Dennis Demmel

Dennis Demmel

Ogallala, Nebraska

I’ve been intrigued by the Center for Rural Affairs since its inception in 1974. Outside investors were buying up farmland on a large scale in some localities, often developing center pivot irrigation on fragile Sandhills land. I was very interested in the preservation of small family farms and protection of the environment of rural communities.

After meeting one of the organization’s founders, I took the next step and got involved. I was a Center staff member from 1975 to 1983, working on the Center’s Small Farm Energy Project.

Today, I continue my support for the Center from my home in Ogallala, Nebraska, by serving on the Board of Directors since 2017, and on the Center’s Advisory Committee before that. 

My degree in mechanical engineering, background in manufacturing, and 30 years of farming experience—a decade of that as a certified organic farmer—helps me bring knowledge on a variety of topics to the Board, especially in the area of climate and renewable energy issues. Being with everyone on the Board and discussing the various issues is invigorating. My wife always says I come home from meetings with enthusiasm. The Board is like family.

The current Board members are fully engaged, and new members bring fresh ideas and energy to the table. Collaboration with staff is also rewarding, as the Center has some fantastic staff who are doing wonderful things in our rural communities.

Dennis serves as President to the Board of Directors. Learn more about Dennis on our blog.