ALMA — As assistant manager of the Lower Republican Natural Resources District, Bryan Lubeck is a number cruncher.
For example, Lubeck tracks changes in spring static water levels across the district. (The average dropped .96 of one foot from 2013 to 2014.) He oversees the annual reading of irrigation flowmeters and uses them to determine how much water farmers have applied to their fields districtiwde. (The average was 8.55 inches per acre in 2013.) And he also tracks the district's annual sales of trees for windbreaks and other conservation plantings. (He reports that 2014 was the biggest year for tree sales in a decade.)
"I guess I'm kind of a 'numbers' kind of a guy," Lubeck said.
But he's also a people person who enjoys talking to patrons — especially the farmers from across the Lower Republican district, which includes all of Furnas, Harlan and Franklin counties, most of Webster County and southern Nuckolls County.
Lubeck has a farmer's heart, and he can empathize with farmers' troubles and worries. And well he should, since he is a family farmer himself, with roots planted deeply in the Harlan County soil.
"I guess I like visiting with people, and I like being able to help farmers," he said. "I felt real good when I could do something for somebody."