Lyons, NE – The Center for Rural Affairs presented its 2015 Citizenship Award to Matt Connealy of rural Decatur, Nebraska. Matt will be honored at a special awards banquet March 11th at the Elks Country Club in Columbus, Nebraska.
The Citizenship Award is given annually to an individual or individuals who actively participate in the civic process for creating public policy, and who work closely with the Center for Rural Affairs to advance public policies that strengthen family farms, ranches and rural communities.
I’m honored to receive this award, just as I’ve been honored to be a partner with the Center for Rural Affairs for the last 30 years, working on project after project, all intended to improve the lives and economic circumstances of family farmers, ranchers and small town Nebraskans… Senator Matt Connealy
“Matt Connealy is a valued friend of the Center for Rural Affairs,” said Traci Bruckner, Senior Policy Associate at the Center for Rural Affairs. “He was an outspoken and successful advocate for rural and small town Nebraska throughout his tenure in the Unicameral. And he was a tireless champion for so many of the legislative priorities that he and the Center for Rural Affairs share before, during and after his time as a Senator, even up to this day.”
Matt and his wife Judith, a college administrator, live near Decatur, Nebraska. Matt grew up in Decatur and has served in the Unicameral as a Nebraska Senator. He also ran for Congress, served as the Executive Director of the Nebraska Democratic Party, worked for the Center for Rural Affairs as Major Gifts Coordinator, and currently serves the people of Burt County on the County Board of Supervisors.
As a Senator, Matt’s self-identified proudest accomplishments were his work on rural economic development and the passage of the state’s first ban on racial profiling. He has been involved in cooperative development in both the renewable fuels and wind energy sectors. In addition to his work as a Supervisor, Matt helps run a local community foundation, manages his family’s farm, recruits and educates candidates for public office, and in the 2015 legislature, found time to help the Center for Rural Affairs beat back attacks on industrial livestock zoning (LB 106) and the state’s ban on packer ownership of livestock (LB 176).
“I’m honored to receive this award, just as I’ve been honored to be a partner with the Center for the last 30 years, working on project after project, all intended to improve the lives and economic circumstances of family farmers, ranchers and small town Nebraskans,” Connealy said. “And I look forward to more partnership efforts in the future.”