Creating Solutions Together

(Kearney, NE) The 65th Nebraska Agri-Business Exposition was held January 24-25, 2023 for the first time in Kearney, Nebraska at the Younes Conference Center North. This day-and-a-half event consisted of educational training in conjunction with the Nebraska Extension’s Crop Production Clinics and a show of vendor exhibits.

The Nebraska Agri-Business Association (NeABA) honored industry leaders at its annual convention in Kearney on Monday, January 23. Steve Wellman, 27th Director of Agriculture was awarded the 2022 Association Partner Award. This award highlights individuals outside the association’s membership, who have contributed to agriculture in a significant way through their profession. Under Director Wellman’s guidance, his department provided leadership and clear communication with industry leaders during challenging issues, including flooding and COVID supply chain disruptions. (Pictured to the left is Steve Wellman with Association Vice-Chairman Doug George)

Gene Liebig was recognized with the “Award of Industry Distinction.” This special honor is not given annually and is reserved for individuals who have been dedicated to the mission of the Association during his lifetime. Gene lives in Kearney. His over 40-year career included working for Cornbelt Chemical, United Suppliers, Meridian Ag Distribution, and Simplot.

Gene served in many leadership roles for the Association, including two terms on the Board of Directors. He was active on numerous committees and spent time traveling to Washington DC to advocate for the industry.

Gene’s greatest impact on the Association was his dedication to attending, supporting and encouraging others to be involved. The Association could always count on Gene to step up when support was needed. He believed in the mission and was an advocate for the importance of having a strong organization representing the ag retail industry. He continually worked to grow the membership, participation, and involvement of others. (pictured above is Gene with his wife Linda)

These awards were presented by Shannon Harney, Chairman of the Association and an Oakland, Nebraska resident. Shannon is the location manager for Helena Agri-Enterprises, LLC in Oakland and Ashland, Nebraska.

Presented by Michael Killinger, Association Board Member was the “Robert L. Anderson Industry Person of the Year” award. This award honors a member of the Nebraska Agri-Business Association for their exemplary service to the industry. The recipient is Jesse Trotter of Trotter Grain & Fertilizer in Arcadia, Nebraska. Jesse officially joined the family business in 1987 and currently has the role of managing the fertilizer operation and coordinating the Trotter ag retail locations in Central Nebraska. As a hands-on manager, Jesse certainly wears many hats that have contributed to the success and growth of Trotter Grain & Fertilizer.

In the last 30 years Trotter has expanded their fertilizer operation in Ord to include a bulk liquid storage facility, creating the need for Trotter Trucking. Additional fertilizer storage and plants were added at Litchfield and Merna, bringing their fertilizer operation to 16 locations. (Pictured above is Jesse Trotter with Michael Killinger)

The first “Applicator of the Year” award was presented to Jason Majors of George Brothers Fertilizer & Propane in Sutton, Nebraska. This award was established to recognize a commercial applicator providing outstanding service, good stewardship in their community and exceptional leadership through mentoring or training.

Jason started his application career in 1994 with Sutton Coop Grain. In 2004, he joined George Brothers as an applicator and over the last 10 years, has added the role of training new applicators to his duties. Jason enjoys being a mentor for new applicators and sharing his knowledge of the machine and expectations of a quality application. He is a great role model, teacher, and source of information for the next generation of applicators. (Pictured right is Association Chairman Shannon Congratulating Jason Majors)

In addition to receiving the association award, Scott Bieck of Landmark Implement awarded Jason with a Hagie jacket.

Four years ago, the Nebraska Certified Crop Adviser (NeCCA) program began honoring those Certified Crop Advisers with longevity in the program with specially designed lapel pins. This year was no different with eighteen Nebraska CCAs becoming 25-year veterans in the program. They are Darren Barker, Mitch Brase, Keith Byerly, Kelly Clevenger, Timothy Dozier, Arlis Eitzmann, Troy Frank, William Nejezchleb, Steven Nelson, Timothy O’Brien, Randall Pierce, Joseph Potts, Ronald Rickert, Monte Roetman, Galen Samuelson, John Skalsky, Darren Sudbeck, and Michael Wilkens. (Pictured to the left are Frank Jasa, William Nejezchleb, and Robert Klein)