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May 6, 2013
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Young People in Ag: Nebraska native goes from 'because-Dad-told-me-to' attitude to passionate ag enthusiast

Q: What do you love about agriculture?

A: I love that agriculture has a bigger purpose. Regardless of your role in the agriculture industry, each of us has a part in providing fuel, food and fiber for our nation and our world. It is very fulfilling to know that my future career will have a larger purpose of providing for people around the world. Additionally, I love the people that are part of this industry. The values and ethics that have been instilled in agriculture communities have provided for some of the best people I know.

Q: What is your background in ag?

A: I grew up on an acreage north of Gothenburg, Neb., where we raised show lambs and hogs for a 4-H Project. When I was in the eighth grade I started working for Britt and Jo Anderson on their grain and cattle operation. I became involved in FFA when I was a freshman and completed in many different events. I attended the Nebraska Ag Youth Institute as a junior and through it had the opportunity to travel to Taiwan on an agricultural tour. These experiences began with a ‘because-Dad-told-me-to’ attitude. But as I continued to get involved in this industry, I began to grow a passion for it. It has lead me to desire a career in an agriculture field.

Q: What are your future plans in ag?

A: I currently am an agribusiness major at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. I enjoy being a Husker, and plan to return at the end of the year to complete my degree. I plan to be involved in the agriculture industry in some facet. I want to be part of the industry and add to the volume to tell the story of the agriculture industry.

Q: What are you doing today to pursue those future plans?

A: I currently am serving as the Central Region vice president for the National FFA Organization. This position allows me to secure opportunities for FFA’s over 557,000 FFA members across the nation. These FFA members are the future producers, consumers, leaders and advocates for America’s agriculture industry. My current role allows me to help them advocate to our consumers, expand agriculture education efforts, secure sponsor support and engage the potential of our young membership. I whole-heartedly enjoy this role and look forward to each new interaction with and FFA Member.

Q: How are your current activities preparing you for that future?

A: I consider my main ‘activity’ this year to be my role in FFA. This position has grown me as a student, person and leader. I feel more informed about the agriculture industry and better able to communicate it. In this position I have the opportunity to meet with so many agriculture leaders, and learning from them enable me to better prepared for the industry.

Q: What leaves you optimistic about having a future career in agriculture?

A: Every time I leave an event with FFA Members — the future leaders of our industry — I am confident that the future of our country and the future of agriculture is in good hands. Young people today are more aware of the challenges facing agriculture, the tools needed are more readily available to them, and they approach this industry with a positive motivated attitude knowing that they are the generation that will take our challenges in agriculture head on. We have high-caliber and capable young people who, with guidance and opportunity, will create a thriving future for our industry.

Q: What do you think the agriculture industry will be like in 25 years?

A: I see the agriculture industry as an even stronger force. We’ve heard many times that the world population is growing; the need for our industry is only going to grow. Agriculture will also need to grow. It will need to grow in its focus, its story, the people involved in it, its yields, and its technology. And I, along with young agriculturalists across the nation, are ready to initiate that growth. ❖

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The Fence Post Updated Oct 16, 2013 04:00PM Published Jun 17, 2013 12:01PM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.