Nebraska Hall of Ag Achievement Names Honorees, New Members

Nebraska Hall of Ag Achievement Names Honorees, New Members

March 23, 3011

Richard Hahn, retired president and CEO of Farmers National Company, and Terry Klopfenstein, a professor of animal science at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, will be named Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement honorees at the group's annual banquet April 1.

The banquet honoring Hahn, Klopfenstein and eight new members of the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement will begin with a 5:15 p.m. social hour followed by a 6 p.m. buffet dinner at the Nebraska East Union on UNL's East Campus.

The banquet costs $24 per person and is open to the public. The deadline for reservations is March 25. To make reservations or for more information, contact Linda Arnold at (402) 472-3802.

Honorees — Richard Hahn and Terry Klopfenstein

Hahn retired from Farmers National Company in 2005 and maintains his real estate license with the company. He began his career serving agriculture and agribusiness with MetLife. He joined Farmers National Company in Omaha in 1986 when MetLife purchased the company. In 1987 he became president and CEO.

Photo: Richard Hahn
Richard Hahn

During his leadership, Farmers National Company expanded its services and continued to grow and maintain its position as the nation's largest farm and ranch management company. He led employees' efforts in buying the company in 2000. He served as president of the Nebraska Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, served as chairman of the Farm Foundation and continues to serve as trustee.

Hahn served two Nebraska governors as a gubernatorial appointee to the Nebraska Resources Commission. He has served or now serves on the board of directors and has held key positions in NC+ Hybrids, the Nebraska State Chamber of Commerce, the Omaha Agri-Business Club and many other organizations, including president of the Agriculture Builders of Nebraska. He also is one of Nebraska's delegates for the national Council for Agricultural Research Extension and Teaching of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities in Washington, D.C.

Hahn grew up on a Madison County farm near Battle Creek and graduated from Norfolk High School. He earned his bachelor's degree from UNL and through the Naval ROTC program he was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy. He continued to serve through active and naval reserve duties, retiring in 1991 with the rank of captain.

Hahn and his wife, Pat, reside in Omaha. They have three children and eight grandchildren.

Photo: Terry Klopfenstein
Terry Klopfenstein

Klopfenstein calls his position his dream job. He's held only one position since graduating from Ohio State University -- ruminant nutrition researcher and teacher at UNL. His findings help cattle feeder operations' bottom line across the state and nation. He is a pioneer in feeding corn byproducts from the ethanol and sweetener industries, saving Nebraska cattle producers and feeders more than $100 million annually. His research also has affected decisions to build and expand ethanol plants in Nebraska and the Midwest.

He has advised more than 160 master's degree and Ph.D. students, many of whom now hold positions at major universities, agribusinesses, consulting firms and government agencies.

Klopfenstein has served as president of the Federation of Animal Science Societies and president of the American Society of Animal Sciences. He's received numerous awards and honors for teaching and research, including the American Society of Animal Science Morrison Award, Fellow Award, Teaching Award and Nutrition Award. The Terry Klopfenstein Student Excellence Award endowed with the UNL Foundation provides scholarships and stipends for undergraduate and graduate students pursuing degrees in animal science and ruminant nutrition.

Klopfenstein and his wife, Nancy, reside near Lincoln.

New Members

The Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement, formed in 1916, has just over 200 members statewide dedicated to preserving and improving Nebraska agriculture. Each year, the group recognizes at least one honoree and elects new members. This year's new members are:

Doug Brand of Seward is the vice president of ag loans at Jones National Bank and Trust. He serves on the Seward County Agricultural Society and the Nebraska State Fair Board. He was the recipient of the 2010 Seward 4th of July Celebration's Community Service Award. Brand said he enjoys working to help produce and promote agricultural events in Nebraska, many that deal with livestock, 4-H and FFA. He also has served as an ambassador to Ak-Sar-Ben and was co-chair of the 2006 Nebraska Cattlemen's Ball. He received his bachelor's degree from UNL. He and his wife, Gail, have three children.

Stan Garbacz of Lincoln serves as the international agricultural trade representative for the Nebraska Department of Agriculture, where he has worked for 31 years. His network of contacts from around the world enables him to be highly effective in finding market opportunities for Nebraska's farmers and ranchers. Whether he is assisting producers with sales of swine breeding stock to Asia or beef genetics to South America, Russia or other eastern European countries, he works with the U.S. Livestock Genetics Export Association to get financial assistance for these producers to promote their livestock, host trade teams and develop sales. He's also served for 25 years as the adviser to the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council. A UNL graduate, he and his wife, Mary, have three children.

Paul Hay of Beatrice is a UNL Extension educator in Gage County. Hay provides education and vision to help farmers and 4-H youth achieve
success through adaptation to change and the addictive effect of small successes. Gage County has the highest percentage of non-till dryland and irrigated production of any county in the state. In addition, it also has the highest percentage of miles of terraces and is second only to Richardson Country in miles of buffer strips. This provides a framework of sustainable production of crops and protection of soil. Hay is in the Nebraska Ag Relations Council, Gamma Sigma Delta, Beatrice Chamber of Commerce and Nebraska and National Association of County Agricultural Agents. He holds degrees from Michigan State University and UNL. He and his wife, Julie, have four children.

Chris Kalkowski of Omaha serves as vice president of ag lending at First National Bank of Omaha. Kalkowski serves on Sen. Mike Johanns'
Agricultural Advisory Council. He is a graduate of the Nebraska LEAD (Leadership Education/Action Development) Program, a member of Ag Builders of Nebraska, Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Farm Bureau and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He is a member of the Nebraska FFA Foundation Board of Directors and is a Nebraska FFA alumnus. He holds degrees from Creighton University and Bellevue University. He and his wife, Marsha have two children.

Mark Knobel of Fairbury owns and operates Knobel Farms Inc. and M&J Farms Inc. along with his wife, Janet, and parents, Ralph and Martha Knobel. These family corporations produce grain and seed and use Knobel Seeds to market farm seeds to area and regional growers, primarily certified wheat and soybeans as well as grasses and hybrid seeds. Knobel said maintaining and growing a profitable farming operation has been his most worthwhile accomplishment. He was named Outstanding Farmer of America by the National Jaycees in 1994, is a Nebraska LEAD Program graduate and a member of Ag Builders. He serves on the Jefferson County Zoning Board, Nebraska FFA Foundation, National Corn Growers Association and National Soybean Association. Knobel is a UNL graduate. They have three children.

Jan Meyer of Phillips, teacher, 4-H volunteer and homemaker, has spent many years judging numerous county and state fairs in addition to serving as a 4-H leader. She is a member of the American Association for Family and Consumer Sciences, the Grand Island Area Home Economists and is actively involved in her church and community. She said one of her best accomplishments has been raising two children, both UNL graduates who also give back to their churches and communities. She was honored as a Friend of 4-H in Hamilton County and received the Family and Community Service award from UNL's former College of Home Economics. Meyer is a UNL graduate.

Doug Schmale has spent his career as a wheat producer working at regional and national levels to advance farmers' interests in areas of public policy and agricultural research. He said it was especially rewarding to have had a role in advancing the improvements to crop insurance that occurred with passage of the Agricultural Risk Protection Act of 2000. He is a member of the Nebraska Farmers Union, High Plains Agricultural Laboratory Advisory Board and the Central Great Plains Research Station (USDA-ARS) Customer Focus Group. He has been a member of the Nebraska Wheat Development, Utilization and Marketing Board and served as the Great Plains Extension Coordinator for the National Jointed Goatgrass Research Program in which he was lead author on two extension publications. Schmale graduated from the University of Wyoming. He and his wife, Mary, reside in Cheyenne County.

Larry Snyder is the founder and former owner of Snyder Industries Inc. in Lincoln. He sold the company in 1991, but it continues to be a major Lincoln employer and a national supplier of containers for ag and industrial uses. Snyder developed and patented the fiberglass sprayer tank in the 1960s and converted the tank production process to rotationally molded polyethylene in the 1970s. He designed and built a machine in the  1980s to produce polyethylene containers up to a 22,000 gallon capacity -- the only one of its size in the world. Also in the '80s, he designed and produced the first mini-bulk tanks. This major innovation for the ag chemical industry replaced distribution of concentrated chemicals in small plastic jugs. He is a member of the Nebraska Wesleyan University Huntington Society and Athletics Booster Clubs and the University of Nebraska Foundation Board of Trustees. He attended UNL, Arizona State University and graduated from Nebraska Wesleyan University. He and his wife, Sheryl, reside in Lincoln.

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