Antelope County resident honored with Citizenship Award

Small Towns

Johnathan Hladik, policy director,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1014; Teresa Hoffman, policy communications associate,, 402.687.2100 ext. 1012; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager,, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Mike Tabbert, of rural Antelope County, Nebraska, to receive its 2020 Citizenship Award.

The Citizenship Award is given to an individual or individuals who actively participate in the civic process for creating public policy, and who work closely with the Center for Rural Affairs to advance public policies that strengthen family farms, ranches, and rural communities.

Over the past year, Tabbert has demonstrated advocacy in several ways to advance broadband legislation in the Nebraska Legislature. He first reached out to the Center frustrated with the lack of internet connection available at his home.

“Within a few weeks, he had gathered a dozen other people with their own broadband issues, allowing us to put together a collection of stories to share with lawmakers,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy director for the Center for Rural Affairs.

In February 2020, he testified before the Transportation and Telecommunications Committee in favor of Legislative Bill (LB) 996, a bill to create the Broadband Data Improvement Program. He also penned a letter in a statewide newspaper and encouraged others to send letters to the legislative committee. LB 966 ultimately passed, and was signed into law over the summer.

“Outside of broadband, Mike continues to support our policies and values,” Hladik said. “He has become a true rural advocate by supporting rural priorities, volunteering in his community, and continually sharing rural topics and concerns with others.”

No award ceremony will be held this year due to the pandemic.

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