Governor Honors Kids Who Get the Picture of Nebraska Agriculture

Teacher Diane Meyer listens as Gov. Heineman speaks to her class.

"It's not every day you see the governor come to your class," a smiling fifth grader, Jazzlyn Nava said.

It's not every day, but it is about every year the governor visits this classroom at Knickrehm Elementary in Grand Island, perennial winners in the state Department of Agriculture poster contest.

Gov. Dave Heineman said, "It's about education and they're learning something every single day and that's what makes me so proud. When you can combine the state's number one industry with education, that's significant and very important."

Dabatha Sanchez had the best poster in the state for her grade.

"I feel like a star," she said.

So it may be surprising Sanchez has never been to a farm. But teacher Diane Meyer brings the farm to class.

Dabatha said, "She brought real crops like soybeans, alfalfa, wheat, corn."

Without their teacher, these kids didn't know where to begin.

"That's when Mrs. Meyer explained FFA and 4–H and that's how I got that idea to put that on," Jazzlyn said.

Heineman added, "Diane's a great teacher, she's done a wonderful job. She inspires the kids about agriculture and art, and that's what I see great teachers do all across this state."

The governor also visited a pair of students at Centura, also state winners. The governor's office could have mailed certificates, but he wanted to deliver them in person.

"I do it because I love to do it. I love to recognize these young students for what they do," he said.

The governor says he also enjoys answering questions from the kids. At Knickrehm, Mrs. Meyer's class learned that if you ever spot the governor at McDonald's, yes he does eat fast food like normal people.

He also pointed out he's in good health and spends time on the treadmill every day.

And if you ever see him in line at Walmart, he's happy to wait his turn. Recently he was picking up a few things, and folks offered to let him cut in line, but he said he'd rather wait.

Visit the Nebraska Department of Agriculture website to see all the poster winners.