James Wilke, a Columbus farmer who died while trying to rescue a motorist stranded during last spring's flooding, will be honored for his heroic efforts when Nebraska takes on Iowa Friday afternoon. 

Wilke is being recognized as Nebraska's 2019 "citizen hero" by Hy-Vee. 

A special on-field presentation will be made during halftime honoring Wilke and his family.

"When they say we are Nebraska strong, we are Nebraska strong because I've heard from so many people in this great state and it has just been tremendous and I'm proud to be a Nebraskan," Rachel Wilke, James' wife said in the video.

The family said they couldn't be more proud of the man Wilke was and the legacy he has left behind.

To earn the honor of Nebraska's 2019 hero, is one that the family will never forget.

"To be Nebraska hero of 2019 our family would just like to say thank you, thank you for remembering him, his legacy and all that he stands for. We're just super proud," Rachel Wilke said. 

Kadie Gudenkauf, who was selected as Iowa's 2019 "citizen hero" was also be honored. 

John Deere put together a special tribute video for Wilke's family with video from Channel 8 Eyewitness News.