American Doorstop Project co-founders and authors, Jody L. Lamp and Melody Dobson, commemorated Nebraska’s 150th Sesquicentennial Statehood Day celebrations March 1 by announcing the title of their new Nebraska agriculture history book, A History of Nebraska Agriculture: A Life Worth Living, features cover art and illustrations by nationally-renowned Nebraska artist, Gene Roncka.
Lamp, of Lamp Public Relations & Marketing, LLC, and Dobson, independent consultants and national project directors, signed a multiple-book publishing agreement with The History Press in 2016 to produce a series of agriculture history books, beginning with A History of Nebraska Agriculture: A Life Worth Living, which debuts in retail outlets, book stores, museums and similar venues throughout Nebraska in early June. The book series continues with Montana and North Dakota with publishing dates planned for 2018 and 2019, respectively.
“As we celebrate Nebraska’s statehood for years to come, we honor all who contributed to Nebraska’s agriculture advancement,” the authors said. “This Nebraska agricultural history book is not all-inclusive of farming, ranching or the
significant role Nebraskans have played in the success of technological and biological advancements in the past 150 years. But it is with utmost integrity and desire that we bring attention and recognition to what we refer to as the “SPICE” (spaces, places, inventions, commodities, events) and the people of the Cornhusker State who helped us to narrow and identify the stories that were selected.”
The book’s front cover image, Sunset on the Sandahl Home Place, was a commissioned piece Roncka painted for the Dean Sandahl family farm near Wakefield, northeast of Norfolk. The back cover image, River Bottom, tells a story of several generations that have lived and continue to live in a typical Midwestern farm house. Both prints and other examples of Roncka’s work are featured at Willow Point Gallery/ Museum in Ashland, the town where Roncka and his wife, Mary, live. The art gallery and the Archie Hightshoe Wildlife display Roncka designed have been recognized by Nebraska Travel and Tourism.
Roncka’s distinct style of subtle, soft-muted colors and an ethereal quality transports his admirers into his richly painted canvases. He describes his work as “capturing a moment in time that all of us have experienced, either in fact or fiction.”
“The Gene Roncka Signature Series” includes ornament designs from the Homestead National Monument of America that were displayed on the White House Christmas tree in December 2007; the painted mural at the Homestead National Monument’s Education Center in Beatrice; the Nebraska Easter Seal Society, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Husker program; NASA for Nebraska Astronaut Clayton C. Anderson; and other fundraising organizations.
Lamp and Dobson state:
“We are honored and humbled to have the opportunity to work with Gene and Mary Roncka and to feature someone of Gene’s stature in the art world in our first book. We’ve been fans of his work since we stumbled upon the Willow Point Gallery and believe the Ronckas to be as much a treasure to the community of Ashland and the state of Nebraska, as Gene’s beautiful illustrations.”
American Doorstop Project book partners and sponsors include, Montana History Foundation, The Lockwood Foundation, Hall County Historical Society, Nebraska Dry Bean Commission, Kelley Bean, North Platte Natural Resources District, Aurora Cooperative, Prairie Preservations, 21st Century Equipment, Nebraska Hereford Association, and Deines Irrigation. Other recent sponsors to provide marketing and promotion support of the Nebraska book include, Scotts Bluff County Tourism and the Robert B. Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska.
Funding allows the American Doorstop Project co-founders and authors to elaborate each story within the agriculture history books and further advocacy and education efforts through integrated social media, national and community engagement events, signage, and oral history narratives that will be featured on the www.AmericanDoorstopProject.com website.
The Montana History Foundation serves as the fiscal sponsor for American Doorstop Project, allowing all philanthropists, individual donors, institutions, corporations and grantors, within and outside Montana, a tax-deductible benefit for their contributions towards the project.
To learn more about the American Doorstop Project and to find out how you can make a tax deductible financial contribution, visit the www.AmericanDoorstopProject.com website. To learn more about sponsorship packages, media interviews, speaking appearances, call Jody L. Lamp, at 406-698-9675 or by email jody@AmericanDoorstopProject.com.