2020-21 Nebraska FFA Foundation Annual Report

Growing Leaders | Building Communities | Creating Career Connections
2020-21 Nebraska FFA State Officers

President: Madison Stracke, Stuart FFA Chapter | Secretary: Hannah Moseman, Oakland-Craig FFA Chapter | Vice President: Jozie Schilke, Imperial FFA Chapter | Vice President: Jakob Anderjaska, Hayes Center FFA Chapter | Vice President: Heath Keiser, Gothenburg FFA Chapter | Vice President: Rebecca Wulf, Logan View FFA Chapter

Greetings from the Nebraska FFA Foundation,

As we reflect on another year of support for agriculture education and FFA, we want to recognize the individuals, groups and companies that invested in the work that we do. We know that your support must be earned and want you to see firsthand how your donations are used.

We are proud to invest in agricultural education for 10,000 FFA members and their FFA advisors by growing leaders, building communities and creating career connections.

In growing leaders, the Nebraska FFA Foundation continues to support Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE). We know that teachers who are CASE-certified are not only equipped with great curriculum, but they are trained to use it. Teachers can benefit from this, whether they’ve been teaching for twenty years or only a couple years, like Katie Nolles from the Boyd County agriculture education program.

In building communities, the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign continues to be a needed way we can invest in local agriculture education programs. Your support has helped many agriculture education programs like the McCool Junction FFA animal learning lab and memorial garden. In McCool Junction, not only are students learning valuable skills in agriculture, but they are learning what it takes to build a community.

In creating career connections, Nebraska FFA members continue to get hands-on experience with their Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE), Career Development Events and Leadership Development Events. At the 2021 National FFA Convention, Grady Johnson, Holdrege FFA member, was selected as the American Star Farmer. We know that we need to continue to support the future farmers and ranchers, and the future food scientists, veterinarians, grain merchandisers and ag teachers.

We are committed to the day when we have successfully addressed the growing needs of agriculture education students, teachers and programs so Nebraska FFA and local FFA programs have all the resources they need to prepare the next generation of leaders who will be the workforce and advocates for agriculture. Your support is important in this.

We encourage you to continue reading the stories that highlight how your support has made a difference. Thank you for your commitment to agriculture education students and FFA members.


Stacey Agnew, Executive Director, Nebraska FFA Foundation

Vernon Benes, President, Nebraska FFA Foundation

Our People

  • 2020-2021 Board of Directors

    The Nebraska FFA Foundation’s Board of Directors is made up of passionate volunteers that provide leadership and strategic governance for the organization. These individuals are active fundraisers and provide oversight for the Nebraska FFA Foundation.

    • Vernon Benes, President
    • Kyle Perry, Vice President
    • Jennifer Wood, Secretary
    • Glenn Baumert, Treasurer
    • Shane Belohrad
    • Katherine Byrne
    • Matt Dolch
    • Kim Fehringer
    • Kyla Habrock
    • John Langemeier
    • Jerry Lentfer
    • Jeff Rudolph
    • Dean Settje
    • Lance Atwater
    • Mark Fahleson
    • Brady Jenschke
    • Ron Preston
    • Jeff Moore, Ex-officio, Represents the Nebraska FFA Association
    • Rich Douglass, Ex-officio, Represents the Nebraska FFA Alumni and Supporters Council
    • Kris Spath, Ex-officio, Represents the Nebraska Agriculture Educators Association
    • Stacey Agnew, Ex-offcio, Executive Director
  • 2020-21 Sustainable Funding Team

    This volunteer team is dedicated to the implementation of the Nebraska FFA Foundation’s sustainable funding model to increase individual engagement and giving to support the mission of the Nebraska FFA Foundation.

    • Kara Anderson
    • Lisa Brass
    • Katherine Byrne
    • Cheyenne Chromy
    • Matt Dolch
    • Kyla Habrock
    • Ellie Havlat
    • Jerry Lentfer
    • Brad Nygren
    • Morgan Ochsner
    • Kyle Perry
    • Jessica Rudolph
    • Dean Settje
    • Nora Turner
    • Ed Woeppel
    • Brad Nygren
    • Stacey Agnew
    • Abby Kaiser
    • Sarah Mullen
  • Staff

    Stacey Agnew, Executive Director

    Sarah Mullen, Development and Marketing Manager

    Victoria Broders, Program Manager

    Abby Kaiser, Development Coordinator

Record-Setting Numbers

Agricultural education prepares students for careers in agriculture, food and natural resources. Our population is growing, and jobs and careers in all sectors of agriculture will be vital to keeping up with the global demand for agriculture and food production.

Impact Stories

  • CASE Prepares Nolles with Necessary Curriculum for the Classroom
    CASE Prepares Nolles with Necessary Curriculum for the Classroom

    Growing up, Katie Nolles knew she wanted to work in agriculture but she thought she’d end up in agricultural journalism. She changed her mind when she was a junior in high school. Her mom, a former agriculture teacher became the long-term sub for her own agriculture teacher. Seeing everything her mom poured into students who were only in her care for a few months inspired Nolles. She recalls getting to help her mom as a teaching assistant.

    “I fell in love with seeing the lightbulb go off with students, and helping them believe in themselves,” Nolles said.
    Just as Nolles wants to invest her time in helping her students believe in themselves, the Nebraska FFA Foundation is working to do the same for agriculture educators. The Foundation invests in teachers and their students by providing funding for professional development opportunities like Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) institutes.  These two-week trainings provide educators with a very robust, impactful and easy-to-implement curriculum that connects science and technology to agriculture education. The CASE institute typically costs anywhere from $2,500 to $3,000 each time.

    After experiencing and assisting her mom in teaching, Nolles knew early on that curriculum mattered and she wanted to be prepared. While in college, she heard about the Foundation paying for pre-service teachers to attend a CASE institute for free and decided to take advantage.

    “Thanks to the generous partnership of the Nebraska FFA Foundation, I obtained my first CASE certification as a student teacher,” explained Nolles. “As a first-year teacher, it was so helpful to already have curriculum that I knew was solid for one of my classes. As I continue to obtain more CASE certifications, I continue to appreciate having quality curriculum for my students. The CASE curriculum has allowed me to see my students’ lightbulbs go off because of the inquiry-based and problem-solving nature that it has.”

    Nolles has been certified in three areas of CASE curriculum: Principles of Ag Science- Animal, Natural Resources and Ecology and Ag Business Foundations.

  • McCool Junction FFA Honors Their Community
    McCool Junction FFA Honors Their Community

    The McCool Junction FFA has implemented unique ways to honor and remember past FFA members and teachers at their school with the Clay Real Memorial Animal Learning Barn and memorial garden.

    The McCool Junction FFA chapter has utilized local and state support to receive donations through the I Believe in the Future of Ag program and Nebraska FFA Foundation grant to purchase materials for their animal learning barn. The money for the barn originally went to purchase the barn and basic learning materials. Now the animal learning barn has grown to include rabbits, frogs, geckos, cows and goats. The chapter received grant funds in 2019 to purchase a camera system to watch the nocturnal animals and births while not in school. They also have used the funds towards facility updates, veterinary bills, feed for the animals and new equipment.

    In 2020, the chapter received another grant to start a memorial garden at their school to remember and honor individuals from their school and community. They currently have a pergola built for their garden thanks to the grant and I Believe in the Future of Ag funds. This year’s project is to add the brick memorial walkway.

    FFA Chapters all across Nebraska are creating innovative hands-on projects like McCool Junction by receiving funds through the I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign or Nebraska FFA Foundation grant. Eleven Nebraska FFA chapters and 16 FFA members were awarded funds through the 2020 Nebraska FFA Foundation chapter grant program. The grants are to support Nebraska agricultural education classrooms, FFA programs and individual student entrepreneurship Supervised Agricultural Experiences. Funds are provided by the Nebraska FFA Foundation and its general fund donors. The grant recipient projects ranged from CNC plasma table to greenhouses to poultry production.

  • Grady Johnson Selected as 2021 American Star Farmer
    Grady Johnson Selected as 2021 American Star Farmer

    Grady Johnson’s love of farming started as soon as he could walk. He credits his family’s operation for allowing him to learn and be involved at such a young age. Grady grew up near Holdrege, with his dad Blake, mom Holly and two younger brothers, Quinn and Jett. In October 2021, Grady was honored the American Star Farmer because of his dedication in growing his Supervised Agriculture Experience (SAE) in three different areas.

    Johnson had been working on the family farm his whole life, but as he grew older he knew he wanted to start his own business. In 2015, he bought feeder lambs and began his sheep production SAE. Johnson liquidated his flock to attend college and fulfill state officer obligations in 2018.

    His second SAE is in the area of crop production where he rents irrigated cropland. He manages the day-to-day operations on both his own and his dad’s corn and soybean operation. “My main goal has been to increase efficiency,” Johnson says. He’s begun implementing new technologies such as irrigation probes, precision planting and spraying technology and implementation of variable rate yield. He also oversees interviewing, training and payroll for five employees from South Africa.

    Lastly, Johnson expanded his SAE in the area of forage production. He says he saw the need for better residue management as the operation began to grow more continuous corn on corn. He began this SAE in 2018 and has tripled the number of bales contracted in the last three years.

    Johnson was named American Star Farmer at the 2021 National FFA Convention. This means he demonstrated the top production agriculture SAE in the nation. Requirements to achieve this award include demonstrating high-level management skills, completing key agricultural education, scholastic and leadership requirements and earning an American FFA Degree, the highest degree awarded in the National FFA Organization.

    He says the three things he’s learned are the importance of record keeping, the importance of networking with industry professionals and management skills to continue to build his business with his SAEs. He says the ability to compete in public speaking events and make connections with industry professionals across the state and nation from his experiences in FFA have all shaped his future.

    Johnson is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He plans to move back to the farming operation upon graduation in May. He credits his Supervised Agricultural Experiences as allowing him to start and build up his operations so he can return home after college.

Financial Information

August 1, 2020-July 31, 2021

Your donation is an investment in Nebraska FFA members, advisors, state officers and chapters. The below charts reflect fiscal year August 1, 2020 through July 31, 2021. Click here to view end-of-year financial statements.

Corporate Partners

These groups of corporate sponsors supported the Nebraska FFA Foundation True Blue program, I Believe in the Future of Ag corporate program, general fund, annual auction, state fair, local grants, Blue Jackets. Bright Futures. and Nebraska FFA Association programming.

Premier Sponsors ($25,000+)

6 Star Sponsors ($15,000-$24,999)

5 Star Sponsors ($10,000-$14,999)

4 Star Sponsors ($5,000-$9,999)

3 Star Sponsors ($2,500-$4,999)

2 Star Sponsors ($1,000-$2,499)

21st Century Equipment, LLC Landmark Implement Platte Valley Equipment Grossenburg Implement Nebraska Veterinary Medical Association
CF Industries Titan Machinery, Inc. Beck Ag, Inc. Nebraska Wheat Board Nebraska Nursery & Landscape Association
The Andersons Nebraska Cattlemen Oxbow Animal Health Smart Chicken Cargill Protein
Agrimind BKD LLP Chubb Agribusiness Dultmeier Sales EBM Construction
Gavilon Hi-Gain Feedlot Inc KanEquip Inc. MRK, Inc. Preferred Popcorn LLC
Standard Nutrition SureFire Ag Systems Wiechman Pig Co Inc. Midwest Livestock Systems NAU Country Insurance
Pathway Bank Livingston Enterprises O'Neill, Heinrich, Damkroger, Bergmeyer, Shultz, P.C., LLO

1 Star Sponsors ($250-$999)

Pillen Family Farms Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture Nebraska Pork Producers Association Nebraska Cooperative Council Education Foundation Sargent Irrigation
Southeast Community College 4 Seasons Fundraising Nebraska Agribusiness Club Ag Valley Co-op Bluebonnet Feeds/Stride Animal Health
DNA Genetics Janets Jungle, Inc. Maxwell AgriService Midwest Dairy Association Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board
Nebraska Independent Crop Consultant Association Nebraska Public Power District Ward Laboratories, Inc. Nebraska Soybean Board STIHL Outdoor Power and Equipment
Firespring Hoegemeyer Hybrids Matheson Norris FFA Booster Club RobSeeCo
Associated Milk Producers Inc. Darling Ingredients The Austin Company, Inc. Farm and Ranch Publication Lakeview FFA
HeatSiecker Sandy Creek FFA Gro-Rite Mineral Northeast Nebraska Sheep Breeders Association University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Center for Plant Science Innovation
Wilber-Clatonia FFA Alumni Empire Hay Inc Nebraska Agricultural Educators Association Truck Equipment Service Company Beel Brothers LLC
Midwest Veterinary Services, Inc. Nebraska Simmental Association Baasch and Sons, Inc. Morgan Ranch Nebraska Department of Ag, Poultry and Egg Division
Sealpro Silage Barrier Film Midland University University of Wyoming: College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Concordia University, Nebraska Morningside College Applied Agricultural and Food Studies
Highway Signing South Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Proteus, Inc. Doane University UNL Office of Admissions
Sheridan College Laramie County Community College Chadron State College East Butler FFA Chapter Fillmore Central FFA Boosters

Nebraska FFA State Officers visit business and industry partners and donors each year.

Individual Supporters

True Blue Society

Your multiple year gift of at least $1,000 per year supports the Nebraska FFA Foundation’s investment in agricultural education and FFA for over 10,000 FFA members and their advisors.

Gift of Plow - $25,000
Shane and Kelli Belohrad Frank J. Fleecs Bill Pullen Dean and Kristi Settje Jerry and Naomi Warner
Gift of Corn - $5,000
Brian and Stacey Agnew Andrew and Alix Ambriz Britt and Jolene Anderson Brian and Cheryl Andreasen Lance and Krystal Atwater
Glenn and Lynn Baumert Cary and Barb Becker Vernon and Shelly Benes John H. Bergmeyer Jon and Michelle Brabec
Anthony and Lisa Brass Gerald and Beverly Clausen Richard L. Cockerill Tony and Andrea Collins Heidi Cuca
Rick and the late Carol Damkroger Seth and Carrie Derner Matthew and Dana Dolch Richard and Susie Douglass Sally and Daryl Eller
Neal Ely Mark and Sara Fahleson Larry and Fay Gossen Mat and Kyla Habrock Matthew and Lori Hannan
Alec and Meredith Ibach Greg and Teresa Ibach Blaine and Brady Jenschke Aaron and Kori Jensen Blake and Holly Johnson
Richard and Sharon Katt Scott and Tara Keetle Margaretha Kloepping Gary and Diane Kubicek and Family John and Lisa Langemeier
Laura Linden Jerry and Tess Lentfer Neal and Marcy Lewis Wayne and Lori Luebbe Pete McClymont
Dan Morgan Bob and Betsy Nelson Lee and Brenda Nelson Brad and Pam Nygren James and Julie Nygren
Keith and Doris Olsen Kirk and Tracy Olson Shane Peed Kyle and Catherine Perry Mark and Nancy Poeschl
Ron and Lisa Preston Dan and Brenda Rice Randy Robeson Mike Roeber Jeff and Brenda Rudolph
Rod Schroeder, In Honor of Don Tyser The late Ed and Linda Stich Chad and Leah Trausch Bob and Lana Urban Tom and Debbie Volk
Tom and Jennifer Wood Donelle and Matt Wolters Holly Wittstruck Memorial Derek and Amanda Wright Korey and Tammy Young

Blue & Gold Society

Your long-term planned gift can help meet various needs, including the support for new FFA chapters and new programming at both the state and local levels. Planned gifts can be through named funds, endowed funds, bequests, life insurance and annuity beneficiary designations, other financial account designations, charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts. The following individuals and families have a planned gift with the Nebraska FFA Foundation.

Brian and Stacey Agnew Glenn G. and Lynn R. Baumert Frank J. Fleecs Richard and Lanelle Herink Judson and Kaye Jesske
Richard and Sharon Katt Jerry and Teresa Lentfer Family Jack and Nancy Nemec Diana Yearsley

Other Individual Donors

This group of individuals supported the Nebraska FFA Foundation general fund, state convention, state fair, Blue Jackets. Bright Futures program and Nebraska FFA Association programming. Thank you to these donors that have invested in Nebraska FFA.

$1,000 or more
The Dr. Allen G. Blezek and Kay L. Blezek Charitable Fund Julie Blood Dean Folkers and Jennifer Conway Charles W. Herbster Drew and Lyndsay Jensen
Dewey and Nancy Knuth Ivan C. and Glenna M. Larson Estate Robert and Leanne Maxwell Bob and Cynthia Milligan Paul Nietzel
Normil Foundation Dee Rudolph Douglas Simon Janae Tapper The Leroy Thom, Jean Thom, and T L Foundation Inc.
Lee and Heidi Thurber Kevin Welsh Brian and Heidi Wright

37 Ag Kevin and Denise Atwater Scott and Deb Beckman Timothy and Connie Boender Julie Collett
Bill Davis Scott and Jackie France Michael and Lori Goebel Richard Hahn Kendell Henderson
Karl and Margaret Hensley Linda Hoke Larry Holbein Armin and Jo Horst Judson and Kaye Jesske
Jon and Jean Katt Krystl Knabe and Cody Knopp Dan and Patty Kreitman Susan Krotz-Smydra Connie Kuber
Marsha Myers Chad Pfeiffer Aaron and Alli Raymond Brian and Paula Schellpeper Dan Svehla
Norris and Lynnet Talcott Randy Thimm Matthew Wiegand Gene and Rose Wissenburg Barbara Wolff
Tom and Jennifer Wood Dennis and Mary Ellen Wychulis Ray and Jolene Ward

Keith and Brenda Anderson Al and Sallie Atkins Bill and RanDee Barger Dave and Victoria Barnard Mike Barrett
Dennis Bazata Shana Beattie Ryan Becker Lloyd Bell Rodney Beranek
Philip Bletscher Brittany Bolte Janice Bopp John and Judy Borgelt Andrew and Victoria Broders
Kelly Brunkhorst Homer Buell Marlo and Jean Burg Jacob and Katherine Byrne Gene and Alfretta Claver
Amanda Clymer Susan Colbeck Lynna Gene Cook Eric and Megan Dam Randy DeBoer
Dennis and Sharon Derner Doug and Mary Derscheid Kristin Dolecheck Kelly and Marissa Driewer Reid Ely
Francis Emanuel Jed Erickson Jodi Esser Tim Esser Jim Farley
Mark Hahn Farms Inc Aaron and Kim Fehringer Ron and Beth Fitzke Calvin and Rita Fix Tim and Janet Foss
Milt and Joann Fricke Josh and Krystle Friesen Norm and Shirley Fritz Russell and Susan Fritz Scott and Judy Getzschman
Kara Geweke Lynn and Kathy Gloystein Jazmin Goeden John and Ashley Goertzen Lonnie and Kimberly Goff
Andrew Gorecki Don and Kathy Gorecki Steve Grasz Brent Green David and Becky Grimes
Dale and Deborah Grosbach Ralph Grotelueschen Richard Hahn Jason and Annette Harb Cynthia Harre
Teresa Hayes Craig and Shari Head Kurt and Sarah Heideman Richard and Lanelle Herink Timothy and Jenny Higgins
Michael and Mary Hoag Jody Marie Hoffman Clinton Hoffman Dennis Holsteen Jim Honz
Marilyn Houdek Stacey Howsden Tyler and Ellen Hughes Dann and Laure Husmann Jon Ivey
Leon Janovy Dennis and Julie Jarecke Angela Jensen Claude and Linda Jensen Nora Turner and Tom Jensen
Philip and Shirley Johnson Karlene Johnson Harold Johnson Jacob Kaiser James and Abby Kaiser
Neal Kanel Neel Keiser Jill Beckman Kill Darin Knobbe Mark and Jan Knobel
Spencer and Katie Kock Barb and Kevin Kock James and Megan Kroupa Randy Krueger Shelly Lang
Roland Langemeier Ben Langemeier Alyce Leininger Al and Mary Lerch Bob and Stephanie Liska
Kurt and Kari Loseke Dave Loseke Robert Ludvik Barrie and Ann Luers Ken and Mary Madden
Joe and Roberta Malloy Martin and Ruth Massengale John Mayer Blythe McAfee Boone McAfee
Bob and Karen McNeff Judy Meier Donald J. Merlo Tammy Meyer Fred and Kay Meyer
Roy and Sarah Miller Joel and Stephanie Miller Dale and Renee Mitchell Jeff Moore Sam and Jody Most
Dennis and Barb Mottl James and Sarah Mullen Jack and Nancy Nemec Dave Nielsen Matthew and Lacey Niemeyer
Craig and Stacy Olsen Troy Otte Richard and Ann Perry Page and Karen Peterson Jeff Peterson
Kennard and Linda Pohlman Dave Polivka Merlin R. Prior Kent and Jodi Pulfer Janna Quaring
Gary and Betsy Raymer Bruce Reeder Jonathan and Abbie Rempel Richard and Annette Renken Daniel R. Ripa
Chris Robinett Daniel Roeber Eva Roubal Jeff and Brenda Rudolph Cary and Becki Sandell
Sandra Sattler-Weber Joan Schade John and Barb Scharf Jeff Schellpeper Dan Scherer
Elyse Schlake Neal and Nancy Schlautman TJ and Shae Schneider Kenyon Schuett Paul Sedlacek
Jon Simonsen Larry and Sara Sitzman Gordon and Pat Smith Jon Sonderup Steward and Kris Spath
Jim and Mary Spath 2008-09 State Officer Team Curt and Kristi Steffen Eric Steiner Alan Stephens
Brian Stevens Keith and Kathy Stewart Mark Stokes Joe and Micki Strickland Lynda Suhr
Teresa Svoboda David and Alyce Tejral Judy Tejral Thomas and Beverly Thurber Ron and Jeanne Tinkham
Bruce and Cheryl Trautman Gregory Twist William E Tyer Darin Uhlir Norval and Sharon Utemark
Vinson VanEngen Leah Vetter Jim Viglicky Randy and Donna Vlasin Doug and Darla Voigt
Michael Vyhlidal Ray and Jolene Ward Darin and Kendra Weers Jack and Janice Welch Bruce and Jean Wendt
Connie Weston Jeremy Wilhelm Debra and Colton Williams Leon and Susan Wissmann Donald and Kelly Witte
Ed and Lisa Woeppel George and Helen Woolstrum Garry and Sharon Young

In Memory Donations

This group of individuals supported the Nebraska FFA Foundation by donating in memory of an individual. Thank you to these donors for thinking of Nebraska FFA during such a difficult time.

Dee Rudolph, In memory of John A. Rudolph Aaron and Kim Fehringer, In memory of Dale E. and Dale A. Becker Susan Colbeck, In memory of William Albrecht Connie Weston, In memory of Keith Weston
Marsha Myers, In memory of Robert L. Anderson David and Becky Grimes, In memory of Dr. Allen G. Blezek Richard and Ann Perry, In memory of Dr. Ted Ward Jon and Jean Katt, In memory of Elmer Katt
Andrew and Victoria Broders, In memory of Klay Broders Curt and Kristi Steffen, In memory of Patrick Kruse

I Believe in the Future of Ag

The I Believe in the Future of Ag campaign serves as an outlet for local FFA chapters to receive donations for innovative projects in their classrooms, leadership programming, community service projects and field trips to advance agriculture education in their schools. Thank to you the following donors for their support of local FFA chapters.

Your Support

You can support the Nebraska FFA Foundation invest in agricultural education and FFA for over 10,000 FFA members and their advisors by growing leaders, building communities and creating career connections.