LYONS, NEBRASKA – The Center for Rural Affairs has chosen Sen. Tom Brandt, of Plymouth, Nebraska, to receive the 2020 George Norris Policymaker Award.
The George Norris Policymaker Award is given to a policymaker who employs bipartisanship, compromise, and consensus to improve policy outcomes for family farms and rural communities.
Sen. Brandt was elected to the Nebraska Legislature in 2018. He represents District 32 which includes Fillmore, Jefferson, Saline, Thayer, and parts of southern Lancaster counties.
“Sen. Brandt shares our values and priorities,” said Johnathan Hladik, policy director with the Center for Rural Affairs. “In 2020, we worked together to draft, introduce, and pass Legislative Bill (LB) 996, a bill to improve broadband in rural areas.”
The senator has also introduced legislation to improve broadband mapping, remove regulations for value-added food producers, and promote transparency in government.
“A strong supporter of local foods, Sen. Brandt introduced LB 324 which will help local meat producers expand their capacity, create new markets for small livestock producers, and give consumers more options,” Hladik said. “LB 324 is another bill we crafted side-by-side.”
In front of the Nebraska Legislature this session, LB 324 would create the Independent Processor Assistance Program, which provides a roadmap for increasing local processing capacity and expanding market access for small producers. It would also ease the process for the consumer who wishes to purchase individual packages of meat directly from the producer or processor and allow the producer and consumer more flexibility when deciding where their meat is processed.
In addition to legislation, the senator has been featured in Center-sponsored town hall events on many topics, most recently to explore expanded opportunities for local meat processing facilities.
No award ceremony will be held this year due to the pandemic.
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