By Jan Rahn
Approximately 175 recently helped Keith Olsen of Grant celebrate his retirement as Nebraska Farm Bureau President, an office he has held for the past nine years, choosing not to run for re-election.
The day of his reception was considered so special to Nebraskans that Lt. Gov. Rick Sheehy made Nov. 17th Keith Olsen Day.
Olsen has been a Nebraska Farm Bureau Board member for nearly 20 years. His involvement with Farm Bureau goes far beyond that, however, as he reflects on his past 44 years of being a member in his November 2011 President’s Column.
He speaks directly to those he has had the pleasure to work with through the years, stating, “I thank you for your dedication and commitment to Farm Bureau. Together we have made a difference, and we will continue to make a difference as we continue our service to Farm Bureau. Farm Bureau is nothing without the involvement of the members.”
Besides the celebration itself at the Nebraska Club in Lincoln, Olsen was the recipient of a special honor—Nebraska Farm Bureau has established the Keith R. Olsen Agricultural Policy Internship Award with the University of Nebraska Foundation.
The award program will enable a UNL student to intern in Washington, D.C. at a Nebraska Congressional office or other approved organization and earn college credit for the experience.
The award was announced during the reception and presented to Olslen with his wife Doris at his side by Ann Brunz of the Nebraska University Foundation and Nebraska University President J.B. Milliken.
Along with the above mentioned dignitaries, several of Olsen’s family members were present, as well as Jon Bruning, Don Stenberg, Deb Fischer, more than a dozen state senators, NU Chancellor Harvey Perlman, Chancellor IANR Ronnie Green, many university dignitaries, Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler, many representatives from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Farm Bureau Financial Services and three State Farm Bureau Presidents from Arizona, Missouri and Wisconsin.
There were also several state officers from FFA, representatives from the Omaha Chamber of Commerce, the State Chamber of Commerce and several Nebraska University Board Regents.