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Greckel, Keeps take home Young Farmer and Rancher awards


KEARNEY, Neb. – Shane Greckle of Bloomfield was selected as the winner of Nebraska Farm Bureau’s 2014 Young Farmers and Ranchers Discussion Meet, and Ben and Jamie Keep of Cotesfield was named the recipient of the 2014 Young Farmers and Ranchers Excellence in Agriculture award.

Both awards were given at the NFB Foundation for Agriculture’s Fundraiser and Auction Dinner at the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation’s 97th Annual Convention held Dec. 8 in Kearney.

Greckel received the top score of three contestants who advanced to the final round of the discussion meet contest. Rather than debating, contestants work to develop a solution to a problem being discussed, building on each other’s contributions. Competitors in the annual contest must be prepared to speak on any number of agriculture-related topics; the selected question is announced a short time prior to the contest round. Greckle has a row crop and cow/calf operation on 2,500 acres in Knox County.

Ben and Jamie Keep was recognized for their ongoing involvement and commitment to agriculture. The Excellence in Agriculture Award is designed to recognize young farmers and ranchers for their contribution and involvement in Farm Bureau and agriculture. Candidates for the award are judged on their involvement in agriculture, leadership ability, involvement and participation in Farm Bureau and other civic, service and community organizations. Ben and Jamie Keep are the fifth generation to live on the family farm in Howard County.

Candidates for the awards are restricted to Farm Bureau members ages 18-35. Winners of each award receive $500, an iPad, a Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture jacket and an all-expense-paid trip to the American Farm Bureau Convention in San Diego in January 2015 to compete in the contests at the national level.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture is a nonprofit, public charity organization that builds awareness, understanding and positive public perception of agriculture through education and leadership development. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture educates students through the Agriculture in the Classroom program, advances young farmers and ranchers, promotes and educates the public about modern agriculture, develops leaders and offers student scholarships.


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