Madison County Commissioner Ron Schmidt has begun his tenure as a member of the NIRMA Board of Directors, a position he’s very much looking forward to holding.
“The more I learn about NIRMA, the more I look forward to serving on the board,” says Ron.
Elected during the annual Association Business Meeting held October 7 in Kearney, he will attend his first meeting January 27 at the NIRMA offices in Lincoln where he will be seated alongside 10 veteran members whose years of service on the board range from two to 29.
“I think there’s a wealth of knowledge on the board now. And I hope to contribute to that. I won’t be a silent board member, without a doubt,” Ron says.
A native of Madison County, Ron is a graduate of Madison High School and attended both Northeast Community College in Norfolk and Platte Community College, which is now known as Central Community College, in Columbus. Ron along with his brother are involved in a family farming operation.
“I’ve been farming since 1971. I’m involved in a partnership with my brother that we started in 1974. We raise corn, soybeans and we raise quite a bit of seed corn,” he says.
Ron has a number of years of previous service on various boards and advisory committees. He served on the Madison School Board, spent nine years on the Nebraska Soybean Association Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Madison County Farm Bureau Board, where he has spent time as both secretary and president.
In 2014 Ron decided to enter county government.
“I’ve always said I’d like to do something to serve the public. I knew (former Madison County Commissioner) Jerry McCallum had decided to retire, so that’s when I decided to run for office,” he says.
Ron says when he entered office the next year, he did so with an open mind.
“I tried not to have too many expectations. I’d be proven wrong,” he says. “By and large it’s been very good. It’s been a learning and positive experience.
“I’ve met some really nice people who I wouldn’t have met had I not been in this position,” he adds.
As part of his role as commissioner, Ron chairs the county’s safety committee and is a member of the budget committee, along with others.
Running for the NIRMA board is something that hadn’t occurred to Ron. It wasn’t until a conversation he had with NIRMA board member Buddy Small that he learned there was going to be an opening when Dan Purdy announced he would not be seeking re-election to the Hall County Board of Supervisors. At that point he began thinking about seeking the seat about to be vacated.
“I realized how important NIRMA is to county government, with all the training and services its offers well beyond just insurance. I think its important to have board members from all areas of the state who can bring different perspectives,” Ron says.
As he begins his NIRMA board service, he does so with the desire to learn.
“First of all, I know there’s a lot to learn. I want to learn more about NIRMA and the board (responsibilities) so I can be a contributing member,” he says.
“NIRMA has a great reputation among county governments and I want to continue to help NIRMA grow as an organization for the benefit of counties. I’m not coming on the board because I think we need change. But if we need to make some changes, I want to be a part of that and have an active part in that process,” Ron says.