New officers for the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) were elected during the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Board meeting on March 6, 2017.
Jim Bendfeldt from the Central Platte Natural Resources District (CPNRD) was re-elected as President of the association. Bendfeldt is a retired farmer/feeder from Kearney. He has been a member of the Central Platte Natural Resources District Board for 13 years and served as Vice-President from 2014-16 and Secretary-Treasurer from 2012-14. In 2011, Bendfeldt was awarded the NARD Director of the Year. Currently, Bendfeldt also serves on the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program Board as a land acquisition member.
“The Natural Resources Districts have helped protect Nebraska’s natural resources for the last 45 years,” President of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Jim Bendfeldt said. “I’m honored to serve as the NARD President and look forward to the future.”
The NARD Board re-elected Larry Reynolds from Tri-Basin Natural Resources District (TBNRD) as Vice-President. Reynolds has been a member of the TBNRD Board for 32 years and served in the United States Air Force for eight years and in the Nebraska Air National Guard for 18 years. Reynolds currently farms and helps manage the family cow/calf operation near Lexington. Reynolds served as Secretary-Treasurer from 2014-16.
“The NRDs are making huge strides when it comes to creating a sustainable Nebraska,” Vice-President of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Larry Reynolds said. “I’m honored to be a part of an organization that’s the envy of the nation.”
The NARD Board elected Shane Rippen as Secretary/Treasurer. Rippen has served as the Middle Republican Natural Resources District (MRNRD) representative to the NARD Board since January 2016. Rippen was elected in 2015 to the Middle Republican NRD Board. He farms with his father near Culbertson. The irrigated and dryland operation includes cattle, soybeans and corn. Rippen is the fourth generation on the family farm.
“Every day, the NRDs work to conserve the state’s natural resources,” Secretary/Treasurer of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts Shane Rippen said. “I’m excited to be a part of such an innovative and hard-working organization.”
The officers serve on the NARD executive committee along with chairs from the Information and Education committee, Legislative committee and the past NARD Board President. Bendfeldt re-appointed Jim Johnson from South Platte Natural Resources District (SPNRD) as chair of the Information and Education committee and Jim Meismer, Twin Platte Natural Resources District (TPNRD), as chair of the Legislative and Government Affairs committee.
Terry Martin from the Upper Republican Natural Resources District (URNRD), will serve on the executive committee as the past NARD Board President. Martin has served 17 years on the URNRD Board and currently is board Chairman. He has served 10 years as an NARD Board representative. Martin previously held the President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer positions.
The NARD Board consists of representation from each of the 23 local NRDs. The board members meet five times throughout the year and help guide the association and the NRDs in decision-making that protects lives, protects property and protects the future of Nebraska’s natural resources.
At the March 1, 2017 NRD Managers meeting, Mike Sousek, Lower Elkhorn Natural Resources District (LENRD) Manager, was elected as Chair of the Managers Committee and John Berge, General Manager of the North Platte Natural Resources District (NPNRD), was elected Vice-Chair of the Managers Committee. The Managers Committee includes managers from all 23 districts. The committee meets five times a year to coordinate NRD activities with state and federal agencies, conservation partners and other parties to protect natural resources.