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Creighton woman has been recognized for her contributions to agriculture.
Liz Doerr was honored as the AG-ceptional Woman of the Year at the 9th Annual AG-ceptional Women’s Conference on Friday at the Lifelong Learning Center at Northeast Community College here. The announcement was revealed during a video tribute that was played during the opening session of the conference. The video was sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America and produced by the Northeast Agriculture Department and Media Production Group.
“Liz was honored for her dedication, strength, skills, and impact on agriculture,” said Corinne Morris, dean of agriculture, math and science at Northeast Community College and conference director. “She is very influential in the G.o.L.D (Gary or Liz Doerr) Family Farm and farrow to finish operation. Off the farm, she has also made a substantial impact on Nebraska agriculture. This is a well-deserved recognition.”
Doerr was nominated by her husband, Gary.
“Liz always has a very positive attitude and a smile on her face. She enjoys being a problem solver, and isn’t afraid to take on a challenge. Liz is always determined to finish a task she starts, no matter how large or small it might be. She handles her work in a very professional way and is devoted to her family, church, and jobs.”
Upon accepting her award, Doerr thanked her husband and family.
“Gary’s always been my strongest supporter. He knows what I’m doing is important, and I have a great family here. I love all of you.”
The Doerrs own and operate a 275 sow farrow to finish hog operation near Creighton, along with 1,100 acres of row crops. Liz Doerr assists with the hog operation with artificial insemination, working with sows, weaning pigs, and sorting the hogs to be sold. She also does the accounting for the operation, in addition to downloading and analyzing data from their feed mill and maintaining hog production records for the Doerr’s farm, as well as a neighboring operation.
“If one pig is missing from the records, she will catch it,” Gary Doerr said. “Over the last few years, Liz’s management tools have helped us make major decisions like building a feed mill and developing an expansion plan that incorporates our son, Aaron, into the business. She also uses these tools to identify improvements we can make that might turn into monetary or time savings.”
Off the farm, Liz Doerr has another important job. She is the zoning administrator for Knox and Antelope counties.
Gary Doerr said, “When she first began the position with Knox County more than twelve years ago, the county’s regulations were very restrictive, particularly for livestock operations. After many long meetings and determination on Liz's part, the county zoning regulations were rewritten in 2014. That fall, Knox County was designated as "Livestock Friendly", something a lot of people never thought would happen.”
Antelope County hired Doerr as its zoning and planning administrator in April 2016, where she assisted in making it a Livestock Friendly County that year. She is in the process of helping to update its zoning regulations. She regularly answers questions from other counties on the livestock friendly designation.
In March 2017, the Nebraska Planning and Zoning Association presented Doerr with its Loretta Ludemann Award for excellence in planning and zoning.
Larry Sitzman, past executive director of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association, said he appreciated Doerr’s assistance in serving as an association representative on a working group with the Nebraska Association of County Officials.
“The challenge to this group was to review county zoning rules and recommend making zoning regulations that were more consistent across county lines,” he said. “Following months of meetings and debate, the group drafted LB 106, the Livestock Operation Siting and Expansion bill. Liz did an excellent job testifying before the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee speaking in favor of the legislation.”
In 2015, the Nebraska Pork Producers Association presented Doerr with its Industry Outreach Award for the input and work she did with the working group.
Also in 2015, Doerr was one of ten people from across the state appointed to serve on the Nebraska Department of Agriculture Livestock Development Matrix Committee by then Agriculture Director Greg Ibach. The law charges the ag department with development of an assessment matrix that can be used by county government officials for siting livestock operations.
Doerr was also nominated by Joan Ruskamp, of J & S Feedlot of Dodge.
“Someone saw that gift in her and she put her courage on the line, and a leap of faith and stepped into that role (as zoning administrator) and she did it so well. She’s reaching out beyond her farm - and really to all of us farmers and ranchers - to help us on our farms work with our friends and our small communities and cities around us so that agriculture can and continue to thrive without any kind of detriment or harm foreseen by those friends or ours in the city. That is why I believe Liz is our AG-ceptional Woman of the Year for 2017.”
Doerr has also been involved with the Ag-Ceptional Women’s Conference Committee since its inception. She also assists Zion Lutheran Church in Plainview, with its computer programs and is in charge of its audio visual system. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family taking part in activities such as camping, kayaking, geocaching, walks, and attending her grandchildren’s activities. She also enjoys working in the yard, sewing, and decorating cakes.
She earned a diploma in the administrative assistant program from Northeast Community College.
The Doerr’s have four children, Eric and JoBeth Doerr, of Creighton, and their children, Trevor, Makenzie, and Kaydence; Kayla and Jake Dryden of Corpus Christi, TX; Kevin and Charlie Doerr, of Plainview, and their son Elliot; and Aaron and Carley Doerr of Creighton.