Four Panhandle Families Being Honored This Year By Aksarben Posted by John Axtell Date: June 24, 2020 9:55 am Leave a comment 9 Views OMAHA, Neb. – The Aksarben Foundation, Nebraska Farm Bureau, and the Nebraska Association of Fair Managers have released this year’s list of families receiving either the Aksarben Pioneer or Heritage Farm Awards. The Pioneer Farm Award recognizes families who have owned the same plot of at least 40 acres of farmland for the past 100 years while the Heritage Farm Award celebrates those who’ve kept their family-owned land for 150 years. There are 4 families being honored in the Panhandle this year, all with the Pioneer Award. One is in Cheyenne County – the 125-year old Dan Dalton-Patrick Dalton Family Farm. The other 3 are in the northwest corner of the state. Being recognized in Dawes County are LaVerne and Shirley Stetson, whose farm was established in 1895, and Ron and Marisa Betson, whose farm was begun in 1915. Sioux County is represented by Walter Spencer and the Spencer Family Farm, celebrating its centennial this year. Recipients are traditionally recognized at their local county fair, but Aksarben Foundation President Sandra Reding says the COVID-19 pandemic has cancelled some fairs and limited plans for others, so the sponsoring groups are still working on alternative ways to deliver the honors. Aksarben began the Pioneer Award in 1956 and has honored nearly 10,000 farm families statewide. The Heritage Award was established just 6 years ago, but has already recognized nearly 100 farm families.