast Nebraska Experimental Farm Association.

He wrote about the spiritual side of farming in his 2008 book, “Down to Earth: Celebrating a Blessed Life on the Land,” garnering a Catholic Press Association award.

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