Jim Nelson Named To NRD Hall of Fame

Jim Nelson of Cairo, a 47-year member of the Lower Loup Natural Resources District Board of Directors, has been named to the NRD Hall of Fame.  The announcement was made at Husker Harvest Days near Grand Island on Wednesday, September 18. 

Jim Nelson (left) is congratulated by Lower Loup NRD General Manager Russell Callan on the announcement of his selection to the NRD Hall of Fame.

Nelson was nominated for the honor by the Lower Loup NRD.  He retired in August as the last NRD Director in the state to serve from the first day of the Natural Resources District system.

Through his nearly five decades of service, Nelson has served as Board Vice-Chairman and on the Governor’s Water Policy Task Force, representing surface water users in the Loup River system.  He also served on various NRD committees.

Nelson, following the announcement, said he felt stewardship of the Earth’s water and soil was essential.  He thanked his wife, Marilyn, and their family, for the work they did at home which allowed him to participate in the activities of the LLNRD.

Nelson’s history of natural resources conservation did not just start at the LLNRD.  He was previously a member of the Howard County Soil and Water Conservation District.  That District merged with other county SWCDs and agencies when NRDs were implemented in 1972.

At the age of 80, Nelson is a life-long farmer, who along with his son and grandson, are working land in Howard County first purchased by his great grandfather, five generations in all.  LLNRD General Manager Russ Callan said that Nelson’s knowledge of the Loup River is unmatched.  He said Nelson’s passion for and commitment to natural resources conservation has been a tremendous asset to the District.

Nelson is the second Lower Loup NRD Board member to be inducted into the NRD Hall of Fame.  Another original board member, Dean Rasmussen, was inducted in 2017.

Nelson was joined by two other 2019 Hall of Fame inductees, retired Lewis and Clark NRD General Manager Tom Mosier, and retired Department of Natural Resources employee, Tom Pesek.  The three will be officially inducted at the NARD Annual Conference, September 23 and 24, in Kearney.