The Center for Rural Affairs is pleased to announce that Betty Sayers, co-founder of Nebraska Rural Living from Holdrege, Nebraska, received the 2015 Seventh Generation Award. She was honored for her integrity and leadership at a special awards banquet Friday, March 11, held on the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs’ quarterly board meeting, at the Elks Country Club in Columbus, Nebraska.
“Betty has been a strong and loyal supporter of the Center, dating back to 2002,” says Brian Depew, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs. “She has devoted her life to our mission in many respects through Nebraska Rural Living, through her participation in our programs, and her voice as an advocate for policy change.”
The Seventh Generation Award is a lifetime service award presented to an individual who has made major contributions to improving rural life and protecting our land and water. Betty grew up in Nebraska, but left to work in other parts of the country. When she returned to the South Platte region in 2003, it was because she wanted a life that mattered, with family connections, meaningful work and a healthy lifestyle.
The news she heard elsewhere describing the out-migration of rural Nebraskans, declining farm economy and drought did not reflect the reality she found in rural Nebraska. She noticed prosperous entrepreneurial businesses, safe streets, a nurturing quality of life for families, excellent schools and affordable housing. She also noticed communities seemed to be well governed, by citizens who cared.
Betty and her sister Nancy decided to help change people’s perceptions of rural Nebraska by starting a website, www.nebraskaruralliving.com, which also acts as a hub of resources for all that are interested in living or visiting south central Nebraska.
“Nebraska Rural Living is a voice for towns under 10,000 in Nebraska,” Betty says. “A little magazine like Nebraska Rural Living attracts a niche audience, and may be compared to my favorite cookie, the finely chopped walnut, powdered sugar and butter-crisp Russian Tea Cake, best made in small batches. We believe that small means delicious, sparkly, adventurous and far from normal. We welcome our audience on Facebook, through our blog site and on Instagram, and we invite them to read more on the website, communicate with us, and move forward by moving back to common sense living in rural Nebraska.”