The Nebraska Bankers Association recognized Sen. Mike Jacobson of North Platte and Andy Olson of Hershey with the 2022 NBA Agri-business Recognition Award. The award has been presented each year since 1983 to individuals who have made significant contributions to the state of Nebraska and its agricultural industry. The presentation was made during the NBA’s Fall Agri-business Conference in Lincoln.
Jacobson is president and CEO of NebraskaLand Bank in North Platte, which he founded in 1998. The bank has grown to $900 million in assets and employs 105 people. Earlier this year, he was appointed to represent District 42 in the Nebraska Legislature where he is a member of the Agriculture, General Affairs and Natural Resources Committees.
Growing up on a farm sparked Jacobson’s passion for agriculture. He studied agricultural economics and agricultural education in college and taught for a short time before beginning his banking career as an agricultural lending officer at City National Bank in Hastings. He later moved to Lincoln to work for First Commerce Bancshares, eventually leading the correspondent division. In that role, he managed a participation portfolio that assisted banks across Nebraska in meeting the credit needs of their agriculture customers.
Jacobson is a member of the Governor’s Agricultural Advisory Committee the Farm Foundation. He served as chair of the Nebraska Bankers Association in 2009. He is a past president of the Agriculture Builders of Nebraska and previously served on the American Bankers Association Agricultural Banking Advisory Work Group. Jacobson’s many community activities include serving as president of the North Platte Development Corporation and the North Platte Public Schools Foundation Board.
With the purchase of three mares in 1954, Olson began his long career of raising Lazy U Quarter Horses. In 1964, he and his father incorporated Olson Farms. Custom cattle feeding was added to the operation in 1986. The business was expanded in 2015 and they now feed 32,000 head of cattle and employ 40 people. Olson Farms is in the process of adding capacity to its feed yard, with further expansion in the planning stages. Conservation is a priority for Olson, and he has implemented numerous conservation practices on his operation.
Olson is a strong supporter of local and national youth organizations. One of his most recent activities is donating beef to schools. He also regularly donates beef to local food pantries, shelters and the North Platte Opportunity Center.
Among his many awards, Olson was named an honorary member of the Paxton FFA Chapter, served as parade marshal of the Hershey Fall Festival and was honored with the North Platte Business of the Year Award. He was a founding member of the Hershey Lions Club and served as president of Maria Lutheran Church.