Doctor of Laws Degree
The Doctor of Laws degree is granted for prolonged demonstration of superior service and dedication to a field of study. Kennard “Ken” Pohlman’s lifelong work with Midwest Labs, his ingenuity in developing multiple scientific testing methods, his ability to provide interesting and meaningful work for his employees, his generosity to his community and his dedication to his family distinguish him as a visionary leader, humanitarian and philanthropist.
With a career as an agronomist that has spanned four decades, Pohlman has grown the creation and development of a small soil-testing business to become one of the largest and most successful analytical laboratories in the world. His reputation for service above self, corporate leadership and vision, and his care for his employees has positively impacted all who have had the privilege to work alongside him.
By honoring Kennard Pohlman with the Doctor of Laws degree, Concordia University, Nebraska gives thanks for those who, in God’s name, dedicate themselves to learning and applying knowledge and faith in their vocations. We are pleased to confer upon Kennard Pohlman the Doctor of Laws degree, honoris causa.
Kennard Pohlman received both the Bachelor of Science and Master of Science Degrees from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, in 1962 and 1966 respectively. In 1975, he founded Midwest Laboratories in Omaha, Nebraska where he continues to serve as Chief Executive Officer.
Midwest Labs began in the agriculture industry and now offers a wide variety of laboratory analysis including, environmental production, feed, food, pet food and fuels. The business has flourished under his direction expanding nationally. The company has grown from a single building location to a three block, 10-building campus and from two employees to more than 140 and is now the largest soil testing laboratory in the United States.
In addition to providing strategic, long-term direction and guidance for his employees, Pohlman promotes, leads and supports area ministries and congregations.
He has been a member of various congregations of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod for more than 60 years and served on various boards at parishes in Omaha, Lincoln, Norfolk and Lexington, Nebraska. Pohlman has been a member of King of Kings Lutheran Church in Omaha since 1975 where he has served on the Board of Education, Board of Elders and Building Committee.
Pohlman maintains membership in Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Society; Omaha Agri-Business where he served as president; the American Agronomy Society; Aksarben Purple Ribbon Club; and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.
Ken and his wife Beverley live in Omaha and own a farm in Stanton, Nebraska. They have two grown children, Brent Pohlman and Amy Reuter and seven grandchildren.
He has improved community experiences by providing funding for a caldron for the State Games of America in Lincoln, Nebraska, benches at Concordia University, Nebraska, additions to Lincoln Children’s Zoo, the Witherbee Neighborhood Sculpture in Lincoln and the Sunken Gardens Dome in Lincoln, among others.
Pohlman has been recognized with awards honoring the contributions made to his field: Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Manufacturer of the Year in 2015, Nebraska Representative in AOL’s “This Built America” series in 2014, the Douglas E. Parrott Faith in Action Award from Lutheran Family Services in 2013, a New Americans Task Force Honoree for exceptional work with refugees in 2012 and the LIBA Enterprising Gambler Award in 2011.
Temme lives with his wife, Hiroko, in Lincoln, Nebraska, and they have two children: David and Diane.