Larry Howard honored at National Association of County Agricultural Agents Annual Meeting

by Scott Hawbaker/NACAA Executive Director

Larry Howard
NACAA President Phil Durst (Michigan), presents the NACAA 2023 Hall of Fame award to North Central Region winner, Larry Howard, with wife Mary Howard.
September 5, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. —Larry Howard, UNL Extension Educator Emeritus from West Point, Nebraska has been awarded the National Association of County Agricultural Agents (NACAA) Hall of Fame Award.  This prestigious award recognizes Extension Educators or Agents for a lifetime of exemplary work where they have demonstrated commitment, dedication, and effective leadership in job performance as an outstanding educator.  There is also consideration for involvement with NACAA at both the state and national level, and outstanding humanitarian service outside of the applicant’s normal Extension programming. NACAA confers one award annually in each of four regions of the nation for members with sustained and distinguished careers.

Larry Howard has been a valuable asset for Nebraska Agriculture during his 35-year Extension career, providing education programs and community leadership as a single Agricultural Agent/Educator in Cuming County, Nebraska’s top agriculture and top livestock county.  Larry continues to provide leadership in his community and to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) in his role as an Emeritus Professor. 

Larry’s Extension education program focused on beef, swine, and dairy production for adults and youth. His efforts helped the people of Cuming County become the first and only Nebraska county to garner over $1 billion in market value of agricultural products. The county leads the state and has been in the top 30 nationally in all agriculture products and is in the top five nationally in beef production.  In the last five years of his career, his livestock program was expanded to cover ten northeast Nebraska counites. Larry’s programs were innovative, cutting edge and were often the first to address local needs.  In addition to educating local clients, Larry helped US military members with livestock management issues and hosted out of state and international visitors on numerous occasions.  Larry has received 13-National, 14-Regional, and 35-State NACAA awards including the Search for Excellence award as a national winner two times and as a national finalist five times.  He has been recognized by UNL for outstanding team programming six times and received service awards from the Nebraska Pork Producers and the Nebraska Beef Council.  Innovative and award-winning programs and his desire to make a difference in people’s lives are the hallmarks of Larry’s work.

Involvement in professional associations has been a mainstay throughout Larry’s career in Extension and continues into retirement. He joined NACAA in 1985 and has been involved at all levels of the organization.  He has also been very active in other Extension professional organizations including the Nebraska Chapter of NACAA, Joint Council of Extension Professionals (JCEP), Epsilon Sigma Phi Extension Professional’s Organization (ESP) and Nebraska Cooperative Extension Association.  He has served in leadership roles during four JCEP workshops, four NACAA Annual Meeting/Professional Improvement Conferences (AM/PIC), served as NACAA Director on the Board of Directors, served as NACAA North Central Region Vice Chair for three different NACAA committees and has attended 30 AM/PIC’s. He was recognized very early in his career by receiving numerous service awards including the NACAA Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award (DSA). In addition, he received the ESP DSA and the Mid-career award.

Humanitarian activities have always been very important to Larry throughout his life. He has worked with volunteers during his entire career and knows the value of giving back to his community and region. He has been involved in numerous volunteer activities beyond his job assignment and has served in leadership roles in many organizations at the community, county, state, and regional levels. He has received award recognition several times for his volunteer work including being inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement, received the prestigious AKSARBEN Good Neighbor award, and the West Point Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Recognition award.

Larry has made a career of education, leadership, and service that has led to a long record of achievement.  He is an outstanding example for those involved in agricultural Extension. The Nebraska Agricultural Agents Association is proud that Larry Howard has been conferred the 2023 NACAA Hall of Fame Award.

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