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Annual NRD Conference Focuses on Sustainability, Techonology


September 22, 2021 | View PDF

LINCOLN – Natural resources stakeholders and experts will be in Kearney for the annual Nebraska Natural Resources Districts (NRDs) Conference at the Younes Conference Center Sept. 26-28.

The conference brings together NRD employees, directors and others integrally involved in conservation, technology and policymaking. The event kicks off with the Ron Bishop Memorial Golf Outing and trap shoot on Sunday, Sept. 26, to raise money for the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Foundation. The conference runs from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Topics include an overview and discussion of successful natural resources programs, new technologies and research for future programs. Panelists at the forum will also provide insight on water quality, groundwater management, and flood mitigation.

Recognizing citizens for their conservation efforts, Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts also will present awards during the noon luncheon Monday, Sept. 27. Due to the pandemic, both 2020 and 2021 awardees will be recognized. Winners include:

2020 Tree Planter of the Year: Terry Hoit – Red Cloud, Nebraska

2021 Tree Planter of the Year: Diamond Bar Ranch – Stapleton, Nebraska

2020 Grassland Conservation Award: Star Cattle Company – North Platte, Nebraska

2021 Grassland Conservation Award: Chris Larsen – Lexington, Nebraska

2020 Community Conservation Award: City of Norfolk – Norfolk, Nebraska

2021 Community Conservation Award: Curt Arens – Crofton, Nebraska

2020 Soil Stewardship Conservation Award: Dan & Melinda Stelling – Pierce, Nebraska

2021 Soil Stewardship Conservation Award: Jeff & Jolene Steffen – Fordyce, Nebraska

2020 Director of the Year: Terry Martin, Upper Republican NRD – Benkelman, Nebraska

2021 Director of the Year: Ed Kyes, Central Platte NRD – Central City, Nebraska

2020 Educator of the Year: Boyd Bowder, St. Paul High School

2021 Educator of the Year: Sharla Hanzlik, Niobrara High School

Monday evening includes a silent auction for the NARD Foundation, which support youth programs involved in natural resources and agriculture, followed by a dinner banquet.

During the banquet, four NRD Hall of Fame inductees will be recognized including: W. Eugene Haarberg, Imperial, Nebraska (2020 Board Member); Leon “Butch” Koehlmoos, Ord, Nebraska (2020 NRD Employee); Doug Bereuter, Alamo, California (2020 NRD Supporter); and Ted Hughes, Neligh, Nebraska (2021 Board Member). The Omaha World-Herald will also present the Agriculture Master Conservationist Award to Russ and Kay Edeal of Loomis, Nebraska.

More than 300 natural resources stakeholders are expected to attend the conference. Online registration and a detailed agenda are available on the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts’ website.

The annual NRD Conference is presented by Nebraska’s Natural Resources Districts with a range of local and national sponsors.

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD), the trade association for Nebraska’s 23 Natural Resources Districts (NRD), works with individual districts to protect lives, property and the future of Nebraska’s natural resources. NRDs are unique to Nebraska, and act as local government entities with broad responsibilities to protect Nebraska’s natural resources. Major Nebraska river basins form the boundaries of the 23 NRDs, enabling districts to respond to local conservation and resource management needs. Learn more about Nebraska’s NRDs at


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