Larry & Phyllis Kracman of North Platte, Nebraska
Larry and Phyllis Kracman were married in 1966 and lived in Gothenburg, Nebraska. At that time, Larry’s lifelong practices of good conservation really began to take hold. Phyllis was a schoolteacher north of Gothenburg, and Larry farmed some of the family ground. In 1967 Larry and Phyllis started Kracman Fertilizer Inc. at Brady. This well known fertilizer business was a labor of love for Larry and Phyllis. They operated the business for 23 years, with Larry as the owner/manager, and Phyllis as the bookkeeper. In 1980 they purchased their home north of Brady, where they planted hundreds of trees. At this time, Larry realized that he would not live there forever, but the trees would be there long after he was gone.
As the children grew up on the farm, they developed a sense of good conservation as their parents actively practiced it. While operating Kracman Fertilizer Inc., Larry and Phyllis purchased several tracts of land. Larry and Phyllis have implemented many conservation measures on this land. A neighbor noted “everything they’ve ever touched, they’ve improved”. Through conservation measures such as converting flood irrigation ground to pivots and installing several surge irrigation systems, Larry has been able to conserve irrigation water, reduce erosion, and save energy.
Larry also utilized a conservation crop rotation that is 100% ridge till on continuous corn or alfalfa. Larry has also been willing to try some new conservation programs to benefit the environment. Larry participated in a demonstration project of seeding a grass buffer around an irrigation well. Larry and Phyllis were also one of the first participants in Continuous CRP, and planted 510 trees on a farm south of North Platte.
Other conservation practices Larry and Phyllis have implemented over the years include 88 acres of grass seeding, one irrigation recovery system, one livestock watering facility, numerous surge systems, and irrigation water management (on all irrigated cropland acres). Larry and Phyllis have been very involved in the community in which they reside, and also in Lincoln County. Larry was on the Brady town board and was eventually the mayor of Brady for approximately six years. During his term as mayor, Larry was instrumental in getting several dams around Brady built that would prevent another flood like the one that occurred in 1973.
Larry was one of the founding members of the Lincoln County Planning Commission. He served on this board for 25 years, and just recently resigned. Larry is very proud of all the accomplishments of the Commission. Larry was also instrumental in expanding the Central Public Power and Irrigation District to include a director from Lincoln, Keith, and Dawson Counties.
Larry also worked with the local legislators to see that input came from these counties as well. Larry then served on the board of directors for four and one-half years. Larry and Phyllis are members of the Brady Methodist Church, where both have been Sunday schoolteachers, and also the Evangelical Free Church in North Platte. Larry and Phyllis have three children: Kim and spouse Chris Skinner of Princeton, NJ; Krista and spouse Kenny Galloway and their daughter Molly of Seattle, WA; and David Kracman of Sacramento, CA.