Shana Beattie was honored as the AG-ceptional Woman of the Year at the Northeast Community College AG-ceptional Women’s Conference on its Norfolk campus on November 17, 2018.
The announcement was made during a video tribute that was played during the opening session of the 10th annual conference. The video was sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America and produced by the Northeast Agriculture Department and Media Production Group.
“Shana represents what it means to be AG-ceptional in so many ways,” said Corinne Morris, dean of agriculture, math and science at Northeast Community College and conference director. “Her passion and commitment to agriculture shines through in every role she fulfills.”
A special selection committee made up of professionals from agricultural businesses and operations is assembled each year to select the winner from a very competitive group of nominees.
Beattie was nominated by Karen Grant, of Grant Family Farms in Meadow Grove, and a past Ag-Ceptional Woman recipient Grant said she knew of Beattie’s passion for agriculture when she heard her speak to members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation.
“Shana was very professional, but she let them know where she stood on issues,” Grant said. “And I just adored her from that moment on. She has such a passion for life, for her family and for agriculture in general. I just felt that Shana is a wonderful ‘AG-ceptional’ woman, so I wanted to nominate her to be the AG-ceptional Woman of the Year.”
Beattie was born and raised in north central Florida where her family is still involved in agriculture. Her father was a rancher who raised cattle and was also in the livestock trucking business. She and her four siblings grew up in a rural area and were actively involved in 4-H and FFA. Beattie was involved in livestock judging in high school and was recognized at state, district and national competitions.
While serving as a member of the University of Florida Livestock Judging Team and working during a summer internship in North Carolina, she met her future husband, Bart Beattie.
“I still bleed orange and blue, which has been interesting living in Nebraska for 22 years,” she said. “I’m true to my roots, but I have raised a bunch of little ‘Cornhuskers,’ so I’ve done my part. However, I still root for orange and blue on Saturdays.”
The Beatties operate Beattie Family Farms in Dawson County in central Nebraska, along with his parents Jeff and Nanette Beattie. It is a diversified operation that includes a crop rotation of corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. They also partner in a 10,000-head sow farm for a large wean-to-finish swine operation, and own a commercial cow/calf ranching operation. The Beatties employ 15 people.
“I’m the fifth generation to be on this family farm and I’m very proud of that,” Shana’s husband Bart said. “I have a lot of pride in the heritage that my grandfathers started years ago. We’ve had the opportunity to be here for over 20 years and it’s just been a great opportunity to get to grow our operation with Shana, who has been very involved from the beginning.”
Shana Beattie’s primary role in the operation presently involves inventory management. Previously, she has worked with cattle and assisted during harvest driving grain cars, in addition to other jobs. She serves as a member of the board of directors of the Nebraska Pork Producers Association.
She is also actively involved in the Beattie children’s agriculture activities.
“Shana has done a really good job with our kids in fostering a passion for agriculture, a passion for the farming operation, and getting the kids involved through FFA and 4-H,” Bart Beattie said. “Having them out on the farm gives them a good foundation.”
The Beattie’s have four children, McKenzie, a freshman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln who is majoring in agriculture, Mattison, a freshman at SEM Schools in Sumner, while Bart Jr. is in the seventh grade and Preston is in the fifth grade at SEM Public School in Sumner. Bart Jr. said of his mother that “she’s an awesome lady. She helps with everything, and she knows a lot about the farm. She’s extremely passionate about agriculture and I’m very blessed to have her.”
Nanette Beattie, Shana’s mother-in-law, is pleased to see her receive the AG-ceptional Woman recognition.
“Shana is a “git’r” done gal,” she says. “She goes forth with all that she has in any task that comes before her. She has a passion for agriculture and for her family. She has her priorities right and she is very knowledgeable and informed in everything she does. She is most deserving of this award.”
Beattie said she is fortunate to have the life she leads.
“I love to serve my family, I love to serve the farm, I love to serve my community, and that is a way for me to put my investment in agriculture,” she said. “I enjoy learning. I also enjoy helping build the Nebraska Pork Producers Association as we face new challenges in pork production. I’ve got a passion about my life in agriculture.”
“Everyone has their passion and everyone has their gift to promote agriculture,” she said. “Every situation for each individual is different, but I think as you find your true gift, you can use that as your way to promote and get involved with agriculture.”