Dave Vetter receives Seventh Generation Award

Release Date: 



John Crabtree, johnc@cfra.org, (402) 687-2103 ext. 1010; or Chuck Hassebrook, chuckh@cfra.org, (402) Dave Vetter, dvetter@grainplacefoods.com, (402) 854 3195 (w), (402) 631 1900 (cell)
Kearney, NE – Yesterday, the Center for Rural Affairs presented its Seventh Generation Award to Dave Vetter of Marquette, NE during an awards banquet on the eve of the organization's 5th annual MarketPlace entrepreneurship conference in Kearney. The Center’s Seventh Generation award is a lifetime service award presented to an individual who has made major contributions to improving rural life and protecting our land and water.
“Dave Vetter is without a doubt one of the nation’s most important pioneers of organic farming,” said Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs.

According to Hassebrook, Vetter is a pioneer of organic agriculture and food entrepreneurship in Nebraska and across the nation.  Dave started farming organically in 1975 near Marquette, Nebraska, after earning a Bachelor’s Degree in agronomy and soil science from the University of Nebraska Lincoln and a Master of Divinity Degree from United Theological Seminary.

“I have known many of the past recipients of this award and I am greatly honored to be considered in their company,” said Vetter. “I know many others have done so much to support the values this award represents. Receiving  it was a very nice surprise and a reminder that we need to re-commit ourselves to those rural community values.”

In 1980, Vetter and his father began processing grain and today run Grain Place Foods, one of the nation’s premier organic processors employing two dozen people. Vetter is regularly cited by organic farmers across the nation for the influence he has had on their decision to farm organically.  He is known for treating farmer suppliers as partners.

Vetter was instrumental in creation of the Nebraska sustainable Agriculture Society and development of the Organic Crop Improvement Association. In addition to his leadership on organic farming and entrepreneurship, he has taken a strong interest in the Center’s policy advocacy – calling frequently and offering his help in reaching out to policy-makers.  And he is now beginning discussions about how his family can transition their farm and business to another generation of farmers.

“Dave has been crucial in building the organic movement, helping other farmers take the leap into organics and weighing in on policy discussions that matter to rural America,” added Hassebrook. “His family's business - Grain Place Foods - is Nebraska's leading organic processor.”

For a picture of Vetter, visit:
David VetterDavid Vetter on Flickr
Dave VetterDave Vetter on Flickr