Why be a Farm Bureau member?

The other day I was at an event and was asked a straight-forward question. It’s one I’ve gotten many times before, “Why should I be a Farm Bureau member?” It’s a fair question from anyone who isn’t familiar with our organization. Instead of running down the list of all the things Nebraska Farm Bureau does, I simply asked them a few questions. Questions that lead to Farm Bureau’s policy priorities, which I know bring value to farmers and ranchers across the state.

1. It’s a family affair

Running a farm is no easy feat. It takes all hands on deck, and for 96 plus percent of US farms, that means the whole family is involved. Don’t get me wrong, though, agriculture runs in a family’s blood. I have a picture of my dad and me from when I was just a few weeks old. My dad had decided that at my tender age, I was old enough to venture out on our family farm via the four-wheeler. The smile on my face in that picture is priceless.

Agriculture in the Classroom

Ever since I joined FFA in high school, I have seen a huge importance for agriculture in the classroom for all ages at both small and big schools. Agriculture has made a large impact on my life since I was young growing up on our family farm raising cattle and growing corn and soybeans. In Nebraska, 1 in 4 jobs are related to agriculture. That makes it even more important for Nebraska students to understand agriculture and how it affects our daily life.

Growing up and being involved in the livestock industry, I’ve discovered it’s this industry that my passion lies. This passion is exactly what led me to apply for the Crew and why I love it so much. Today I want to take some time and share with you ten ways to make the most out of your experience in the livestock industry, whether it be showing, ag-vocating, or anything in between!

Lechtenberg Family

Stacked high with hay bales, another truck rolls out of Northview Family Farms in Boyd County. This truck is headed across the county with its load of high-quality hay, of which Kyle Lechtenberg couldn’t be prouder.

Kyle always knew he need to bring something new back home to the farm. As the fifth of his parents’ eight children, he needed to find something of value, something unique to carve out a corner of his own in the family business. Commercial hay was just the ticket.

Alec and Meredith Ibach

As the warm summer sun shines down, a herd of young calves and their mothers gather around a pond tucked away in a Buffalo County pasture. The scene is a small piece of heaven that Alec and Meredith Ibach like to call home. They are the fifth generation on the family farm and ranch near Sumner, raising corn, soybeans and beef cattle. After starting his career with Farm Credit Services, Alec returned to the farm in 2018 with a mission continue and grow his family’s legacy.

Lance and Krystal Atwater

Nestled along the southern edge of Adams County, the Atwater family farm buzzes with activity. Second generation farmer Lance Atwater and his wife, Krystal, gear up for another planting season. Lance’s father, Kevin, came to Nebraska from Santa Monica, California, after graduating high school. He along with his wife, Denise, he started the family farm near Ayr and now Lance and Krystal are building upon that solid foundation.


Dixon County Farm Bureau will kick off a ‘Local Beef in Schools’ event starting with Wakefield Community Schools on Nov. 5. As a sponsor of the program, Dixon County Farm Bureau will provide local schools with quality, locally raised beef for the school lunch program.

Appreciate the little things.      

You get to grow up in God’s country, with wide open spaces as far as the eye can see.

Where else would you get to spend as much time outdoors? Even better – where else do you get to ride around for hours on end in tractors, rangers, pickups and horses while hanging out with your family. You always hear people say, “take time to stop and smell the roses”, sometimes you have to stop and look at the view. It’s something that words can’t even describe.

Once it hits December of every year it is safe to say that Nebraska is in full swing of the holiday season. With Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and many other national holidays that people can celebrate, it is clear that everybody is in the mood to spread the joy and cheer of the holiday season.

When I was in eighth grade, I chose to join the FFA chapter at my school. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do because everyone else was doing it, but over time FFA proved to be an organization that would teach me far beyond what I ever imagined to learn.

Whether it is to “make the best better” or “living to serve,” youth livestock organizations in Nebraska have filled their members with lifelong lessons. I have been a member of 4-H and FFA for the past ten years and let’s just say that I have learned A LOT. So, here are ten things that I have learned in my ten years of participation—I’m sure you can relate.

This is the moment of a lifetime! The judge is taking his final glances at the showmen and their hogs before selecting the Grand Champion Senior Swine Showman.

I began showing livestock my sophomore year of high school. I am now a freshman in college, and I have recently purchased pigs for another show season. When I was eight years old, I joined 4-H and began showing horses.

Consumers are looking for healthier, more sustainable food options and rumors have been said for years, that eating tons of red meat is not a good idea. Even celebrities are trying to get people to stop eating meat one day at a time.

None of you? Yeah, me neither, until my sophomore year biology teacher would preach about how cedar trees were destroying the natural prairies of Nebraska. This made me think, “Could such a common tree that I had grown up around cause harm to Nebraskan ecosystems, where it seems as though it is native?” Well, people, the answer is yes. Cedar trees take space and water from the native grasses and it can displace the native bird and mammal species of the Plains.

This past fall I attended the Nebraska Youth Beef Leadership Symposium. I spent the weekend learning about the beef industry and how to share facts and knowledge with the consumer. We talked to Industry leaders and learned from the professors at the university.

It’s fall in Nebraska, and that means a lot of fun for Nebraskans! Between Halloween, Vala’s Pumpkin Patch, leaves changing, and cool nights by a campfire, Nebraska is a pretty great place to be! But even more exciting is, you guessed it, Husker football games! It is quite a site to see Memorial Stadium packed to the brim with Nebraskans decked out in red shouting “Go Cornhuskers!”. Wait a second, what is a cornhusker? A cornhusker is a person or device that removes the husks from corn. Why are we called the Cornhuskers? Nebraska is one of the top corn producing states ranking third under Illinois and Iowa.

  1. Appreciation:
    In high school, everyone one says that they are ready to leave this town; however, I can’t wait to come back to my family farm. I want to give back to my family farm. It grew me so much as a person. I learned respect, responsibility, and hard work at a young age. Once you leave the farm you see how different the world is, but you will always have your work ethic to fall back on.

Nebraska Farm Bureau has identified sixteen social media savvy student members to join our Crew. The Crew is a group of Nebraska Farm Bureau student members who share their love of agriculture through social media. Each member is selected in the spring and participates for one year.