Back to: Home
March 25, 2013
Follow Home

Young People in Ag: Former Neb. FFA vice president looking to interweave passions for ag, education

Age: 20

Hometown: Firth, Neb.

I graduated from Norris High School in 2011 and currently I am a sophomore student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln majoring in agriculture education with a minor in leadership and entrepreneurship.

I was a 2011-2012 Nebraska State FFA vice president and now I am an intern for the Nebraska FFA Association.

On campus, I am involved with the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, serving as a project action team leader for recruitment and retention.

I am a co-chair for our CASNR (College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources) Week Community Night, a co-chair of the education committee for our Husker Food Connection, and am involved in UNL FFA Alumni and UNL Ag Ed Club.

Additionally, I am an ag ambassador for the Ag Sack Lunch Program of Nebraska and I am the Nebraska Outreach Coordinator for Farm Safety for Just Kids.

Q: What do you love about agriculture?

A: What I love about agriculture is the passion of fellow agriculturists to continue to better our industry and to serve the needs of our world.

Agriculture is a tough industry to be involved in and nothing is a guarantee, but everyone has such a strong work ethic and a drive to succeed that, even when times are tough, we don’t give up; we find a way to make things better.

I also love that, no matter where I go, I feel like I have a family, because everyone in agriculture cares about each other and will do anything to help each other out.

Q: What is your background in ag?

A: I grew up on a small family farm in southeast Nebraska with a few hogs, some cattle and poultry, and I always loved living on a farm.

However, my passion for agriculture didn’t truly develop until I became involved with FFA. Through FFA I saw how bright the future for agriculture is, and how many opportunities I would have in agriculture.

As a state officer I had various meetings with leaders in businesses that sponsored Nebraska FFA and I realized people in agriculture just want to make a difference in the world.

They just generally want to provide the world’s food, fiber, and food and I want to spend the rest of my life in and industry that cares about others just as much as I do.

Q: What are your future plans in ag?

A: Two of my passions are agriculture and educating people.

After I graduate college, I plan on combing the two by teaching agriculture in a high school.

High school students are capable of doing so much, but don’t always know that because they don’t have the greatest opportunities.

Nothing makes me happier than helping someone realize and reach their full potential and I will be able to do that on a daily basis.

I also want to open an educational farm, where people can come and experience agriculture.

It is frightening to me how little people know about agriculture and how quickly false information can be spread.

Modern agriculture production practices have a bad reputation with the general public due to the misconceptions and confusion caused in the tremendous gap between the producer and the consumer, and I hope to eliminate that.

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

A: Everything I am involved with on campus provides me with opportunities to help fulfill my goals. My year as a state officer last year is when I really decided that I wanted to pursue agriculture education and also when I realized the lack of knowledge about agriculture by consumers.

My entrepreneurship minor has allowed me to start to develop a business plan for my educational farm.

And, as I continue, I will take business management classes, marketing classes and other classes, so when I graduate I am fully prepared to open a business.

Through the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, I have a network of innovative, creative individuals that support each other and help each other continually improve what they are working towards.

My involvement in Husker Food Connection, CASNR Week Community Night, the Ag Sack Lunch Program of Nebraska and Farm Safety for Just Kids allows me to continue to follow my passions of educating people about agriculture while gaining experience for the future.

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

A: Seeing the motivation and passion of agriculturists lets me know that we are in good hands.

No matter where I am or who I am with, I am constantly amazed with what people are doing to improve agriculture and continue the legacy of provide only the best quality products for not just their own families, but complete strangers all around the world.

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

A: As the world population grows so will our industry.

We are going to be a continually changing industry and be more innovative than we ever thought possible, if we want to keep up.

Through FFA and my involvement on campus, I have met numerous individuals who never stop thinking and looking for improvement.

I have no fears that my generation will step up to the daunting task of feeding the world and provide a safe and abundant supply of food.

Yes, there will be challenges, but with the hard work and dedication of agriculturalists, this industry will continue to boom. ❖

Stories you may be interested in

The Fence Post Updated Oct 16, 2013 04:00PM Published May 13, 2013 09:56AM Copyright 2013 The Fence Post. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.