March 5, 2024

Senate Passes Ricketts Bill to Rename North Platte Federal Building After Representative Virginia Smith

February 29, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Pete Ricketts (R-NE) welcomed Senate passage of his legislation to name the Federal Building in North Platte, NE after former U.S. Representative Virginia Smith. Representative Adrian Smith (R-NE-3) introduced companion legislation that awaits passage in the House. The bill also has the support of Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Representatives Mike Flood (R-NE-1) and Don Bacon (R-NE-2).

“Virginia Smith represented the best of our state,” said Senator Ricketts. “She was a trailblazer and tireless champion for rural Nebraska. She fought to ensure farmers and ranchers had a seat at the table in the appropriations process. Her legacy deserves to be remembered. Thank you to the Nebraska delegation and my Senate colleagues for their support of this effort to recognize this legendary Nebraskan.”

“Congresswoman Virginia Smith was a trailblazer and a tireless advocate for the people of Nebraska. I want to thank my colleagues for their unanimous, bipartisan support of our resolution to rename the North Platte Federal Building and honor her legacy. I look forward to getting this legislation passed in the House of Representatives,” said Senator Fischer.

The North Platte Federal Building is located at 300 E. 3rd St. in North Platte, Nebraska. Virginia Smith was the first woman elected and to date the only woman from Nebraska to hold a seat in the House. Smith served the Third Congressional District from 1975-1991.

Bill text can be found here.


Virginia Smith was born on June 30, 1911, in Randolph, Iowa. She earned her B.A. from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in 1936. She later served in many agricultural and civic groups, including the United States Department of Agriculture’s Home Economics Research Advisory Committee, the White House Conference on Children and Youth, and Chaired the Presidential Task Force on Rural Development.

Before serving in Congress, Smith was the American Farm Bureau Women national chairwoman for twenty years. Smith served on the Appropriations Committee and before that, the Education and Labor Committee. She was the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture.

Smith lived in Chappell, Nebraska with her late husband, Haven.