Al’s story is one of dedication, humility, and a lifelong commitment to the land that shaped him – a true Nebraska legend.


Distinguished NEBRASKAlander Award

This March, Waypoint Bank Director Al Svajgr was honored with the 2024 Distinguished NEBRASKAlander Award. The Nebraska Statehood Dinner, held annually at the Nebraska Capitol Building, saw Governor Jim Pillen presenting Al with this distinguished award on March 2, 2024. This award is presented to Nebraskans who have distinguished themselves in service and recognition of Nebraska’s social, historical, cultural, or economic well-being.

Deep Roots

Al grew up on a diversified crop-livestock farm near Diller, Neb. He was involved early on with 4-H cattle and hog projects which sparked his passion for agriculture. Al earned his Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Animal Science from the University of Nebraska Lincoln. He then earned his PhD from the University of Kentucky in 1971. Al was married to Judy Smith, whom he met in college, in 1966 until her passing in 1997. Al later married JoAnn Braun.

Relationship with Waypoint Bank Begins

Al’s career began at Continental Grain in Chicago from 1971 to 1977. In 1977 a new chapter unfolded as Al and Judy moved to Cozad, joining his father-in-law, Juhl Smith, in the family’s cattle feeding and ranching business. Juhl’s foresight in acquiring what would later become Waypoint Bank in 1968 marked the beginning of Al’s long-standing relationship with the bank since 1983. His role as the chairman of the family-owned bank’s holding company since 1995 is a testament to his leadership and dedication.

Giving Back and Shaping Industries

Al believes in giving back to the community and institutions that shaped him. From honoring his parents in Fairbury through a generous gift to the Diller Community Foundation, to serving on the Cozad Hospital Board for an impressive 22 years, Al’s commitment to giving back is a testament to his character. Al’s influence extends beyond the farm and bank. Al has received various honors for his contributions to the agricultural industry. These include induction into the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement, the Nebraska Bankers Association Agri-Business Recognition Award, and the UNL Henry Beachell Distinguished Alumni Award. He’s a current member of Nebraska Cattlemen and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He has past presidencies in organizations like Ag Builders of Nebraska and the Nebraska Lead Board.

Not Slowing Down

Al continues to wear many hats. He is a director of Waypoint Bank, Chairman of the Board of Midwest Banco, and Chairman of The Board of Darr Feedlot, Inc. He is also an owner of Agrow Inc. in Cozad. His service on the Cozad Hospital Board of Directors reflects his commitment to healthcare. Today, Al and his wife, JoAnn, reside in Cozad. They passionately support the Huskers and remain actively involved in various boards related to agriculture.


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