Chuck and Bev Henkel Receive Seventh Generation Award

Release Date: 



Traci Bruckner,, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1016 or Elisha Smith,, Phone: (402) 687-2103 ext. 1007
Lyons, NE – On the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs’ MarketPlace: Opening Doors to Success conference held in Columbus, Nebraska on February 26, 2008, Chuck and Bev Henkel were honored for their efforts, integrity, and leadership. They received the Center for Rural Affairs’ Seventh Generation award.
Chuck and Bev are from rural Norfolk, Nebraska. Center for Rural Affairs supporters for over a decade, the Henkels have been pioneers in raising and direct marketing grass-fed cattle, sheep, and poultry livestock. They were early members of the Small Farms Cooperative, which worked to develop new markets for natural beef.

“We are truly honored to be considered let alone given this prestigious award. Chuck and I have been living on this land since 1976. It was farmed by stewards of the land prior to us. We have changed some of the practices, but feel a connection to the previous owners and certainly feel connected to the future and leaving the land as healthy as or healthier than when we came on it,” said Bev Henkel.

Chuck and Bev have also lent their voices, time, and expertise to work for public policies that support family farms. They have been active supporters of Initiative 300, Nebraska’s anti corporate law.

The Henkels were instrumental in persuading USDA to develop a label of integrity for grass-fed beef – instead of one that was easily manipulated. “Bev traveled to Washington and so impressed Bill Sessions, the Associate Deputy of USDA’s Livestock and Seed Program that he traveled to the Henkel’s farm to learn more. Those conversations were instrumental in winning a label for grass-fed meat that farmers and consumers can trust,” said Traci Bruckner, Center for Rural Affairs’ Rural Policy Program Assistant Director. 

“The chance to be involved with the ‘grass fed’ label discussion with the USDA was a new experience for me, but one I treasure.  To have Bill Sessions from the USDA walk our pasture and see first hand a grass based system encouraged me to tell our story,” reflected Bev.

For pictures of the Henkels receiving their award, visit:
(Man in first picture is Don Reeves, Center for Rural Affairs Board President)
(Pictures courtesy of Rhea Landholm from Sheldon, IA)

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