Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement Honors, Elects New Members

Honorees Bob Dickey (left) and Al Svajgr offer remarks at the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement banquet March 29 in the Nebraska East Union. (University Communication)
Figure 1. Honorees Bob Dickey (left) and Al Svajgr offer remarks at the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement banquet March 29 in the Nebraska East Union. (University Communication)

Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement Honors, Elects New Members

The Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement honored Bob Dickey and Al Svajgr at a banquet on March 29 at Nebraska East Union in Lincoln.   

Formed in 1916, the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement is dedicated to preserving and improving Nebraska agriculture. Each year, the group recognizes at least one honoree and elects new members.

Dickey is a third generation farmer raising cattle, hogs, soybeans and corn on his farm near Laurel. As he became more established in farming, he invested in Nebraska agribusinesses, including Specialty Protein Producers in Norfolk, Husker Ag Processing in Plainview and Advanced Bioenergy at Fairmont.

Dickey has served in many volunteer and civil organizations. He was director and chairman of the Farm Credit Bank Board, representing Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Wyoming. A member of the Nebraska Corn Board for 21 years, he served as its chairman. Dickey worked in many different leadership roles, including president, in the National Corn Growers board. As a member and chairman of the United States Grains Council, he worked to build alliances between many U.S. commodities to improve cross-industry partnerships.

Svajgr’s passion for the beef industry began while growing up on the family farm in Diller, where he was involved with 4-H cattle and FFA. He is currently the owner of Agrow, feeding approximately 5,000 head of cattle annually. Svajgr is also original owner and board chairman of Darr Feedlot, which markets over 100,000 head of cattle each year. He is director of Waypoint Bank and chairman of Midwest Banco, a bank holding company.

Svajgr is a past president of Agriculture Builders of Nebraska and the Nebraska LEAD Board. He has served on the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Trustees and the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Chancellor’s Advisory Board and Animal Science Advisory Committee. Currently, he is on the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture Advisory Board, chairman of the Cozad Hospital Board, and on the Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska board.

NHAA also welcomed new members at the banquet. New members were nominated by a fellow member of the hall for their significant contributions to the state’s agriculture industry.

This year’s new NHAA members, listed by hometown are:

  • ANSELMO: Barbara Cooksley, cattle rancher, range conservationist
  • GORDON: Nancy Peterson, veterinarian, Plum Thicket Farms
  • GRANT: Ted Tietjen, agribusiness consulting
  • HARRISBURG: Douglas Olsen, owner, Olsen Ranches, Inc.
  • LINCOLN: Mary Garbacz, emeritus professor of practice, Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication, University of Nebraska–Lincoln; Terry Hejny, director, Nebraska LEAD Program; Pete McClymont, executive vice president, Nebraska Cattlemen; Richard Rasby, associate dean, Nebraska Extension
  • NORTH PLATTE: Chuck Burr, extension educator, University of Nebraska–Lincoln
  • POTTER: Rick Larson, farmer and rancher
  • SUTHERLAND: Roric and Deb Paulman, owners, Paulman Farms