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Nebraska Farmers Union announces president’s awards

Farmstead and farmland
FARM GROUPS MEET: Many of the state’s farm and ranch organizations met recently to announce awards, elect officers and new directors, and name Hall of Fame honorees.
Nebraska Digest: Cattleman Hall of Fame honorees announced; Farm Bureau elects directors; nutrient management calendars available.

Nebraska Farmers Union held its 107th annual state convention in farm homes and offices across the state on Dec. 4, using the Zoom platform. The convention theme was “107 Years of Service.”

The president’s award is NeFU’s highest honor and is presented to individuals who provide outstanding service and leadership to family farmers, ranchers and rural communities at the state or national levels. 

This year’s president’s award winners were retiring state Sen. Dan Quick of Grand Island and Ben Gotschall, retiring NeFU District 7 director, who has since moved to Maine to work for a nonprofit research farm.

“Both of these award winners, in their own way, went above and beyond in their commitment to support and serve family farmers, ranchers and the rural community,” NeFU President John Hansen said. “Rural Nebraska is a better place thanks to their efforts.”

For more information, visit

Nebraska Cattlemen Hall of Fame honorees announced

On Dec. 4, during the annual Nebraska Cattlemen business meeting held virtually via Zoom, William “Bill” Rhea III officially took the position as NC president for 2021. Rhea III is a fifth-generation farmer near Arlington, where he raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa and organic crops, and owns and operates a trucking company.

Brenda Masek is president-elect. Masek owns and operates Bestol-Masek Ranch near Purdum, where they run a commercial spring calving cow-calf operation. Steve Hanson became vice president. Hanson is the fourth generation on their family farm near Elsie, and ranch at Arthur, where they finish home-raised calves.

Alan and Sallie Atkins were inducted into the NC Hall of Fame. The couple have made their life together on the AL Ranch at Halsey, with 15,000 acres and 700 commercial Angus and crossbred cows. They background up to 2,000 calves every year.

The Atkinses have been implementing practices such as rotational grazing, breeding synchronization, optimized genetics, good land stewardship and Beef Quality Assurance for many years. They are participants in Certified Angus Beef and other premium branded and export programs. For more details, visit

Nebraska Farm Bureau elects directors

At the virtual annual meeting and convention of Nebraska Farm Bureau, in addition to electing a new president, delegates also elected others to lead the organization. Sherry Vinton, an Arthur County Farm Bureau member, was elected to replace incoming president Mark McHargue as the organization’s first vice president. Vinton and her husband, Chris, operate a cow-calf operation near Whitman.

Martey Stewart, Dixon County, was reelected to represent the Northeast Region on the board of directors. Stewart and his wife, Linda, operate a cow-calf operation near Dixon.

Casey Schumacher, Dawes County, was elected to represent the Northwest Region on the board. Schumacher and his wife, Tara, run a cow-calf, stocker and fat cattle operation near Chadron.

Jason Perdue, York County, was elected to fill the at-large position on the NEFB board of directors. Perdue works for a family-owned agriculture retail company. He and his wife, Karah, run the family’s contract poultry operation and raise corn and soybeans with Jason’s family near York. For more information, visit

Nutrient management calendars available

The 2021 nutrient management record-keeping calendars are now available from Nebraska Extension. Tracking manure application rates, part of the calendar’s record-keeping tools, is important for getting the maximum crop nutrient value from manure and documenting one’s environmental stewardship.

This easy-to-use record-keeping calendar tracks manure-related records for livestock and cropping operations. Designed to be used by all sizes of livestock operations, it includes all records required for operations permitted for the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System.

It has been approved by the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy and recognized by the EPA as a valuable resource for livestock producers. 

The calendar is free and can be ordered online at If you have a previous calendar, you may also mail in the postcard found inside the calendar to get your 2021 calendar. An electronic sample of the calendar is available.

If you have questions about the calendar or suggestions for future calendars, contact Nebraska Extension animal manure management coordinator Leslie Johnson at

Sources: Nebraska Farmers Union, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Farm Bureau and UNL Water, which are solely responsible for the information provided and are wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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