The Nebraska State RC&D Association Announces its Annual Awards

2012 Outstanding Coordinator/Executive Director
Bobbie Meints – Five Rivers RC&D

As the Executive Director of Five Rivers RC&D, Bobbie is able to incorporate her outgoing, strategic, empathetic, communicative, and innovative personality in order to achieve the goals of the organization.  Demonstrating the implementation of a balanced RC&D program, Bobbie has been able to adjust to the restructuring of the organization and identify and utilize effective ways of completing RC&D projects and activities.  She values the opinion of each individual she works with and incorporates the opinion of others into her decision making process.  Bobbie’s personality and her past experience of working with the public serves the Five Rivers Council very well, as she is 100% committed and understands what is necessary to “make a difference” in southeast Nebraska.

2012 Outstanding Performance by a Council
Northeast Nebraska RC&D Council

Over a nineteen year period this Council had grown to become a regional leader involving many active groups of volunteers, all who wanted to make the area a better place.  Many who are involved in projects are not on the board, but are interested citizens.  Some projects are led by other groups such as the Outlaw Trail Scenic Byway who draw encouragement and technical support from the RC&D.  Training to RC&D Council members and visiting with sponsor’s boards helps in creating an awareness of the accomplishments of the RC&D and tries to ensure continued financial and verbal support by those entities.  Many times the RC&D projects have been completed thanks to the financial support gained through grant funding and the sponsors continue to provide membership dues.  Activities and projects of the RC&D Council are based on input from citizens and board members. Priorities were defined in the Strategic Plan and a major part of the Council’s priority efforts in this last year has been on survival.

2012 Outstanding Performance by a Council Member
Darol Ellwanger – PrairieLand RC&D Council

Darol has been a very active member of the PrairieLand RC&D Council since 2009 and has contributed many volunteer hours in service to various Council committees and projects.  He represents rural Madison County on the PrairieLand RC&D Council and serves as the treasurer.  Darol also serves on the audit, finance and executive committees, and always makes room in his schedule for the various committee meetings he needs to attend to complete the obligations he has taken on.  He is a great communicator who always strives to provide leadership, develop strong partnerships and find creative ways to get important tasks and projects accomplished.  Darol always finds a way to point out the contributions of other volunteers and make sure they are recognized for their efforts in taking on council projects.

2012 Outstanding Performance by a Program Assistant
Joyce Mick – Panhandle RC&D

Joyce has been an inspiration for ideas, innovative solutions, and processes that have benefited the Panhandle RC&D and the community we serve.  She has shown exceptional spirit involving solutions and processes benefitting the Council’s operations and marketing needs.  Joyce is constantly coming up with ideas that benefit the RC&D program and has developed a valuable working relationship with the Board of Directors, Committee personal and their chairpersons.  She has enhanced our capacity through the Interactive Website, Quarterly News Letter for Banner County Wind Energy Assn., RC&D Brochure and assistance to our Bridges to Buttes, Farm and Ranch Museum, High Plains Weed Management Assn., and the Friends of the Intertribal Gathering committees. Her suggestions and input to committees, Council and Executive Director helps move the program forward and provides many solutions in direction and solving problems.  “Joyce is key to the success of our program, every project and council activity is made possible through Joyce’s diligence and dedication, she is seldom credited for the great work she does.”

2012 Outstanding Youth Involvement Award
Plainview Future Farmers of America – Northeast Nebraska RC&D Council

The Plainview Future Farmers of America (FFA) group wants to work with projects or activities that benefit their community.  Their instructor says they are continually looking for community service projects and are willing to assist whenever possible.  Supporting community projects is an objective of the RC&D Council’s Strategic Plan.  There are two specific strategies to work with students on exploring natural resource and rural development issues.  The Plainview FFA group is very involved in their local community.  They have students participating in many community events and service projects.  It would be nice to have more direct involvement with the RC&D Council, but the students’ time is so limited.  It was a big help to the council,  just having their interest and participation in the E-Waste Recycling project.  The FFA students participate in many leadership development activities that foster their maturity.  Those participating in the E-Waste Recycling event acted responsibly and were a joy to have at the event.

2012 Top Project Award
Intertribal Gathering – Panhandle RC&D

The 13th Annual Intertribal Gathering held at Fort Robinson State Park in Northwestern Nebraska had over 4530 participants in the festivities throughout the weekend.  This event brought in 12 vendors to display and sell Native American art and crafts, coming from Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska.  There were 7 drum groups, 91 registered Native American dancers, 30 tiny tots and other additional dancers for prayer and honoring of the dancers and the 23 tribal Nations represented.  The Gathering provided positive multicultural awareness for those in attendance and the American Bus Assn. awarded this event as one of the top 100 events in North America.  This project brought in 2400 adults, 1330 elders and 800 children under the age of 18 and we place a regional economic value of the Gathering at over $340,000 dollars in economic benefit over the three days.

Some of the partners include Chadron Native American Center, Fort Robinson State Park, Pine Ridge Job Corps, US Forest Service, Nebraska Arts Council, Nebraska Humanities Council, Running Strong for American Indian Youth, Burlington Northern Railroad and many local businesses.