Betty Sayers Receives Seventh Generation Award

March 10, 2016

betty-sayersLyons, NE – The Center for Rural Affairs is pleased to announce that Betty Sayers, co-founder of Nebraska Rural Living from Holdrege, NE, has been chosen to receive the 2015 Seventh Generation Award. She will be honored for her integrity and leadership at a special awards banquet Friday, March 11, held on the eve of the Center for Rural Affairs’ quarterly board meeting, at the Elks Country Club in Columbus, Nebraska at 5:00.

The Seventh Generation Award is a lifetime service award presented to an individual who has made major contributions to improving rural life and protecting our land and water.

After graduating high school, Betty left Nebraska to teach at a community college in Belcourt, ND, before moving to Detroit Lakes, MN, where she co-authored a book, and wrote and facilitated grants for nonprofits. When Betty moved back to the South Platte region in 2003 she said it was because she “wanted a life that mattered, with family connections, meaningful work and a healthy lifestyle.”

During her years living out of Nebraska, she read dismal articles describing the out-migration of rural Nebraskans, the declining farm economy, and drought. However when she visited back home, she noticed prosperous entrepreneurial businesses, safe streets, a nurturing quality of life for families, excellent schools and affordable housing. She also noticed communities seemed to be well governed, by citizens who cared.

According to Sayers, the reality of life in rural Nebraska vs. the picture presented by the media appeared out of alignment. She and her sister Nancy decided to help change people’s perceptions of rural Nebraska by starting a website ( that also acts as a hub of resources for all that are interested in living or visiting south central Nebraska.

“Nebraska Rural Living is a voice for towns under 10,000 in Nebraska, and our category is also “little magazine.”  A little magazine like Nebraska Rural Living attracts a niche audience, and may be compared to my favorite cookie,  the finely chopped walnut, powdered sugar and butter-crisp Russian Tea Cake, best made in small batches,” explained Sayers. “We believe that small means delicious, sparkly, adventurous and far from normal. We welcome our audience on Facebook, Blog site and Instagram, and we invite them to read more on the website, communicate with us, and move forward by moving back to common sense living in rural Nebraska.”

Brian Depew, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs stated, “Betty has been a strong and loyal supporter of the Center, dating back to 2002. She has devoted her life to our mission in many respects through Nebraska Rural Living, through her participation in our programs, and her voice as an advocate for policy change.”