I am delighted to announce Betty Sayers, co-founder of Nebraska Rural Living, is the recipient of the Center's 2015 7th Generation Award. Betty was honored for her integrity and leadership at a special awards banquet in Columbus, Nebraska.
The 7th Generation Award is a presented for a lifetime of service to someone who has made major contributions to improving rural life and protecting our land and water.
After graduating high school, Betty left Nebraska to teach at a community college in Belcourt, North Dakota. From there she moved to Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, where she co-authored a book and wrote and facilitated grants for nonprofits.
Betty moved back to the South Platte region in 2003 because she “wanted a life that mattered, with family connections, meaningful work, and a healthy lifestyle.”
During her years living out of Nebraska, she read dismal articles describing the out-migration of rural Nebraskans, the declining farm economy, and drought. However when she visited, she noticed prosperous entrepreneurial businesses, safe streets, a nurturing quality of life for families, excellent schools, and affordable housing. She also noticed communities seemed to be well governed by citizens who cared.
The reality of life in rural Nebraska vs. the picture presented by the media appeared out of alignment. She and her sister Nancy decided to help change people's perceptions of rural Nebraska by starting a website (www.nebraskaruralliving.com) that also acts as a hub of resources for all that are interested in living or visiting south central Nebraska.
“Nebraska Rural Living is a voice for towns under 10,000 in Nebraska, and our category is also 'little magazine.' A little magazine like Nebraska Rural Living attracts a niche audience, and may be compared to my favorite cookie, the finely chopped walnut, powdered sugar and butter-crisp Russian Tea Cake, best made in small batches,” explained Betty.
"We believe that small means delicious, sparkly, adventurous, and far from normal. We welcome our audience on Facebook, our Blog, and Instagram, and we invite them to read more on the website, communicate with us, and move forward by moving back to common sense living in rural Nebraska.”
Betty has been a strong and loyal supporter of the Center. In many respects, she has devoted her life to our mission through Nebraska Rural Living, her participation in our programs, and her advocacy for policy change. I am proud to acknowledge her contributions through this lifetime achievement award.