I grew up in Callaway, a rural farming community in central Nebraska. My mom, Stephanie, is the local Kindergarten teacher and my dad, Vaughn, owns and operates the family farm/ranch with his brother. My older brother, Justin, is married and they live in Philly. My sister-in-law, Jincy is studying to be an optometrist and Justin works at a cranberry farm. My younger brother, Reagan, is a junior in high school.
As a farmer’s daughter, I learned about the value of hard work. It did not matter what the weather was like, what I wanted to do, or how late I stayed up the night before; we had responsibilities and jobs to do. I also learned the importance of teamwork. If we worked as a family, the tasks would not take nearly as long to complete. My time at Callaway High School (CHS) taught me about time management. I had to plan ahead and prioritize what I wanted to do; homework or movie with friends, rodeo or volleyball. Callaway also taught me the value of having a support system in place can make all the difference in the world. I carry what I learned while I was growing up with me all the time. Those lessons play a huge part in who I am now.
After graduating from CHS I decided to major in Agribusiness at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). During my time at UNL, I joined the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and started working with the Rural Futures Institute. Through RFI, I have been able to intern for the West Point (NE) Chamber of Commerce and the Columbus (NE) Area Chamber of Commerce. I have done needs assessments, community branding, and event planning.
All of these experiences have illustrated how important rural communities are to me. Not only did my hometown teach me many life lessons but it also offered me so many great opportunities and I realized I want to help show other people those opportunities. After finishing my education at UNL, I plan to work in community development within rural Nebraska.