LINCOLN, Neb. – It isn’t often that Nebraska has the opportunity to have an Olympic athlete become a spokesman for the state’s number one crop, but for the last four years, Nebraska corn has had the privilege of partnering with Curt Tomasevicz from Shelby, Nebraska after his 2010 Gold Medal Olympic victory. As part of this alliance, the Nebraska Corn Board is running television commercials during the XXII Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, featuring Curt and helping host two watch parties in Tomasevicz’s hometown of Shelby.
Four years ago, following the XXI Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, the Nebraska Corn Board (NCB) sat down with Curt Tomasevicz and discussed an opportunity to have the first Nebraskan four-man bobsled gold medal Olympian serve as a spokesperson for Nebraska’s corn farmers. Curt has represented Nebraska agriculture, speaking at youth meetings, schools, state FFA conventions and agricultural events. He has given numerous radio interviews and written blogs for Nebraska Corn Kernels. His roots, growing up in a rural community, tie in well with his hard work-ethic messages that encourage everyone to strive for their goals.
“Curt has done a spectacular job for us over these last four years,” said Don Hutchens, executive director of the Nebraska Corn Board. “He has attended various events, given interviews, written blogs, and even helped us with an event in Japan following the devastating tsunami.”
Tomasevicz joined the corn-fed beef team mission to Japan with the U.S. Meat Export Federation in 2011, three months following the tragic earthquake and tsunami. In Japan, he was like a magnet to the young school children while he shared the benefits of beef in an active, healthy lifestyle. His gold medal served as an international language when the people he met could not speak English. They were instantly connected to this international athlete. Curt was also a master behind the grill, helping to prepare steaks for free meals for tsunami evacuees.
“Sometimes you do need a celebrity to speak out for an industry like ours,” said Hutchens. “Curt has a solid reputation. He was a great student at the University of Nebraska, earning an engineering degree and playing football for the Huskers. He has been an excellent communicator and needed little-to-no coaching as he already knew and appreciated what corn farmers do for our state.”
Hutchens also noted that Tomasevicz is an advocate for the ethanol industry and he refers to himself as a ‘great carnivore’ – supporting our red meat industry.
Now, four years later, thanks to Tomasevicz’s commitment to agriculture, his message is featured across the regional television coverage of the Olympic Games. These messages include highlights of Nebraska’s corn industry, ethanol and livestock, innovation, sustainability, and the work ethic of Nebraska farmers.
Tomasevicz will appear in the 2014 Winter Olympics this Saturday and Sunday in the four-man bobsled events. And, the town of Shelby will be holding watch parties at the A & B Grill n’ Bar and Shelby Hotel, sponsored in-part by NCB. Curt’s races will be featured during the Saturday broadcast between 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm and on Sunday from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
“We will be hosting a corn snack bar at both locations with Nebraska corn education and promotional material, along with a large banner for guests to sign a congratulatory note to Curt,” said Alan Tiemann, chairman of NCB’s communication committee. “Anyone is welcome to attend these events at either location.”
“Even though all of Curt's training comes down to a couple of quick athletic performances, Nebraska farmers must perform at the top of their game every day to ensure an abundant and affordable food supply is produced. We could not be more pleased with Curt or the great character he portrays, whether at home or on the bobsled track,” said Tiemann. “Help us wish Curt good luck in the 2014 Winter Olympics by tuning in this Saturday and Sunday for the races, and follow his blogs and television commercials on NebraskaCorn.org.”
Find more information about the watch parties, Curt’s blogs and the television commercials on the Nebraska Corn Board website, www.NebraskaCorn.org.