Jon Hansen – Employee Spotlight

Today we shine the spotlight on Jon Hansen, a Burt County guy through and through.

Where did you grow up?

Tekamah, Nebraska

What does your job entail (job duties and how does your work impact the public)?

I assist farmers and acreage owners implement conservation practices. Some examples of conservation practices include terraces, waterways, water and sediment control basins, livestock watering facility, working with the conservation tree program, and our wildlife habitat improvement program. Another large aspect of my day-to-day work is assisting our many partners, including the Natural Resources Conservation Service “NRCS”, Pheasants Forever, and the Nebraska Forest Service.

What’s the most unique thing in your office or on your desk right now?

You will find deer sheds and a signed football helmet by Coach Matt Rhule, along with a cluster of tree planting plan maps on my desk since we are in the thick of tree planting season.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work (hobbies, volunteering, etc.)?

I have a small farm and a cow/calf operation. I am also on the board of directors for the Burt County Cattlemen, and most recently finished up a 6-year term on the Burt County Extension Board. I enjoy hunting and I am a die-hard Husker sports fan.

What educational background or experience do you bring to your role (degree(s), coursework, skills learned, etc.)?

I earned a Diversified Agriculture degree in 2007, and I have been in the agriculture field in some capacity ever since. I started working for NRCS in 2017 before taking the Field Representative position with the Papio NRD in 2021 so I have gained a wide array of experience over the years.

Is there family, significant other, or furry friend information you’d like to share? My wife Amber and I have 3 kids: Peyton, Emry, Cooper, and we are expecting another little girl in June. We also have a silver lab named Tully.

What is your favorite band(s)? Currently I enjoy Zach Bryan, Cody Johnson, and Tyler Childers but I really like 70’s-90’s country.

Anything else you’d like to share? The best part about working for the Papio NRD is the people. I have got to network with some good fellow employees and partners and have met many good landowners and operators that are looking to improve the land. It has been very rewarding to work out of the Burt County Field Office where I was born and raised.

Papio NRD Crews Busy Assessing Flood Damage

Papio NRD crews are busy assessing the District’s levees, structures, and parks and trails for damage after Tuesday’s flooding in the Omaha metro.

While the water along the Papio Creek near 72nd & Q Street has receded, the amount of tree debris is surreal, as is the case in many other locations.

Papio NRD General Manger John Winkler says once the assessment is complete, repairs and storm cleanup will take place as quickly as possible in coordination with municipalities and various agencies.

While Tuesday’s flooding may have been a shock, Winkler says it wasn’t to the Papio NRD team. He says the Papio NRD’s system of flood mitigation reservoirs and levees built over the last 50 years were built for events like Tuesday’s and the infrastructure worked exactly as designed. When Mother Nature is in charge, Winkler says, nothing we build can be 100%.

Please know we understand this is a very trying and unsettling time for many. While the assessment and cleanup from the flood is a monumental effort, all parties involved are more than committed to getting our communities back in shape as expeditiously and safely as possible.

Everyone’s patience is very much appreciated.









Free Electronic Waste Recycling Collections This Month

Time to declutter! Recycle your old TVs, radios, and other electronics for free.

The Papio NRD and Nebraska Loess Hills RC&D Council’s free electronic waste (e-waste) recycling collections are this month in Burt, Dakota, Thurston and Washington counties.

Items Accepted

Residents and most businesses can properly dispose of computers, monitors, televisions (including big screen TVs), printers, office equipment, DVD/VHS players, audio equipment, radios and other small electronic devices. All data containing devices (computers, tablets, cell phones) are shredded or wiped in accordance with DOD standards by Midwest Electronic Recovery. If certificates of recycling and/or destruction are required, participants must call for instructions at least 24 hours before the collection.

Items Not Accepted

We will NOT accept large appliances such as microwaves, dehumidifiers, water heaters, freezers or refrigerators of any size. Waste will not be accepted from computer or electronics repair/retail businesses.

This is the ten-year anniversary of these annual events which have collected 503,359 pounds of e-waste to date. Proper disposal of e-waste protects the environment from mercury, lead, arsenic, cadmium, and other toxic materials contained in electronic components. Recycling also conserves limited landfill space in our rural communities.

Collection Dates and Times (at NRD/USDA Service Centers)

Tuesday, May 21

  • Tekamah (Burt County): 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – 539 S. 13th Street
  • Blair (Washington County) 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – 1060 Wilbur Street

Thursday, May 23

  • Walthill (Thurston County) 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. – 106 S. Costello Street
  • Dakota City (Dakota County) 2:00 to 5:00 p.m. – 1505 Broadway Street

E-waste will only be accepted during the scheduled times, rain or shine.

Funding for these free e-waste collections is provided through the Litter Reduction and Recycling Incentive Grant Program, Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy.

For more information, please contact one of our Field Office representatives in your county:

Burt County: Deb Ward at 402-374-1920 ext. 3
Washington, Douglas & Sarpy counties: Kalani Fortina at 402-426-4782 ext. 3
Thurston County: Tamara Tipton at 402-846-5655
Dakota County: Mahkenna Koinzan at 402-494-4949






What’s a Spillway…and Why Should You Care?

They may just look like big pipes, but they have a very important job – to help protect you from flooding. What you see in the time-lapse video is the installation of the principal spillway pipe, a major structural part of the Papio NRD’s new flood mitigation reservoir in Gretna, NE, slated to be completed in May of 2025.

So, what’s a spillway? In simple terms, a spillway serves as an outlet to ensure the safe passage of excess water if the water level of the reservoir goes above its regular permanent elevation.

Why should you care about this? While a flood mitigation reservoir’s primary job is to help protect you and your property from flooding events, it also creates recreational opportunities for the community. Once the project (located southwest of 168th Street and Giles Road) is completed, citizens can enjoy recreation amenities, such as fisheries, trails, kayak launches, and a picnic area – while at the same time, knowing their families are being safeguarded. A double win!

We will continue to keep you updated on the project’s progress and want to thank crews from Houston Engineering and Valley Corporation for all their hard work!