September 12, 2018

State Senator Engagement Has Commenced!

Dave Varner, NACEB Advisor

Thanks to all who have engaged your local state senator(s) over the past couple months.  The feedback from these conversations has been very insightful and helpful as we embark on the 2019 Nebraska Unicameral session! Included in this newsletter edition is a summary of the conversation with Senator Hughes in November shared by NACEB Director and Treasurer Jo Bek.

We are excited to launch a new format for the NACEB Legislative Day event in February.  The event agenda is available here.  The expectation is that Extension Board Members and NACEB Directors will engage ALL state senators on February 13 either at 8:30, during the morning session (9:00 – 12:00) if possible, or at 1:00.  Please contact your senator(s) starting Wednesday to schedule a 30-minute meeting on February 13.

This year’s NACEB Legislative day intentionally coincides with the University of Nebraska Sesquicentennial weeklong celebration in February.  Imagine NACEB members filling the north balcony of Warner Chamber to be recognized on February 13—A fitting tribute to the 150th anniversary of the people’s university!  Our goal is to have representation from all 93 counties present. Learn more about the celebration at

Notice that the NACEB Legislative Day actually begins the evening of February 12 for those who are in Lincoln then.  Heath Mello, NU’s associate vice president of university affairs and director of state relations and Michelle Waite, assistant to the chancellor for government and military relations will share their insights regarding Effective Senator Engagement—Informing and Educating.  This briefing will be offered via Zoom for those who cannot attend in person.

Also note that due to extensive construction underway in the capitol the NACEB staging and check-in area is in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield office building at 1233 Lincoln Mall, 1 block west of Capitol, SW corner of Lincoln Mall and 13th street intersection. Check-in at the NACEB staging room at least 30 minutes prior to the meeting time with your senator(s).

NACEB Legislative Day Checklist:

  1. Register for NACEB Legislative Day by February 1 (see details below).
  2. Reserve lodging as required (room block is guaranteed through January 18).
  3. Schedule a meeting time with your senator(s). Coordinate with your Unit Leader.
  4. Send Linda Tempel the meeting time that you have confirmed with your senator(s).

Thanks again for all that you do to support Nebraska Extension!

Senator Hughes Visit

Jo Bek, NACEB Treasurer

On November 20that 2:00 pm, Senator Dan Hughes met with representatives from NACEB, (Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards), WCREC (West Central Research and Extension Center educators and staff from Harlan, Frontier, Red Willow, Chase and Furnas Counties.  Senator Hughes agreed to meet to discuss legislative support for Nebraska Extension. He began by telling us about his background and why he decided to become a senator. He is a farmer involved in a multi-generational farm northwest of Imperial Nebraska. He has been involved with the wheat industry as a producer, a member of both the state wheat board and the national wheat checkoff board. He feels that all of these experiences have given him the ability to better understand the metropolitan issues as well as the international ones. These experiences have helped to teach him how to build consensus within groups and negotiate.

He explained that he wasn’t going to sugar coat anything that he told us. He also told us that the budget for the University’s budget was the third largest behind K-12 education and Health and Human Services/Medicaid. The other participants explained the various components of extension and how the various challenges are being met. He understands the importance of extension, especially as an avenue to educate all stakeholders in Nebraska as to the importance of agriculture to the state. He explained and educated participants about the tax structure in Nebraska. He thinks extension is doing a good job and we all need to be good sales people of that fact.  

He felt that it was good that we were arranging meetings with the various senators. Educating the senators and building a relationship of trust is very important. Senator Hughes said it certainly takes more than one meeting to build that type of relationship and that he encouraged us to be engaged whenever possible. He said one on one meetings with staff and the senators is what is needed to build a relationship of trust and telling extension’s story is an important component of the education process. He welcomed us to call and arrange those meetings during the legislative session.

February 12-13, 2019
NACEB Legislative Day
Lincoln, Nebraska
Register with Credit Card
Register with Check
NACEB Hotel Room Block
A block of rooms have been reserved at:
The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel
333 South 13th Street
Lincoln, Nebraska 68508
Reservations: 1-800-228-9290 or 402-474-7474
Ask for the Nebraska Association of County Extension Boards Block to receive the discounted rate of $119.00, for February 12th.  Each guest will call for their own reservation. Each guest will pay their own bill. Cut-off date January 18th- however, upon availability, guests can still reserve rooms after that date at the block rate.

Upcoming Dates

February 4, 2019, 4pm CDT

Chat with Chuck

Via Zoom:
February 12, 2019, 6pm CDT

Effective Senator Engagement

East Campus Union

Also Via Zoom:
February 13, 2019, 8am CDT

NACEB Legislative Day

State Capital & Cornhusker Hotel

Register Above
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