The Fremont Area Chamber of Commerce’s Agricultural Business and Natural Resources Council announced award winners for this year’s Excellence in Agriculture Awards Luncheon in March.

The three honorees include Butler Ag Equipment as the 2018 Ag Business of the Year, Soil Analytics as the 2018 Ag Innovator of the Year, and the Scott Wagner Family as 2018 Farm Family of the Year.

The three businesses will be honored at the awards luncheon on Tuesday, March 20th, which is also National Ag Day, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Fremont Golf Club.

The Excellence in Agriculture Awards were previously given at the Chamber’s Annual Banquet, but three years ago the move was made to expand the awards and create the standalone Agriculture Awards Luncheon, according to Chamber Director of Communications and Marketing Hope Pierce.

“The Farm Family Award is one of the longest standing awards that the Chamber hands out, and it used to be handed out at the annual banquet,” she said. “Three years ago we decided to create a separate award luncheon for all of our Ag winners and with that also created the Ag Innovator of the Year Award.”

The nominees for each award are chosen based on their involvement with the Chamber and their involvement with the community as a whole.

“We choose from all of our Ag members, and then we pick the business that is most involved in the chamber, and that is doing great things and is involved in the community,” Pierce said.

Along with honoring Butler Ag Equipment, Soil Analytics, and the Scott Wagner Family, the awards luncheon will also feature a keynote address from Matt Kreifels.

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Kreifels is an associate professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and also state director of the Nebraska Department of Agricultural Education.

“When we were discussing keynote speakers we were looking for someone who could kind of give a general message about agriculture and pump up the crowd about all the new and exciting opportunities that are in agriculture,” Pierce said. “Whether you already have a successful career, or have kids that are coming up into school and are interested in agriculture.”

Kreifels teaches courses in leadership and field experiences and works with student teachers and beginning agriscience teachers.

As state director of agricultural education, he co-coordinates professional development for current Nebraska agricultural education teachers, directs statewide curriculum efforts, assists in creating new secondary agricultural education programs and coordinates the Nebraska Career Development Events.

Those interested in purchasing tickets, or for more information about the Excellence in Agriculture Awards Luncheon are encouraged to visit the Chamber website at www.fremontne.org.

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