Nebraska Corn Board acknowledges agriculture leaders at annual awards dinner


Recognition …

Annual awards event highlights outstanding contributions to the state’s corn industry

Brandon Hunnicutt, District 3 Director and Jay Reiners, At Large Director of the Nebraska Corn Board, presents the NCB Vision Award to Matt Person, Josh Nienhueser and Joe Strickland. (Courtesy Photo)

LINCOLN, Neb. – An individual and a company were recognized at the Nebraska Corn Board’s (NCB) 2023 awards dinner on February 27 in Lincoln. The annual awards event highlights outstanding contributions to the state’s corn industry. Each of the recipients have long histories serving Nebraska agriculture.

The first recognition of the evening was the Ag Achievement Award. This honor, first presented in 1991, was designed to recognize outstanding and unselfish efforts to further the state’s corn industry. This year’s Ag Achievement Award was presented to Dr. Tom Hoegemeyer.

Dr. Hoegemeyer returned to the family seed business after receiving his bachelors and graduate degrees from UNL and Iowa State University. Over the next three decades, Dr. Hoegemeyer would grow  Hoegemeyer Hybrids into a significant seed company in the industry. Along the way, he also became internationally recognized for his corn hybrids and breeding genetics. Following a sale of the breeding portion to Syngenta and a short tenure as a scientist with the company, Dr. Hoegemeyer joined the faculty at UNL.

While originally recruited for a major fundraising campaign, Dr. Hoegemeyer transitioned into the Agronomy and Horticulture Department, encouraging the next generation of scientists and plant breeders through classroom and hands-on learning. His courses were taught to both resident and students around the world – expanding his already foundational impact on the industry.

“Dr. Hoegemeyer has been a great mentor to many, including family that were within the operation, students within UNL and around the world,” said Jay Reiners, Chairman of NCB, and farmer from Juniata. “His legacy in the seed industry is well known and his influence within the broader corn industry is foundational.”

One recipient received the NCB Vision Award. The purpose of this recognition is to honor individuals, industry leaders, businesses or organizations that have gone above and beyond to help NCB achieve its vision, which is to enhance demand, add value and ensure sustainability.

The recipient of the 2023 Nebraska Corn Board Vision Award is Valley, a Valmont Company.  In 1947, Robert Daugherty purchased a license to a prototype center pivot machine that would also begin the Valley Irrigation brand. Valmont has since revolutionized center pivot irrigation.

Today, Valley and Valmont Industries is a world-wide company, utilizing the latest in water saving and application technology that continue to increase water use efficiency, thus continuously improving farmer sustainability.

“Valley has made significant contributions to the corn sector at the local, national and international levels,” said Brandon Hunnicutt, Vice Chairman of NCB, and farmer from Giltner. “We thank them for their commitment to excellence in improving and advancing technology.”

Each award winner was identified and selected by NCB.

The Nebraska Corn Board is funded through a producer checkoff investment of ½-cent-per-bushelcheckoff on all corn marketed in the state and is managed by nine farmer directors. The mission of the Nebraska Corn Board is to promote the value of corn by creating opportunities.

— Nebraska Corn Board


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