KEARNEY, NEB. – The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation held its annual Grower’s Gala on Dec. 4 during the 2017 Nebraska Farm Bureau Annual Convention. The evening was filled with dinner, a live auction, and entertainment by local Kearney musicians the 1733 Chorus and the Kearney High School Camerata Orchestra.

The live auction featured a Case IH 9000-watt generator, a Pit Barrel smoker, a barbeque feast for ten along with travel and entertainment packages. For the second year in a row the Foundation raffled a gun. This year’s gun was a one of a kind Nebraska Statehood 150th Anniversary special edition Marlin 1895 Guide Gun 45-70 Cal. Jean Thunker of Keith County Farm Bureau was the lucky winner of the rifle.

Thanks to the generosity of donor Charles W. Herbster of Falls City, Ne., all funds raised at the Grower’s Gala were doubled. During the event, Mr. Herbster announced he would increase his pledge to match gifts from $25,000 to $50,000. Totals for the evening topped $73,000 to support the Foundation’s programs including Nebraska Agriculture in the Classroom, the Ag Pen Pal program, scholarships and awards, and consumer engagement efforts. The Foundation has 90 days to raise the remaining funds needed to qualify for the full $50,000 match.

“We are grateful for the more than 300 people that attended the Grower’s Gala and supported the future of agriculture,” said Megahn Schafer, executive director of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. “The money raised from the event will go to support our programs which engage youth and consumers to convey the importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans.”

Special thanks to auctioneer Rick Shoemaker and the following live auction and raffle donors: Younes Hospitality, Merryman Performing Arts, Case IH, Great Wolf Lodge, Grainger, Douglas County Farm Bureau, ServPro – Lincoln East/West, Rob Robertson, NEFB Communication Strategy & Issue Management department, Steve and Elma Nelson, Husker Athletic Department, John Deere, Mac’s Creek Vineyards, Jordan Dux, Meier’s Cork and Bottle, Farm Bureau Bank, Jim and Lisa Lunz, Omaha Henry Doorly Zoo, CoCo Key Hotel and Water Resort, Paul Davis Restoration, Kevin and Penny Burch, Terry and Shelley Keebler, Lancaster County Farm Bureau, Lazlo’s, and Chances R.

The mission of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is to engage youth, educators, and the general public to promote an understanding of the vital importance of agriculture in the lives of all Nebraskans. The Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. For more information about the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, visit www.nefbfoundation.org.