Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts recently announced a new volunteer initiative, "Sorghum Cares: Preserving Our Heritage. Building Our Future," to collect and preserve the stories of Nebraska veterans.
The Nebraska Sorghum Producers Association and Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs (NDVA) have partnered to launch the initiative, with key support from Humanities Nebraska.
"Our veterans have made great sacrifices so that we can live in a land of liberty," Ricketts says. "This project documents their stories of sacrifice and preserves them for future generations of Nebraskans."
NeSPA conducts outreach across the state to strengthen relationships with consumers, producers, and industry and educational partners — and to develop value-added markets. The "Sorghum Cares" initiative will be incorporated into NeSPA's regular monthly outreach across the state.
After these outreach events, members of the NeSPA staff — serving in a volunteer capacity — will meet with members of the veteran community to record their experiences. The veteran interviews will be archived at the Library of Congress as part of the Veterans History Project. No checkoff funds will be used as part of this initiative.
"Recording the experiences of Nebraska veterans is important to our heritage, and it ensures that future generations can glean lessons from their leadership and sacrifices," says Nate Blum, NeSPA executive director. "Sorghum is also an important part of Nebraska's rich heritage, having been grown in the state from nearly the moment pioneers homesteaded the plains. Modern sorghum offers 21st-century producers opportunities to diversify their operations and gives them greater access to value-added markets."
"NeSPA feels a great sense of responsibility to preserve our history while keeping an eye to opportunities on the horizon," Blum adds. "Our partnership with the Nebraska Department of Veterans' Affairs adds incredible value to these efforts. Their support of the brave men and women who have served our nation is inspiring. We are humbled to assist their mission in this capacity."
"This is an exciting partnership for our agency and the members of our four state veterans' homes," NDVA Director John Hilgert says. "Memorializing Nebraska's veterans and their stories is an important aspect of honoring them and celebrating everything they've done for our country. I look forward to seeing these interviews in the Veterans History Project and encourage my fellow Nebraskans to watch them."
The interviews will be conducted monthly at Nebraska's veterans' homes, as well as by appointment.