Dawson County Fair — Each year, Aksarben along with the Nebraska Farm Bureau and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers, present the Pioneer Farm Family Awards. These awards recognize Nebraska farm families who have consecutively held ownership of land in the same family for 100 years. Each family receives a plaque along with a gate post marker to be placed on their property.
Ron Stear Family
In 1918 the Wilmer and Mary Stear purchased 160 acres of land 3 miles north and 2 miles east of Cozad and 100 years later the Ron Stear family still maintains that original 160 acres. In 2019 the Stear family now farms 1,277 acres, which include 468 acres of yellow corn, 368 acres of white corn, 445 acres of soybeans and 64 acres of alfalfa. We present the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Family Award to the Ron Stear family of Cozad.
Brooks Family Farm
On Feb 28, 1919, Henry Franzen purchased 151.74 acres of land located 2 miles east of Gothenburg. In 1937 Henry H. Franzen’s son Henry Franzen, Jr. took over the family farm and farmed it for 35 years and in 1972, Emma (Franzen) Brooks, Henry H. Franzen’s Granddaughter and her husband Walter took over the farm and in 1977 it became a Family Corporation which today is “Brooks Valley Farms, Inc.,” farmed by Rodney and Theresa Brooks –and– 100 years later Rodney and Theresa still maintain 149.4 acres of the original land which include soybeans and corn. We present the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Family Award to the Brooks Family of Gothenburg.
In June, 1918 Christian Rieker married Mary Schurr and right after the marriage they began the process of purchasing 160 acres, 4 miles east of Farnam, but unfortunately in December of 1918, Christian passed away from complications of the swine flu. The deed states that the purchase was finalized in March of 1919. Mary, a widow, was able to pay the loan while raising her son Leonard who was born 5 months after his father died. After graduation, Leonard began operating the farm, and in 1947, Betty joined him in operating the farm. Leonard passed away at the family home in 1985. Today, Betty owns the original 160 acres, producing corn, wheat, oats, milo, cattle, hogs and chickens. We present the Nebraska Pioneer Farm Family Award to Betty Rieker.