At Home in Greater Nebraska – Jon Zavadil

What is the best thing about living in your community?
I’m not certain I can say there is one best thing. It’s really a way of life that gives me harmony in my life physically, mentally, and spiritually and I believe that is the way God intended us to live our lives.

What was the most important factor in your decision to move to your community?
I had three primary reasons for returning to Greater Nebraska: being both geographically and emotionally closer to my family; returning to the rural agricultural area with open spaces, blue skies and all the four seasons; and returning to be with people that have the same values, morals, and manners as mine.

Did you always plan to return to Greater Nebraska? If not, what changed your mind?
Growing up as a youth in our small rural agricultural community in Northeast Nebraska I of course thought there was not much to be offered so I longed to go out in the world and experience new and hopefully exciting adventures, which I did for almost half my life. What I discovered is every place has its own assets and downfalls and that growing up in my home community was a privilege that I did not understand until I experienced other communities. I finally realized what I wanted in life was returning to the place that had always been home, which I did and never looked back.

Any surprises?
The biggest surprise was that even though the population of our community had not grown is the 30 years I was away the amenities and opportunities available are well beyond my expectations.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about returning to Greater Nebraska?
Do it. Return, it’s one of the best choices you can make in your life, and I am willing to bet it’s a choice you will never regret.

What excites you when you think about the future of your community?
I’m excited about the future of our community because I believe everyone in the community has similar dreams of continued improvement to the way of life we experience, knowing our heritage and future are equally important and we are committed to both.

How would you describe your experience serving on your local affiliated fund?
My experience working on Crofton’s affiliated fund has been challenging and rewarding.  As in every small community everyone must do their part in maintaining the way of life and improving the community for the future. The rewards are working with other citizens that understand that need and are willing to invest their time and talents for that cause. The challenges are determining what the greatest needs of the community are, what impact the affiliated fund can have on those needs, while working with all other volunteer organizations and local government.

What drew you to the NCF network?
NCF knows and is committed to rural Nebraska communities in everything they do to support our local affiliated fund. They truly believe, as we do, Nebraska is a great place and that if everyone works together it will continue to be even better into the future. NCF believes it’s important that we strive to keep the wealth we have in our communities and provide opportunities for people to stay in or return to rural communities.

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