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High-Impact Email and Social Media Marketing Sessions

Mark your calendar and register now to learn how to get highest impact from your e-mail and social media marketing. Business owners, marketing professionals and anyone interested in learning how to maximize the return on your investment should be at the Geneva Public Library on September 10.

The event is offered through a partnership of Fillmore County Development Corporation and Constant Contact. Attend High-Impact Email and Social Media Marketing Sessions to put these resources to work for you today and increase your marketing reach.

These sessions will help you learn ways to increase business through e-mail marketing and social media campaigns. The tips and techniques learned at these seminars will benefit your overall marketing plan and you’ll be able to do this with limited time and financial resources getting you a higher return on your investments.

Your immediate takeaways will be to understand what comprises an email and social media marketing program, discover the most effective ways to target and reach your audience, know how to efficiently and successfully track and measure your responses. We’ll discuss best practices and provide you with tools you can learn today and use tomorrow. Whatever level of experience you have, there will be something for you.

Don’t miss out on this opportunity at the Geneva Public Library 1043 G St., Geneva, on Tuesday, September 10, from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

Contact. Register online at:

Hands To Larger Service

“I give my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty and my hands to larger service and my health to better living....” That is how the 4-H Pledge starts out and is just what Fillmore County 4-H members have done for three years in a row. In collaboration with the Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conversation Service offices in Geneva, 4-H members planted, cared for and harvested vegetables for those who might not otherwise have access to fresh produce.

Last year, over 260 pounds of produce was harvested. This year has been a little challenging with the garden due to pests and weather, but we still have harvested approximately 75 pounds of produce with more still to come. Since the small garden was established three years ago, it has yielded over approximately 400 pounds of produce. Several 4-H youth continued to express an interest this year, so the garden was planted with produce going to the Geneva Senior Center programs.

Over the summer, 4-H members, FSA and NRCS staff took turns caring for the garden, increasing their horticultural skills while learning responsibility, service and other important life skills. This has been a great project allowing youth to not only learn, but fulfill the purpose of 4-H by using their hands for larger service.

If you are interested in contributing or participating in the Fillmore County Community Garden in the future, please contact the Fillmore County Extension office at 402-759-3712.

2013 Nebraska State Fair

By Governor Dave Heineman

With county fairs winding down, and the new school year gearing-up, there is still some good family fun to be had this summer. The Nebraska State Fair will take place August 23 through September 2 in Grand Island. I want to encourage all Nebraskans to attend the State Fair. 

This year’s theme is “The Thrill of It All” and with the addition of a new carnival midway with both nostalgic and new rides, there will be fun for all ages. A new addition this year will be a Showcase of Champions high school rodeo set to take place on Labor Day.

Through the 144 year tradition of Nebraska’s State Fair, this is the fourth year that the State Fair will be held in Grand Island. Fairgoers will note that even after four successful years, work to keep improving the fairgrounds continues. This year, there are the addition of trees and grass across a number of locations on the grounds. Additionally, the Fonner Park Concourse - the area that houses the open class horticulture, ag products, photography, foods, fine arts and forestry - will be air conditioned thanks to the fundraising efforts of the Nebraska State Fair Foundation.

Fairgoers will notice a new building under construction near the main gate of the grounds. The Nebraska State Fair is excited to partner with the University of Nebraska, the Nebraska Department of Agriculture and the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission on the new “Nebraska Building.” The Nebraska Building will feature an educational exhibit space focused on Nebraska agriculture and the exciting return of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission display area. The building will add 54,000 square feet of exhibition space to the fairgrounds and the upper level will house the administrative offices for the Nebraska State Fair. The new building will be ready for the 2014 Nebraska State Fair.

I encourage you to visit the 4-H and FFA exhibits. I am always impressed by the hard work and ingenuity of our young people that exhibit through their projects at the State Fair.

New this year you’ll also be able to find MOINK balls (a combination of beef and pork), alligator-on-a-stick, and pancake burgers. You’ll also be able to find fair fan favorites like pineapple whip, corn dogs and funnel cakes.

From sword swallowers, to sea lions, from aerial artists to an extreme BMX cycling stunt show there is something for everyone this year with free entertainment featured all across the fair grounds.

There is another event that will provide parents, teachers and students the opportunity to learn about science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM. STEM education opportunities will be everywhere – near the food, rides, exhibits, agriculture, performance areas, and even in the parking lot.

STEM will also be featured at Nebraska’s Largest Classroom, held at the Fair on Monday, August 26 and Tuesday, August 27. This initiative is a result of schools, colleges, parents, businesses, nonprofits, and afterschool professionals all working together to make STEM education accessible to families in a place where they’ll already be visiting.

The Nebraska State Fair allows us all an opportunity to join together to celebrate the accomplishments of our fellow Nebraskans. It gives us an opportunity to learn and share, and provides us with some great entertainment and food options.

I look forward to seeing you at the State Fair.

Betka Joins Exeter Bank

Generations Bank in Exeter has announced the addition of Exeter native Derek Betka who will be serving as an independent advisor for Securities America and will have an office in the Generations Bank building.

Generations Bank president and CEO Alan Emshoff said, "We are pleased to be able to make this service available to our customers and the people of the surrounding area."

"My family and I are very excited to be back in the area. Working alongside Alan, Ed and the staff at Generations Bank and FNIA, will be a great fit because we have similar philosophies," said Betka.

Betka has a bachelor of science degree in agri-business from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. He and his wife Brooke, a native of Davenport, recently relocated from Wahoo to Fairmont. The Betkas have two children, Kayleigh, age three and one-half and Kelsey who in one. Betka is active in his church and was recently elected president of the Alpha Gamma Rho Alumni Board.

Politics 2014 – Who’s In, Who’s Out – Make A List

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By J.L. Schmidt

By J. L. Schmidt, Statehouse Correspondent, Nebraska Press Assoc.

Time was when the State Fair and/or Labor Day was the traditional time for announcing candidacy for statewide office in Nebraska. Said announcements were often “events” designed to get the most spin out of the announcement. With the popularity of social media, such news is now often spread in tweets whenever.

So, if you want to keep up with who’s in and who’s out in the 2014 races, I suggest you get a large sheet of paper and divide it into grids with a wide column for Governor and one for U.S. Senate. Beside each wide column you should have two narrow columns indicating In and Out. Post the paper in an appropriate place: your garage, your basement, the back of the bathroom door.

Write in the names of the usual suspects, but do it in pencil. These things change quicker than a columnist can keep track. Under Governor you can list Democrats or Republicans in whatever order suits your voter registration card. Hint: leave more space for Republicans since there are more of them in Nebraska. It’s too early to tell you how to prioritize things in the Senate race, which might take a few more months.

Ready? Let’s go to Governor/Republicans. Put these names in chronological or alphabetical order, no matter. State Senator Charlie Janssen of Fremont has been in the race for what already seems to be a long time since he has been issuing news releases on what he perceives to be nearly every topic of dinner table conversation that might occur. You can also add Senator Tom Carlson of Holdrege and Falls City businessman Charles Herbster who owns a large cattle feeding operation and a multi-level marketing business that has apparently made him financially successful. While you’re at it, add Omaha businessman Pete Ricketts who is said to be ready to throw a baseball cap into the race.

The unsuccessful 2006 GOP U.S. Senate nominee is currently co-owner of the Chicago Cubs. Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning has sent an e-mail to supporters to tell them he’ll be running for re-election as Attorney General, not Governor. So don’t add him to the list.

Now go to Governor/Democrats. Former University of Nebraska Regent Chuck Hassebrook should be first on your list. He was brave enough to step out a while ago as the first Democrat in the race. The Lyons resident is also the director of the Center for Rural Affairs. Add the name of State Senator Annette Dubas of Fullerton to the list. She said she’ll announce next month, but she’s in and hopes to make a race out of the primary and put some of her rural ideas on the line. DO NOT add Omaha State Senator Steve Lathrop to the list. He sent a tweet recently indicating he won’t be a candidate, this time, and has opted to finish his lawmaking obligations and take a look at a possible future race.

The hard part is done. Now go to the U.S. Senate column, under Republicans. Former State Treasurer and decorated Navy veteran Shane Osborn was the first to put his oar in the water and remains the only one in the race. Get ready to add Midland University President Ben Sasse. The former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services during the last two years of the George W. Bush administration says he’ll announce around Labor Day. There is nothing to write in the Democrat column, yet.

The Dubas – Hassebrook contest could pivot on each candidate’s stand on abortion. Nebraska Right to Life endorsed Dubas during her last legislative race. Hassebrook was endorsed by Planned Parenthood Voters of Nebraska during his 2006 Regent’s race and refused to join other NU regents who tried to restrict stem cell research. He said he supports current law on abortion in Nebraska, the majority of which was offered by pro-life Democrats in the officially non-partisan Unicameral and signed into law by then Governor Ben Nelson, also a pro-life Democrat.

Some observers say that Rickett’s entry in the Republican gubernatorial race could make the whole game expensive again. In 2006, he spent about $12 million of his own cash in a failed attempt to defeat Nelson. You might want to add another column to your chart to track campaign finance reports if such things interest you.

OK, pencils down now. We’ll update your lists again during the nine months remaining before the 2014 primary.