On Thursday during the 2017 Jefferson Coutny Fair six families were recognized for keeping the same farms in their families for the past 100 years with the Pioneer Farm Family Awards.
The families of Lloyd D. Rippe, of Diller, Neal and Kay Onnen, of Fairbury, Mitch and Alisa Pesek, of Swanton, Emory Dale and Marilyn M. Shinn, of Fairbury, Roger and Judith Schoenrock, of Fairbury, and David L. Schnuelle, of Jansen, were presented with plaques honoring the achievement.
Dustin Fairley, who presented the awards Thursday on behalf of the Nebraska Farm Bureau, explained that it is a great accomplishment to keep the same farm in the family for over 100 years.
“The Pioneer Farm Family Award is presented by the AKSARBEN Foundation and the Nebraska Farm Bureau,” said Fairley. “Basically it’s a way to recognize those families that have had the same piece of land for 100 years or more. It’s recognizing the longevity of each generation farming the same ground.
“When you factor in economic situations and other issues, it’s really hard to keep the same piece of ground in that family,” Fairley continued. “We want to recognize that dedication, hard work and all the struggles that they’ve been through to keep it in that family, because, when you think about it, that land is the backbone of that farm—if that fails then everything fails.”
Fairley explained that the next milestone award, the Heritage Award, recognizes people who have maintained the same land for 150 years. He stated that it is an even more difficult achievement to reach, but that there may be opportunities to present the Heritage Award in Jefferson County in coming years.
Prior to the awards being presented, there was a bread auction, featuring homemade breads and other treats, all to raise funds for the Blue Valley Community Action Food Pantry. The auction raised $100 to provide food to those in need.