Five recognition awards were presented to individual, educational and industry leaders at the Nebraska Corn Board’s 2019 awards dinner held March 28 in Lincoln. The annual awards highlight outstanding contributions to the state’s livestock, ethanol and agribusiness sectors, as well as an exceptional ag media source. The dinner was capped off with the presentation of the board’s most prestigious award, the Ag Achievement Award.
This year’s Ag Achievement Award was presented to Alan Tiemann, a corn and soybean farmer from Seward. Tiemann has a proven track record of exceptional leadership in the agricultural industry. He served on the Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board from 1997 to 2003 and the Nebraska Corn Board from 2005 through 2018. On the national stage, Tiemann has been active in the U.S. Grains Council (USGC), which exists to develop export markets for U.S. corn, barley, sorghum and related products, including distillers dried grains with solubles (DDGS) and ethanol. On the USGC, he served as a delegate from Nebraska, was a member of the board of directors for six years, was elected secretary/treasurer in 2013 and chairman in 2015. He currently serves on the USGC’s credentials committee as past chairman.
“Alan has been a tremendous asset to our state’s corn industry,” said David Bruntz, farmer from Friend and chairman of the Nebraska Corn Board. “Alan was, and continues to be, very involved in shaping agriculture and building global demand for our ag products. He’s traveled the world meeting with potential customers through various trade missions, and he builds upon these relationships by inviting these international customers to his farm to demonstrate the quality and reliability of our agricultural sector.”
The Ethanol Industry Appreciation Award was presented to Siouxland Ethanol out of Jackson. The ethanol plant was recognized for their dedication to producing a quality, clean-burning renewable fuel, which builds corn demand while also supporting other industries, such as the livestock sector. Because Siouxland Ethanol was also hosting their annual meeting in South Sioux City on March 28, the award was accepted remotely by Pam Miller, chairwoman of the Siouxland Ethanol board.
“Siouxland Ethanol has been a major partner for Nebraska’s corn industry,” said Debbie Borg, farmer from Allen and District 4 Director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “Not only are they using 30 million bushels of corn each year to produce a clean-burning, renewable fuel, but they’re also producing 210,000 tons of distillers grains each year providing livestock farmers, like me, with quality feeds. They’re doing all of these great things, while improving the way of life in rural Nebraska.”
This year’s Livestock Industry Appreciation Award was presented to the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska (AFAN). Since its formation in 2005, AFAN has been an important advocate for livestock production in the state. Throughout its existence, AFAN has promoted, supported and grown the livestock industry in Nebraska, which has greatly benefited the state’s corn industry.
“Not only does AFAN work with livestock producers, but they also work with consumers, communities and economic development personnel,” said Tim Scheer, farmer from St. Paul and District 5 Director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “Through AFAN’s work, Nebraska’s agriculture, its economy and our overall way of life in rural America has improved.”
CropWatch.unl.edu was the recipient of the Media Appreciation Award. CropWatch is a website that provides farmers and ranchers with up-to-date information on a variety of agricultural topics throughout the year. The website is produced by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“CropWatch has evolved greatly since it began as a six-page print newsletter in 1992,” said Borg. “Editors of the online newsletter understand their audiences and continue to adapt their content based on the needs of Nebraska’s farmers and ranchers. Their current resources on the devastating flooding we’ve experienced in March are great examples of how CropWatch serves as a relevant tool for Nebraska’s ag producers.”
The Nebraska Agribusiness Appreciation Award was given to Preferred Popcorn. This Chapman-based agribusiness was founded in 1997 by four local farmers. Since that time, the company has grown and now works with more than 50 farmers across the Midwest to grow and process over a billion servings of premium organic and conventional popcorn each year.
“It’s amazing to see how much this company has grown in 20 years,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, farmer from Giltner and District 3 Director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “As a popcorn farmer myself who works exclusively with Preferred Popcorn, it’s exciting to see the popcorn I’m growing is enjoyed locally, as well as by people in 65 other countries.”
Each award winner was identified and selected by the Nebraska Corn Board.
The Nebraska Corn Board is funded through a producer checkoff investment of ½-cent-per-bushel checkoff on all corn marketed in the state and is managed by nine farmer directors. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities.