Tikalskys honored with Center for Rural Affairs lifetime service award

Farm and Food
Small Towns

Brian Depew, executive director, briand@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext. 1015; or Rhea Landholm, brand marketing and communications manager, rheal@cfra.org, 402.687.2100 ext 1025

NIOBRARA, NEBRASKA – Karen and Jim Tikalsky, of Niobrara, Nebraska, will be honored with the Center for Rural Affairs’ 2020 Seventh Generation Award.

The Seventh Generation Award honors the lifetime service of individuals who have made significant contributions in improving rural life and protecting our land and water. 

For nearly half a century, the Center has worked to build a vibrant rural future and create opportunity in rural America. The couple have been supporters of the Center since its founding, with Karen serving on the board more than 30 years, including as president from 2001 to 2004.

She passed away in January 2020 after a battle with cancer.

“Karen cared so deeply about the Center, its mission, its staff, its supporters, and the rural communities of Nebraska,” said Brian Depew, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs. “She left her mark on the Center, rural Nebraska, and everyone who had the opportunity to know her.”

In the 1970s, Karen and Jim participated in the Center’s Small Farm Resources Project, which inspired Jim to begin rotational grazing and eventually restore his pastures to grassland and implement a rotational grazing system as a tool to maintain it. 

“Jim and Karen’s heartfelt commitment to stewardship of natural resources and to the work of the Center is remarkable,” Depew said. “They both have offered years of service and vision to the organization and to the values we stand for.”

No award ceremony was held this year due to the pandemic.

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