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Nebraska Counties Explorer

Valley County

Communities and Development

Valley County Seat: Ord

Total County Population (2020): 4,059

  • Cities (pop. & class): Ord (2,113 • 2nd Class)
  • Villages (pop.): Arcadia (283), Elyria (50), North Loup (254)
  • Unincorporated Pop. (% of county pop.): 1,359 (33%)

Land Development (2022) (% of total land in county):

  • Agriculture: 93.5%
    • By method: Pasture (pure grassland) (56%); Irrigated (row crop/grain/forage) (29%); Dryland (row crop/grain/forage) (8.5%) • Neb. Dept. of Rev. - total equals agriculture's %
    • By commodity: Livestock (grassland) 55%, Corn 21%, Soybeans 10%, Alfalfa 4%, Sorghum 1% • USDA - equals agriculture's % plus some wetlands (2.5%) and minus public grassland/wetlands and reserve
  • Residential, Commercial, Industrial, Conservation Reserve & Exempt (combined): 6.25%
  • Timber: 0.25%

County Offices

Courthouse Address and Hours:

125 South 15th Street
Ord, Nebraska 68862
M-F 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

County Board Chairperson: Jack Van Slyke

Complete list of county board members

County Board Meetings: 2nd & Last Tuesday

View the County's Government Maps

Visit the County Fairgrounds

NACO District: Central

District President: Carrie Miller, Nuckolls County Clerk, Register of Deeds, Election Commissioner

District Vice President: Kali Bolli, Garfield County Assessor 

District Secretary/Treasurer: Cara Snider Wheeler County Clerk

NACO Board Representatives: Bill Maendele, Buffalo County Commissioner

Click for a live look at Valley County (west of Arcadia)


Population: 4,066
Land area (sq. mi.): 568.11
Population per square mile: 7.1

Race and Age


White: 94.1%
African American: 0.4%
American Indian: 0.1%
Asian: 0.1%
Hispanic: 2.9%
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 0.1%
Two or More Races: 2.1%


0-17: 23.4%
18-64: 51.8%
65+: 24.9%


Personal income per capita: $63,254
% of Population in Poverty: 11.2%
# of Housing Units: 2,104
Owner-occupied rate: 72.5%
Median home price: $130,520


Access to broadband (100 Mbps via fiber or cable modem): 62.3%

Sources: National Association of RealtorsNebraska Library Commission, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Census Bureau

Employment, Schools, and Child Care

Unemployment rate: 1.7% (as of September 2022)

County Employment Website:

High school graduate or higher: 90.9%

School Districts: Arcadia Public Schools, Burwell Public Schools, Central Valley Public Schools, Loup City Public Schools, Ord Public Schools

Bachelor's degree or higher: 25.6%

Community College Service Area: Central Community College

Countywide child care capacity: 9 providers; 253 children

Find child care: For a list of child care providers in your zip code, visit Nebraska DHHS or the Nebraska Resource and Referral System.

Valley County Economy

Annual Gross Domestic Product (2020): $308,480,000

Cattle Producers: 197

  • Pastureland Cash Rent (avg.): $45/acre

Crop Producers: 201

  • Dryland Cash Rent (avg.): $118/acre
  • Irrigated Land Cash Rent (avg.): $253/acre

Grain Co-ops and Purchasers: Country Partners Cooperative, GreenAmerica Biofuels

Local Grain Market: Click for today's grain prices in Valley County

Farmers Market: Ord Farmers Market (June - September, Fridays 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.)

Electricity Providers: City of Ord, Custer PPD, Loup Valleys Rural PPD

Rail-served Communities: North Loup, Ord

Well Locations (Irrigation/Livestock), Soils, Groundwater & Surface Water

Total Irrigation/Livestock Wells: 856

Surface Water Diversions (Irrigation): 74

Sources: National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA), Nebraska Cooperative Council, Nebraska Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary EducationNebraska Department of TransportationNebraska Office of the CIO, Nebraska Power Review Board, U.S. Bureau of Economic AnalysisU.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau

2022 Levies and Valuation

County levy rate: $0.3400 per $100 of taxable valuation

County property taxes levied: $3,369,576

Total local government property taxes levied: $15,661,397

Total countywide taxable valuation: $991,050,558

Federal PILT payment to Valley County (FY2022): $12,213 regarding 4,157 federally-owned acres

Click here for all levy rates in Valley County

County Levy and Taxation Laws

Levy limits

Since 1996, counties and other political subdivisions have been subject to the levy limits listed in Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3442 and Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-3443.

Statutes and regulations

Nebraska Revised Statutes (Chapter 77)

Nebraska Administrative Code (Title 350)

Local tax reductions, exemptions, and credits

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 76-902(5)(a) (Deed "stamp tax" exemption): "The [stamp tax] shall not apply to: ... (5)(a) Deeds between spouses, between ex-spouses for the purpose of conveying any rights to property acquired or held during the marriage, or between parent and child, without actual consideration therefor."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-201(2) (Valuation of agricultural land and horticultural land): "Agricultural land and horticultural land as defined in section 77-1359 shall constitute a separate and distinct class of property for purposes of property taxation, shall be subject to taxation, unless expressly exempt from taxation, and shall be valued at seventy-five percent of its actual value, except that for school district taxes levied to pay the principal and interest on bonds that are approved by a vote of the people on or after January 1, 2022, such land shall be valued at fifty percent of its actual value."

Neb. Rev. Stat. § 77-6703(1) (Tax credit for school district taxes paid): "(1) For taxable years beginning or deemed to begin on or after January 1, 2020, under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, there shall be allowed to each eligible taxpayer a refundable credit against the income tax imposed by the Nebraska Revenue Act of 1967 or against the franchise tax imposed by sections 77-3801 to 77-3807. The credit shall be equal to the credit percentage for the taxable year, as set by the department under subsection (2) of this section, multiplied by the amount of school district taxes paid by the eligible taxpayer during such taxable year."

Sources: Nebraska Department of Revenue

State Senator: Tom Briese (District 41)

Standing Committees (click for scheduled committee hearings): 

Special Committees: 

  • Executive Board of the Legislative Council (chairperson)
  • Reference (chairperson)
  • Legislative Performance Audit
  • Legislature's Planning

Map and statistics for Legislative District 41

Map of all districts in the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature

Valley County History

Number of Registered Historic Places: 7

Year Authorized: 1871

Year Organized: 1873

Etymology: Local terrain composed of many valleys

Valley County derives its name from the land conditions that exist in the area. Located between the North and Middle Loup Rivers, the terrain is mostly prime valley land which lies between the higher table lands.

The boundaries of what today is Valley County were originally created by the Legislature in 1871. Two years later the Legislature adopted an act to permit the county to organize. On March 18, 1873, the county's organizational election was held. In addition to the selection of the county's first officers, voters also selected the site of the present town of Ord to serve as the county seat. At the time it was selected, however, the county seat had no name. After it was surveyed in 1874, the site was named Ord, in honor of Gen. E.O.C. Ord, who was commander of the Army of the Platte at the time the county was organized.

The first settlers in this area are said to have been two distinct groups who had traveled from Wisconsin in 1872. The first was a small party of Danes who settled on the west side of the North Loup River near the present site of Ord. The second group of settlers consisted of a colony of Seventh-Day Baptists who homesteaded farther downstream near the present day town of North Loup. Their objective was to settle on the frontier in order that they might remain undisturbed by those who observed the first day of the week as the Sabbath.

Throughout the early years there were persistent rumors that Indian raids were about to occur in the county. Gen. Ord decided to station a company of soldiers in the northern part of the county just in case. Although there were some minor skirmishes and one that resulted in the death of one of Gen. Ord's soldiers, for the most part they were just rumors.

In 1884 the settlers of Valley County were looking forward to a large yield from their crops. That quickly changed when a wave of grasshoppers covered the state and completely destroyed every living plant in its path. Losing the crops they had counted on to survive the coming winter, many of the settlers left the area, never to return.

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Local Highlights

License Plate Number: 47

Time Zone: Central

Number of Veterans: 316

Zoned County: Yes

County Hospital: Valley County Hospital

Number of County-Owned Bridges: 84

Number of County-Owned Dams: 2

Election Data

General Election Turnout (2022): 62.01%

Total Registered Voters (2020): 2,994

Number of Precincts (2020): 7

Number of Election Day Polling Places (2020): 5

Land Area per Polling Place (avg.) (2020): 113.62 sq. miles

Intergovernmental Data

Emergency Mgt. Planning, Exercise and Training (PET) Region: North Central/Sandhills

Natural Resource District: Lower Loup NRD

State Lands (acres): Scotia Canal WMA (229)

Sources: Nebraska Department of Transportation, Nebraska Emergency Management AgencyNebraska Game & Parks CommissionNebraska LegislatureNebraska Office of the CIONebraska Secretary of StateU.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (eCFR)