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2018 Nebraska Farm Bureau Silver Eagle Award Honors Ron Hanson

LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska Farm Bureau has selected Dr. Ron Hanson Harlan Agribusiness Emeritus Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) as the 2018 recipient of its highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. The award will be presented to Hanson on Dec. 4 at the 2018 Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual Convention in Kearney.

Dr. Hanson was raised on an Illinois family farm. He earned his undergraduate BS degree from Western Illinois University and both his MS and PhD graduate degrees from the University of Illinois. He joined the UNL faculty in 1974 and completed a 43-year career teaching and advising agribusiness students in the Ag Economics Department in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

“If you have gone to UNL you have most likely taken a class from Dr. Hanson, and you are a better person for it. During his teaching and advising career he has earned 26 university and national recognitions. He has been selected as the Outstanding College Ag Instructor for the Central U.S. Region and has received the John Deere Agribusiness Teaching Award of Excellence. He has been recognized by the University Parents Association 19 times, the most of any UNL faculty member,” Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau said.

Dr. Hanson is regarded as a keynote speaker on the topic of farm/ranch family ownership succession and the transition of management control to the next generation of young farm and ranch producers.  These efforts are directed at identifying planning strategies for success as well as finding solutions to resolve potential family conflicts to help keep a farm/ranch operation in the family so that their family farming/ranching legacy continues for future generations. He recently developed his own website PASSING ON THE FARM and plans to begin writing a book based on his family counseling experiences.

“His efforts have impacted Nebraska farm and ranch families for more than 40 years to help them build stronger and more positive family relationships through better communications. Ron has been honored by the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council, the Nebraska FFA Foundation, the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, as well as the Nebraska Farm Bureau for his dedicated service to both rural youth as well as farm and ranch families across Nebraska,” Nelson said.

Ron was the first University of Nebraska professor to have received the USDA Excellence in University Teaching Award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is the highest national teaching honor granted to a college professor in the area of agricultural and food sciences. His highest career honor was earned by being named the Nebraska Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation.

“Dr. Hanson has been a great friend of agriculture and has helped to shape the lives of students and farm and ranch families across the state of Nebraska. His years of accomplishments make him more than qualified to receive Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. We thank him for his service to agriculture students and farmers and ranchers of Nebraska,” Nelson said.

Ron and his wife Marilyn now reside on the California central coast to be closer to their two children and four grandchildren. Their son Craig and his family live in the San Francisco bay area, and their daughter Melinda and her family live in Portland, Oregon. Ron and Marilyn have been Lancaster County Farm Bureau members for 38 years. Recently Ron established a gift to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation to award two Ron Hanson Collegiate Leader Scholarships each year to student members of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Collegiate Chapter in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at UNL.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit

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