We lost a dear friend and ECL member on Monday August 14, 2023. Alan Moeller passed away peacefully with family at home after a valiant 9-month battle with ALS. A good and decent man who cared deeply for the common good of all.
Alan spent most of his career at the University of Nebraska Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) overseeing business, finance, and legislative affairs. For over three decades, he was considered the University’s primary contact person for state senators and other government officials for agriculture, natural resources, and related issues. Shortly after retirement, Alan joined the Facilitating Team in the founding years of the Nebraska Elder Climate Legacy and helped ECL become a positive force for climate action. With his extensive knowledge and policy experience, Alan was a key figure in both the writing of legislative bills and the process of getting them passed into law.
One of ECL’s goals is to promote and support the adoption of Regenerative Agricultural Practices to enhance agriculture’s resource stewardship role and the associated environmental benefits. Alan passionately embraced that goal and worked tirelessly for it. His efforts were not in vain. In 2021, through his leadership the Nebraska Legislature created a soil health task force charged to complete a comprehensive study and recommendations. Based on the recommendations of that task force report, LB 925 The Resilient Soils and Water Quality Initiative was passed by an overwhelming bi-partisan majority in the Legislature and signed into law by the governor in 2022. Implementation is coming into fruition with the newly formed Nebraska Soil Health Coalition to carry out the bill’s intention according to the design as Alan had penned it. Despite the onset of his illness, Alan continued to make valuable input into this effort. Even during the last few weeks, Alan was actively offering advice and support (communicating electronically with his eye movements). So, yes, thanks in large measure to Alan, Nebraska is embracing a whole new initiative on soil health. In our changing climate with increased frequency and intensity of weather and climate extremes, enhanced soil health efforts will prove to be a godsend for this state in the near term and beyond.
Within our elder climate legacy group, we like to think that as seniors we all leave a footprint, but as elders we leave a legacy. Alan embraced his elder role and left a legacy-- for his family, his community, his state and nation and the global community. And he did so by living his life with a true and genuine servant heart. Leaving not just a legacy of what he accomplished for the common good, but also a legacy of how to do so graciously and humbly.
A Biblical phrase seems so appropriate here as we all reflect on Alan’s life well-lived: —well done good and faithful servant! May each of us carry on likewise in our own lives, passionately serving with humility and grace.
Oh, and one more thing, just as Alan did, keeping our boots on until the very end!
Alan Moeller, 78, passed away on August 14, 2023, surrounded by family at home in Lincoln. Alan was born on May 24, 1945 in West Point, Nebraska, to Roy and Catherine Moeller, and grew up on a farm northeast of Wisner, Nebraska, with his brother Don. Alan met Lana (Knudsen) Moeller at Love Library while both were attending the University of Nebraska, and they married on September 2, 1967.
After completing his Master's Degree in Agricultural Economics, Alan worked for Cargill, the Nebraska Games & Parks Commission, and the Nebraska Legislative Fiscal Office before starting on a 36 year career with the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR) at the University of Nebraska. He led business, finance, and legislative affairs for IANR and left behind a legacy of accomplishments. Because of his depth of understanding of the University and state agriculture, Alan was considered the University's primary contact person for state senators and other government officials for agriculture, natural resources, and related areas. In recognition of his contributions to the University and Nebraska agriculture, Alan was a 2014 Honoree of the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement.
Alan explored a variety of interests in his spare time, including photography, model trains, restoring classic cars, and rooting for the Huskers.
Upon retirement, Alan and Lana were able to take many special trips together, and to spend extra time with their family and with one another. Alan and Lana celebrated 55 years of marriage in 2022. With his children and grandchildren in mind, Alan also became very active in retirement with the Soil Health Task Force, the Nebraska Elder Climate Legacy Initiative, and as one of 8 founding members of the Nebraska Soil Health Coalition, having the aim to protect the Earth for future generations.
Alan is preceded in death by his parents Roy and Catherine Moeller.
Alan is survived by his wife Lana, sons Cameron (Shannon) and Todd (Jill), and grandchildren Owen, Hattie, Anna, August and Calvin; and brother Don (Connie).
A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 from 1:30 to 4:00 pm at Butherus, Maser & Love Funeral Home, 4040 A Street, Lincoln, NE 68510. A memorial service will be held at 1:30pm followed by visitation with family and friends from 2:00 to 4:00pm.
Memorials can be made to the family for future designation toward Nebraska soil health.