Blezek among 3 to win CASNR alumni honors

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Allen Blezek was one of three alumni honored Sept. 11 by the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources' Alumni Association.

Blezek, professor emeritus, received the 2010 Legacy Award. Other award winners were: Leroy Thom, 2010 Henry Beachell Distinguished Alumni Award; and Mike Jacobson, Alumni Association Achievement Award.

Blezek, of Lincoln, served for 25 years as director of the Nebraska LEAD program, taking participants on international study seminars to learn about the cultures and politics of about 90 countries. He also traveled the state to work with public schools, agricultural producers and representatives of agribusiness and affiliates of the LEAD Program.

Blezek also was founding director of the UNL Center for Leadership Development; head of the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communication; president of the Faculty Senate; and member of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, Nebraska Vocational Agricultural Foundation, Nebraska FFA Foundation and Lincoln East Rotary.

The Legacy Award was established to recognize significant contributions that have made a lasting impact on the college and university. Blezek's award cited his "nurturing and growing the Nebraska LEAD Program and other far-reaching leadership and agricultural education programs for youth and adults, enriching lives through teaching, scholarship and outreach and making a lasting impact on the college and the university."

Thom is president and owner of T-L Irrigation Co. of Hastings, which has 250 employees and sells thousands of pivot irrigation systems a year in 44 states and more than 30 countries. T-L pivots are powered by oil hydraulics rather than electricity. Thom maintains that because farmers work with hydraulics every day, they are better able to repair systems themselves.

Thom graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1949 with a bachelor's degree in agricultural engineering.

Jacobson is chairman, president and CEO of NebraskaLand National Bank in North Platte. He graduated from UNL in 1976 and is a life member of the CASNR Alumni Association.

- Dan Moser, IANR News Service