Gary Zoubek Receives National Hall of Fame Award
At the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) national meeting held in Salt Lake City, Utah this week, Gary Zoubek was awarded the Hall of Fame Award for the North Central Region. This is the highest honor an Extension agricultural professional can receive from NACAA. Every year one recipient is selected from each of four U.S. regions.
Zoubek demonstrated excellence while serving as an educator, mentor, and friend to many over his 43-year Nebraska Extension career in Holt, Antelope, and York counties. Over his career, Gary has collaborated in numerous projects, always seeking research-based ways to make farmers profitable yet environmentally and economically sustainable. This is evidenced by his work with the “Ten Easy Ways to Boost Profits $20/acre” effort and contributions to CropWatch. While in retirement, he has helped with Nebraska Extension’s “Strengthening Nebraska’s Agricultural Economy” effort.
One of Gary’s strengths has been his leadership in building strong teams and in teamwork. He is most recognized for his teamwork in the Nebraska Agricultural Water Management Network (NAWMN) since 2005. The NAWMN has helped irrigators reduce pumping while maintaining yields, ultimately saving water, energy, and money. The NAWMN has grown to over 1400 collaborators managing over 2 million acres. Participants report an average of 2.2 inches of water saved per acre per year, resulting in more than 1 million acre inches of water savings and fuel savings of more than $50 million.
Gary is well known in Nebraska for his service within the Nebraska Corn Grower’s Association and in recruiting new members (receiving 1st and 2nd place honors in 2014 and 2013, respectively). In 2015, he was recognized by the York County Corn Growers for Outstanding Service and was also recognized at the state level, receiving the Golden Ear Award for his service to Nebraska’s corn industry.
Gary exemplifies excellence in all he has done throughout his Extension career in service to farmers, the agricultural industry, service to NACAA, and in service to many organizations to which he belongs. Congratulations to Gary Zoubek on this most deserved NACAA Hall of Fame award!