Meet a Member: Barb Bierman Batie

The Nebraska governor is a smart man who recently appointed Barb Batie to the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission to oversee the planning for and carry out activities and celebrations to be associated with the 150th anniversary of statehood.  She is also an avid Nebraska football fan. When my Idaho State University Bengals played the Nebraska Cornhuskers during the NFPW Conference in Arizona her team won and the NFPW Education Fund benefitted from wagers supporting both teams. Barb is also a great ambassador for Nebraska and NFPW. She is talented, a hard worker and a fun person to be around. Meet my unique and unbelievable friend, Barb Batie.

Name: Barb Bierman Batie

Photographing the arches in Arches National Park has been on Barb Batie's Bucket List for years. She crossed that item off the morning of Jan. 24 . In the background are the North and South Windows

Photographing the arches in Arches National Park has been on Barb Batie’s Bucket List for years. She crossed that item off earlier this year. In the background are the North and South Windows

City and State: Lexington, Nebraska

Affiliate and any leadership positions: Nebraska Affiliate, currently the Communicator of Achievement program chair, just finished four years as the scholarship chair. I’ve held every elective office on the state level, including serving as state president.

Years a member of NFPW: Member since 1982, so 33 years

Tell us a little about you.

My friends call me a “Woman of Many Hats,” and I guess they have that right. I am a farm wife, and have been married to my husband, Don, for 30 years this coming May. We raise corn, soybeans and alfalfa and I keep a flock of about 40-50 hens, selling farm fresh eggs to people in town. We are the parents of two daughters, Juliana and Cicely. Juliana turns 25 in March and was married Oct. 4, 2014, to Douglas Loudon.  They currently live and work in North Dakota, but we are hoping this summer they will be able to move back to Nebraska. Cicely turns 22 in March and is a senior at Nebraska Wesleyan University, where she is completing work on a double major in German and Global Studies. For many years I worked for area weekly and daily newspapers. Two years ago I accepted a position as marketing director of the Nebraska Rural Radio Foundation and in this part-time job I spread the word about the foundation’s scholarships for non-traditional students and organize and conduct their annual fundraiser for 200-300 guests.  I continue to hone my writing and photography skills by doing freelance work for state, regional and national farm magazines.

 Barb and her husband Don toasting  their 30 year anniversary during a wine tasting visit to  Fallbrook Winery in San Diego County, California.

Barb and her husband, Don, toasting their 30 year anniversary during a wine tasting visit to Fallbrook Winery in San Diego County, California.

In addition to my activities in Nebraska Press Women, I am active in our church, one of my specialties is cooking meals for 40-50 people each Wednesday night during the school year for Christian Family Night. I’m on the boards of several community organizations, including our local theater group, county leadership group and so forth. I’m a 4-H leader and my husband and I are active in both our county and state Farm Bureau. On a state level I serve on the executive committee of the University of Nebraska Women’s Leadership Network and the Nebraska Environmental Trust board of directors, which administers grants for environmental purposes that are funded through the Nebraska Lottery. My most recent appointment was to the Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commission, which will oversee the planning for and carry out activities and celebrations to be associated with Nebraska’s 150th anniversary of statehood in 2017.

My husband and I love to travel and for the last 10 years we have been fortunate enough to take one major trip a year, often at least two weeks in length. This year we will celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary and because farmers can’t be away from the farm in May (when our anniversary falls) we usually take those trips in the winter. That is why this year’s trip was longer than most, lasting three full weeks.

Any career advice you would give?

If you are studying print journalism, one of the best places to learn the craft is at a weekly newspaper in a small town. So many  journalism graduates feel they need to start out on large papers, but those jobs are scarce these days. There are still openings to be found across the country in smaller markets. I learned to write, take photos, layout pages, proofread, and occasionally even set ads, all at two different weeklies. When I finally did move to a daily for a 15-month gig, my editor called me his “Jill of All Trades,” because I could handle nearly every slot on the news desk.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to draw/paint. While I’m grateful to be a photographer and capture special moments on camera, I would love to be able to sketch and paint on canvas.

If you could live anywhere, where would it be?

Barb and her daughter, Cicely, with the Hamburg Harbor and shopping district behind us. We were visiting a former exchange student to Lexington who had lived across the street from me when I first moved to Lexington in 1981.

Barb and her daughter, Cicely, with the Hamburg Harbor and shopping district behind them.

Germany. I was an exchange student in then West Germany for six months right after graduating from college in 1980. Because I became fairly fluent in the language, I have been able to keep in contact with five of the seven host families I had while there and I still have relatives there, as my grandfather immigrated in 1905 and none of his siblings came to the United States. So a piece of my heart has always been there and visits have been far too few.

What book are you reading?

I am not a huge reader, but when I do read it is usually something light. I love cats, so the current one on my nightstand is “Catch as Cat Can,” a Mrs. Murphy mystery by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

I have done some interesting things promoting events in and around our county and once participated in ostrich races to promote our county fair.

Why is your affiliate and NFPW important to you?

As a cub reporter the support extended by veteran media professionals was invaluable, as the years have gone on the opportunity to network and be able to exchange ideas, battle stories and develop friendships have been equally important. On both a state and national level, annual conventions provide opportunities for professional development so key to keeping abreast of trends and technology in our craft.

Way to follow you on a website, twitter, Facebook, etc.

My social media connection is limited to Facebook and you may find me at Barb Batie.

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One Comment on “Meet a Member: Barb Bierman Batie”


  1. Barb is yet another example of how productive and engaged NFPW members are. I couldn’t keep up with all she does, and she is always so gracious and giving of her time and talents.


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