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LINCOLN — Bob Harrold, a Broken Bow man whose company provides wildfire suppression and prevention services, was honored as the government contractor of the year Thursday in Lincoln during the annual awards presented by the Nebraska Business Development Center.

Chuck Beck of Kearney, who leads NBDC’s APEX Accelerator program for the western two-thirds of Nebraska, has worked with Harrold for a number of years to help develop and grow his business.

Beck, who offices at the University of Nebraska at Kearney, nominated Harrold for the government contractor of the year award.

Bob Harold’s Broken Bow-based business teaches how to prevent wildfires using prescribed burns. Harrold was named contractor of the year among firms utilizing assistance from the Nebraska Business Development Center.

“In 1997, Bob Harrold signed up to volunteer for the local fire department. It was a decision that would influence his career trajectory,” Beck wrote in his nomination.

“Inspired by his experience volunteering, Bob purchased a truck in 2010 and began his entrepreneurship journey,” Beck continued.

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Harrold’s initial services included custom burn and cedar tree removal for private landowners, and some contracting for the state of Nebraska.

Over time, Harrold’s business evolved to multiple trucks with a team of seasonal employees traveling around the country providing wildfire suppression and prevention services.

Harrold has worked with the NBDC’s APEX Accelerator program to earn government contracts that have grown his business, including contracts with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal, state, and local entities, Beck said.

“After seeing success with his first venture, Bob is now turning to the creation of a new, additional company that will operate alongside Prescription Pyro,” Beck said.

The new company, Prairie Fire Forestry, LLC, is dedicated to the removal of woody encroachment, an environmental threat to nearly eight million acres of Nebraska’s intact grasslands.

Other NDBC award recipients included:

Champion of Small Business: Gloria Patricia Avalos of Omaha, founder and owner of Patty’s Childcare Center Inc.

Innovation Business of the Year: Bluestem Biosciences of Omaha.

SourceLink Nebraska Partner of the Year: Nebraska Enterprise Fund of Oakland.

NBDC provides confidential, no-cost business consulting services to any Nebraskan wanting to start, grow or transition a business.

NBDC is a University of Nebraska at Omaha center with 10 locations, partnering with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, UNK, Wayne State College and Chadron State College to deliver its services statewide.

In 2023, NBDC served more than 2,000 clients, facilitated more than $23 million of business investments, and helped businesses land nearly $300 million of government contracts.

To learn more about NBDC’s programs and its economic impact, visit the center’s website at

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