LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Hank Miller, head of the math and science division at Nebraska Indian Community College, to receive the 2019 Bob Steffen Pioneer Award. He will be recognized at an awards ceremony on Friday, March 13, in York, Nebraska.
The Bob Steffen Pioneer Award is bestowed by the Center for Rural Affairs each year to a person who works with the Center to make extraordinary contributions in building community engagement within their own communities. People who receive this award provide a model for innovation, stewardship, or community development.
“Hank invited and welcomed us to the Santee Reservation for our first work with Native American food systems,” said Sandra Renner, Farm and Community Program director with the Center for Rural Affairs. “When we started our work with the Omaha Tribe, Hank spoke out immediately about the reliability and skills the Center brought to the table—validating us in such a way that opened doors we would otherwise have been challenged to go through.”
Miller has provided assistance and guidance for developing family garden training in Santee, Nebraska. He helped make garden space at the Nebraska Indian Community College campus available for the Center’s demonstration garden and for community members.
“Hank’s encouragement and enthusiasm for our work has been a big push to keep developing our projects with the Santee and Omaha tribal communities,” Renner said. “He has been a champion for the Center’s starting work around water quality and quantity, and environmental issues.”