Nebraska’s NRDs Present Awards to Winners in Albion, Bartlett

Conservation-minded residents from across Nebraska received recognition at the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts’ annual convention Sept. 25 and 26 in Kearney. Area winners include rural Albion farmer John Krohn, who received the 2022 Water Conservation Award, and teacher Kelly Guggenmos of Wheeler Central Schools in Bartlett, who received the Educator of the Year Award for teaching grades 7-12.

Krohn raises corn and soybeans west of Albion on land that has been in his family for more than 120 years. He farms with his wife, Sheena; mother, Cheryl; father, Charlie; and sister, Susan – along with children Kasey, Annie, and Caleb. Some cattle are taken in during winter to graze cornstalks. The farm is irrigated, with pivot corners treated as dryland. Krohn is a member of the Nebraska Corn Board and serves as Director of District 7 (Boyd, Holt, Antelope, Garfield, Wheeler, Boone, Valley, Platte, Greeley, and Nance counties). After graduating from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in Agronomy, he began working as a production supervisor for Cargill in Albion before an opportunity allowed him to return home to the family farm. Krohn voluntarily installed flow meters on all his wells in 2014, joined the Lower Loup NRD’s voluntary Integrated Management Plan stakeholder’s group in 2015, and in 2021-2022 took part in the Lower Loup NRD’s Drought Management Plan meetings. The Krohn farming operation switched to no-till entirely approximately 20 years ago.

“I want the planet to be better when I leave here than it was when I arrived, and I want it to be better so my children have this land to farm. I want them to have abundant, clean water – we need to protect it now, so we have it forever,” Krohn said.

Kelly Guggenmos is in her 23rd year of teaching at Wheeler Central Public Schools in Bartlett. She has a bachelors degree in Agricultural Education from UNL and a masters degree from Wayne State College. She and her husband, Tony, live on an acreage near Ericson with their children, Bobbi 16, Jayna 15, and Justin 9. Their ranching operation includes a herd of 50 cattle. 

In addition to teaching, Guggenmos is an EMT and volunteer firefighter on the Ericson and Bartlett fire departments, and enjoys fishing, hunting, and spending time outdoors.

Krohn and Guggenmos were nominated for these awards by the Lower Loup NRD. Other Nebraska winners include:



• Tree Planter of the Year: Dennis & Teri Taylor – Newport


• Community Conservation Award: City of York (Project Grow) – York


• Soil Stewardship Conservation Award: Dave & Alex Daake – Seward County


• Director of the Year: Larry Moore, Upper Big Blue NRD – Ulysses


• Educator of the Year (K-6): Laura Cooney, Arthur County Public Schools




Above, left to right, Jim Eschliman, a director with the Lower Loup NRD and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts; Kelly Guggenmos of Wheeler Central High School and winner of the 2022 Educator of the Year Award; and Orval Gigstad, President of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) and a Director with the Nemaha NRD.

Below, left to right, Jim Eschliman, a director with the Lower Loup NRD and Past President of the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts; rural Albion farmer John Krohn, winner of the 2022 Water Conservation Award; Orval Gigstad, the current president of the NARD and a director with the Nemaha NRD, Judy Ridenour is a director with the Upper Loup NRD in Thedford; and Russell Callan, General Manager of the Lower Loup NRD in Ord. The Lower Loup NRD nominated both award winners.