The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts announced Wednesday that it has created a Hall of Fame award for those individuals who have made significant contributions through Nebraska's Natural Resources Districts. Officials from Nebraska's NRDs used Husker Harvest Days to honor the first three inductees into the Hall of Fame. They are Ron Bishop, long-time manager at Central Platte NRD; Dick Mercer, director and board member at Central Platte NRD since 1972; and the late Maurice Kremer, former state senator who was instrumental in the enactment by the Nebraska Legislature of laws creating NRDs and the passage of the Nebraska Groundwater Management Act.
Kremer passed away in 1990, so his son, former State Sen. Bob Kremer, was on hand to accept the award on behalf of his father. Kremer told a crowd attending the award ceremony at the Natural Resources Building at Husker Harvest Days that his father dug his first irrigation well in 1941, in spite of hearing more than a few doubts from others at that time that irrigation would ever be a viable enterprise in Nebraska. Kremer noted how far irrigation efficiency and crop genetics have come since then.
Dick Mercer, who was a director on the Buffalo-Ravenna Soil and Water Conservation District before the NRDs were created, told the group that Nebraska's NRDs are the envy of other states, because of the water management they employ and because they have taxing authority to fund them.
Ron Bishop, who recently retired from his post at Central Platte NRD, had been with that same district since its formation in 1972. "I got to do a job for 40 years that I really loved," Bishop said.
"The purpose of the Natural Resources Hall of Fame is to reward individuals for service and commitment to natural resources conservation and these three inductees are very deserving individuals," said NARD Board President, Joe Anderjaska.
The candidates are elected into the Hall of Fame by vote of current NRD managers and NARD board members. There are three categories including NRD board member, NRD employee and other NRD supporter, which could include individuals outside the NRD system.
You can learn more by contacting NARD at 402-471-7670 or go online at www.nrdnet.org.