LINCOLN, NEB. – Nebraska Farm Bureau has selected Stan Garbacz as the 2020 recipient of its highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. He served 40 years in the Nebraska Department of Agriculture as Nebraska’s Agricultural Trade Representative — a position that emphasizes international market development for agricultural products grown in Nebraska.
“Stan Garbacz’s life work has been to promote Nebraska agricultural products on an international stage,” said Steve Nelson, president of Nebraska Farm Bureau. “He has promoted Nebraska agricultural products to international markets resulting in billions of dollars in state revenue and improved nutrition for thousands of people. Stan has built relationships with hundreds of Nebraska farmers, ranchers, businesses, and government officials, traveling more than 100,000 air miles annually to more than 40 countries to help expand and sustain Nebraska’s agricultural markets.”
Garbacz graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1975 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in finance and marketing. He is a 1971 graduate of Lincoln’s Pius X High School. In 1989, he was a member of the Nebraska Leadership, Education, Action Development Program (LEAD), a two-year program involving both national and international travel studies. LEAD has helped develop future agricultural leaders, such as Garbacz. He was drawn to international events because his parents emigrated from Poland in 1949.
“His relationships all over the world have benefited Nebraskans for many years. I know of no one more dedicated to increasing the sale of Nebraska products internationally, and he has been very effective at it. Even after his retirement from the Department of Agriculture, he continues to support Nebraska farmers and ranchers in the international trade arena working as the past Interim Director for Global Engagement of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UNL/IANR), and currently as the Special Assistant to Michael Boehm, vice chancellor for the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the International Trade Consultant with the Nebraska Secretary of State’s international trade team,” Nelson said.
Garbacz has received multiple honors like the James A. Graham Award for Outstanding Service to Agriculture from the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture in 2014; the Lifetime Service Award from the Nebraska Cattlemen in 2018; and the Distinguished Alumni Award from Pius X High School in 2019.
“Stan has been passionate, dedicated, determined, and devoted to promoting Nebraska’s agricultural products on the international market. He has demonstrated outstanding leadership, provided exemplary service to Nebraska agriculture; his years of accomplishments makes him more than qualified to receive Nebraska Farm Bureau’s highest honor, the Silver Eagle Award. We thank him for his service to Nebraska agriculture and the farmers and ranchers of our state,” Nelson said.
Stan and his wife, Mary, live in Lincoln and have three children, Andy, Betsy, and Angela, and two grandchildren and expect their third grandchild in December.