Rod Donner left tiny Farnam, Nebraska in the mid-60's to go off and serve his country during the Vietnam War.
While in the military, Rod worked as a jet engine mechanic. That sparked his interest in aviation.
When Rod returned to Cozad in the late-60's, learning to fly was at the top of his "to-do" list.
And once he got his pilots license...Rod was on cloud nine, "Once you're in aviation, it becomes a part of you and you enjoy it. Most people go to work every morning and we go to play every morning. It's enjoyable, I mean there's probably not a better occupation that I can think of."
Rod says small town airports don't survive without a lot of people supporting them, "Cozad has those people. They can see that it's an asset to the community."
Rod has managed the airport for the past 35 years, "We went from a grass strip in 1968 to now where we're able to handle most any small jet with several thousand square foot of concrete."
In addition to managing the Cozad Airport, Rod and his wife Connie also own and operated Mid State Aviation since 1975. Rod says, "I gotta brag a little bit, this is probably one of the better ones in the whole state of Nebraska and you wouldn't have that if you didn't have the people that worked with you."
Rod and Connie's youngest daughter Allison is now the general manager, "Aviation is exciting for all of us. We love that we come to work and love what we do. It's fun to work with our family."
Allison is proud to represent the second generation of Donner's running the family business in Our Town Cozad, "The customers we've had here for 3 generations now and everybody supports the town and they support the airport and have always helped us generate aviation enthusiasm."