Biographical Information:

As a fourth generation Nebraskan, Scott Kleeb has deep roots in three great traditions of this state: agriculture, patriotism and public service.

Scott's Great Grandfather and familyScott with his grandparents
Scott's great-grandfather, Albert Kleeb, was born in a dug-out outside of Broken Bow, Nebraska, before the turn of the century. He once hiked three days to earn 20 ewes and a dollar in exchange for his farm goods. This windfall was to be the origins of the Kleeb family farm and ranch, which stood outside of Broken Bow for nearly 100 years. It was here, listening to his grandfather's homesteading stories - tales of neighbors coming together to build a new home, or to dig a well - that Scott came to cherish the values and traditions of Nebraska. And it was here, as he saw the impact of government investments in rural electrification, highways and agricultural infrastructure, that he learned how government can help change lives for the better.

WritersScott at the Nebraska Writer's Convention
Scott's parents, Al and JoAnn Kleeb, served as elementary and high school teachers for the sons and daughters of American military personnel living abroad, and Scott and his sister Shawn spent much of their childhood on an Army base in Italy. Scott learned from an early age what it meant to be a representative for Nebraska and the United States to another part of the world. It was a role he took seriously. Before leaving Italy, he would be MVP for the wrestling and soccer teams and valedictorian of his senior class (Scott on Education). During his senior year, he was named to the Top 40 Teen Recognition Program by the US Army Europe Commander in Chief for accomplishments in community service, leadership and extracurricular activities.

As he visited US Army bases throughout Europe, Scott was deeply impressed by the values and commitment of American service men and women. Many of his closest friends today serve their country in the American Armed Forces, willingly spending long months and years away from loved ones in order to contribute to global peace and prosperity. Scott is convinced that the American military has a critical role to play in the world, and that it cannot shrink from duties that it is uniquely qualified to fulfill. He is tremendously proud of the military's accomplishments in Europe, and determined to see that record of success upheld in Afghanistan and Iraq. (Scott on National Security)

Supporting family farms
At college, Scott wasted no time getting back to his Plain State roots. He worked as a ranch hand in Eastern Colorado and Nebraska during summers and vacations, and even became a bull-rider on the rodeo team. During this period, Scott watched with growing alarm as the consolidation of farms and ranches left large sections of countryside depopulated. He saw the vibrant rural communities he remembered from his youth lose businesses, families and - in some cases - their very identity. By now, his family's ranch had itself been sold and consolidated into a larger operation. But some members of the Kleeb family continued their involvement in ranching as part of the McGinn Ranch Company, and Scott became an active part of that ranch's operations. (Scott on Agriculture)

Determined to help reverse rural decline, Scott set his sights on a career in public service. He became president of the local chapter of College Democrats and served as a lead campus coordinator for Gene Nichol's campaign for the United States Senate. After graduating summa cum laude, he applied and was accepted to graduate school at Yale University—a school long recognized for its pioneering research in the issues of the American West. Recognizing that the health of Plain State agriculture today is tightly linked to political and economic developments around the world, Scott pursued a Masters Degree in International Relations. For his doctoral dissertation, he focused on the history of American cattle ranching. Most of his research was done from the back of a pick-up, as he traveled through every state west of the Mississippi, listening to the stories of farmers, ranchers and small-town workers. (Scott on Working Families)

Scott heard tales of hardships brought on by globalization. He heard about the decline in commodity prices and the loss of manufacturing jobs. He heard about stagnant wages and rising costs of living (Scott on Health Care). But he also heard tales of triumph; cases where creative leadership and targeted investment enabled some towns and cities to fare better than their neighbors. The lesson was simple: Nebraskans need more than business as usual from their leaders. They need energy, innovation and investment, and they need it now.

"Elected officials in this state tend to talk about free trade as though it were a self-fulfilling prophecy," Scott said. "In reality, Nebraska wasn't ready for free trade, and these deals have been hard on our rural communities.

Walking his horse
"Can freer trade make us stronger than we have ever been before? Of course. Nebraska has some of the best schools in the country, high quality affordable housing, low crime rates, clean air, and first-class transportations systems—we are a globalization success story waiting to happen. But we need to invest in the systems, infrastructure and people that will enable us to take advantage of this new environment."

As politics continue to go global, Scott Kleeb offers Nebraska a representative who is as comfortable grappling with international developments as he is wrestling a steer in a branding pit. With your support, he will fight to ensure that issues critical to the future of this state - investment in schools, access to health care, lower energy costs, upgraded communications systems, diversified agriculture and expansion of the small business base, to name but a few - get the attention they deserve in Washington.

 

Copyright © 2006 Scott Kleeb • www.scottkleeb.com
3615 2nd Avenue, Suite B • Kearney, NE 68848 • 308-238-0375