Olsen, Ibach Receive CASNR Alumni Awards

Olsen, Ibach Receive CASNR Alumni Awards

May 9, 2008

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Alumni Association presented its Achievement Award to Keith Olsen, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, and its Service Award to Greg Ibach, director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

The awards recognize graduates of the college who exhibit exemplary service to the college, its alumni association or Nebraska agriculture and natural resources.


Olsen is a 1967 graduate of UNL and farms near Grant in southwest Nebraska. He began farming following graduation and produces wheat, certified seed wheat and ecofallow corn. He has been a positive influence on innumerable southwest Nebraska youth through his lifetime involvement in 4-H, and he is active in many agricultural leadership roles at the county and state levels.

He is a past president of the Perkins County Farm Bureau and served many years on its board of directors. At the state level of Farm Bureau, he served eight years on the State Legislative Policy Committee and four years as a member of the Tax Advisory Committee. He was elected to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Board of Directors in 1992 to represent District 7 in southwest Nebraska and re-elected in 1995. After his election as first vice president in 1997, Olsen served in that capacity until 2002, which at that time he became president. In January of 2004, the American Farm Bureau Federation elected him to serve on its Board of Directors.

He is a member of the Rotary Club, Masonic Lodge and Chamber of Commerce in Grant. He and his wife, Doris, a retired registered nurse from Perkins County Community Hospital, are the parents of three grown sons, Craig, Jeff and Curtis and have several grandchildren. Olsen is an Honorary Life, Charter and Sustaining member of the CASNR Alumni Association.


Ibach received his bachelor's degree in agriculture from UNL in 1984. At the time of his appointment to director of the Nebraska Department of Agriculture by Gov. Dave Heinemen in 2005, he was serving the department as assistant director.

Ibach's work in Nebraska agriculture began during his youth on his family's farm near Sumner. Ibach has spent most of his life farming there. With the help of his wife, Teresa, and three children, he continues to maintain a cow/calf and grain operation in that area.

Prior to starting his farming operation, Ibach worked for Farm Credit Services as a loan officer and later as assistant vice president.

In his Nebraska Department of Agriculture role, he works extensively on agriculture policy issues at both the state and federal levels and helps promote Nebraska's agricultural products in foreign and domestic markets.

He has served as chairman and treasurer of the Nebraska Beef Council and as an officer in the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. He was district chairman for the Nebraska Farm Bureau's Young Farmer and Rancher Committee. He was selected in 2006 to be a member of the Agriculture Builders of Nebraska and in 2007 was elected to the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement. He has provided valuable educational counsel, motivation and direction to many Nebraska youth.

Ibach also is active at the national level. He serves on the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture's Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases. He served five years on the USDA's Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee for Trade in Animals and Animal Products, and he served on the National Identification Development Team working on the Animal Identification Plan.

Ibach is an Honorary Life Charter member of the CASNR Alumni Association.

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