Rural Rockstar: Matt Connealy receives Citizenship Award

Small Towns

By Traci Bruckner, former staff member

The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Matt Connealy as our Citizenship awardee. Matt was honored at a special awards banquet in Columbus, Nebraska.

Matt and his wife Judy live near Decatur, Nebraska. Matt grew up in Decatur and has served in the Unicameral as a Nebraska Senator. He also ran for Congress, served as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party, and worked for us as Major Gifts Coordinator. Matt now serves the people of Burt County on the County Board of Supervisors.

As a senator, Matt's proudest accomplishments were his work on rural economic development and the passage of the state's first ban on racial profiling. He has been involved in cooperative development in both the renewable fuels and wind energy sectors.

In addition to his work as a supervisor, Matt helps run a local community foundation, manages his family's farm, recruits and educates candidates for public office. In the 2015 legislature, he found time to help us beat back attacks on industrial livestock zoning (LB 106) and the state's ban on packer ownership of livestock (LB 176).

“I’m honored to receive this award, just as I’ve been honored to be a partner with the Center for the last 30 years, working on project after project, all intended to improve the lives and economic circumstances of family farmers, ranchers and small-town Nebraskans,” Matt told the crowd. “And I look forward to more partnership efforts in the future.”