LINCOLN, Neb. – Nebraska Farm Bureau has selected former Chief Administrator Doug Gibson of Lincoln, as the 2016 recipient of its highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. The award will be presented to Gibson on Dec. 6 at the 2016 Nebraska Farm Bureau Convention in Kearney.
Doug Gibson had a 39-year career at Farm Bureau, with 11 years working in public relations at the Wyoming Farm Bureau and the next 28-years in Nebraska as the Chief Administrator of Nebraska Farm Bureau.
“Doug has been a strong advocate for Nebraska farmers and ranchers and has always been very humble, working behind the scenes at Nebraska Farm Bureau, and never taking credit for many of his accomplishments,” Steve Nelson, president of the Nebraska Farm Bureau said Nov. 1.
One of the most important successes Doug undertook was how to find ag friendly candidates for elected positions. “Doug created and promoted the Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation Political Action Committee (NFBF-PAC), something that still exists today. It is extremely important to find people to run for office who understand the importance of agriculture and have an appreciation for the role farmers and ranchers play in not just providing food, but also in supporting our local, state and national economies,” Nelson said.
During his tenure as chief administrator, membership in the organization more than doubled. He elevated policy work in the areas of water, taxes and western issues and promoted the organization as being on the leading edge of technology, Nelson said.
Gibson was instrumental in establishing Farm Bureau leaders as spokesmen for agriculture. He worked hard to offer agriculture news to statewide reporters, making Nebraska Farm Bureau the go-to place for important agricultural issues. Agriculture and certainly Nebraska Farm Bureau is stronger because of Gibson’s vision. He is an eternal optimist and would always say “to win on issues, we must be as passionate as our opponents. We cannot expect different results from only doing the same things,” Nelson quoted.
“Doug is extremely worthy of receiving Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. We thank him for his service to Nebraska Farm Bureau and elevating Nebraska agriculture and the farmers and ranchers who make up our Nebraska Farm Bureau family,” Nelson said.
Doug has been known for his volunteer work in agriculture outside of Farm Bureau. That included past service on the Nebraska 4-H Foundation, Nebraska Vocational Agriculture Foundation and the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council boards of directors. He also served on the NEBRASKAland Foundation board as secretary and was originally appointed to bring someone with an agricultural perspective to that organization. Since retirement he has served as the secretary of Agriculture Builders of Nebraska.
He is a Pine Bluffs, Wyoming native who earned a journalism degree from the University of Wyoming. He served in the U.S. Army for three years, including one in Vietnam. Doug and his wife, Margaret -- a farm girl from Wyoming's Big Horn Basin -- have three sons, Joel, Colin, and Ian, as well as five grandchildren.
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 www.nefb.org.