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2017 Outstanding LEAD Alum

Tom and Linda Schwartz

I am Ken Boswell, Chairman of the selection committee for this year’s Outstanding Alumni.  Our committee had a difficult time as we had so many deserving alums to choose from, however, as I read the list of items Tom Schwarz has been involved in, you can clearly see he is, has been, and will be a dedicated leader for all issues dealing with agriculture, water, and community.  Tom and his wife Linda (also a LEAD alum) have their organic farming operation in rural Bertrand NE.  Tom has won multiple awards and is well-respected as an ag leader throughout our state.  Let me give you an overview of the projects, committees and awards Tom has been involved with:


  • Organic Row Crops – Corn, Soybeans, Popcorn, Wheat, Oats, Milo, Blue Corn, Alfalfa
  • High Tunnel Production – Organic Vegetables
  • Hay Grinding Business
  • Aksarben Pioneer Farm Award

Water Issues

  • Family Farm Alliance, Director
  • Nebraska Water Users, Organizer, Pres., Vice-Pres, Current Treas
  • Central District Water Users, President, Vice Pres.
  • Central Nebraska Public Power & Irrigation Dist, Past Director
  • Governor’s Water Policy Task Force
  • A Farmer’s Guide to Water Rights, published author

Farm Bureau

  • Phelps/Gosper Farm Bureau, President
  • Nebraska Farm Bureau, SLPC Natural Resources, Chair 2 years
  • American Farm Bureau, Commodity Committee (Alfalfa)
  • American Farm Bureau, Organic & Specialty Crops Committee

Other Agriculture Organizations

  • R C & D Statewide Organic Program, Program Technician
  • Phelps/Gosper Livestock Growers

Other Organizations:

  • Heartland District to the LCMC
  • Bertrand Alumni Association, Past President
  • LEAD Alumni Association, Director

On behalf of the NE LEAD Alumni Association, it is truly an honor for me to present the 2017 Outstanding Alum Award to Tom Schwartz!

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