In 2010, the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation made a gift to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln to support agribusiness and establish a student program focused on entrepreneurship. It is his vision that students who graduate from this program will return to their communities inspired to build sustainable businesses; Mr. Paul Engler believes that young people can create a positive, lasting impact on this state and the world.
Born in 1929, Paul Engler’s entrepreneurial journey started in Bassett, Nebraska, at age 12 when he bought a hundred head of cattle on loan while his dad was away on business. His mother told him to expect a licking when his father got home; instead, he got a handshake and his dad told him he was proud of him.
This initial experience hooked Paul on entrepreneurship. He graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in agriculture and later moved to Texas, where he eventually built Cactus Feeders, one of the largest feedlots in the United States. Over the years, Paul’s contributions have dramatically affected the industry. He developed technologies like the computerized grain-flaking system, computer-controlled batch and continuous mixing systems, manure handling technologies, methods to suppress dust, and automated cattle-sorting facilities. His story is one of passion, devotion, vision and grit — he’s fought and worked for everything he’s achieved. Paul not only serves as the founder and chairman of our program, but the example entrepreneur as well.
Just as Paul found his purpose through entrepreneurship, Engler students learn by doing and leave with the understanding of just how incredible it is to build something of your own.
When it comes down to it, Paul Engler is you — whether you’re a kid from small-town Nebraska or not, Paul’s story could be yours. Thanks to his gift to the university, this program can provide courses, scholarships, training modules, internships, and many other opportunities. You’ll graduate with more than simply a college education and a piece of paper. Just as Paul found his purpose through entrepreneurship, Engler students learn by doing and leave with the understanding of just how incredible it is to build something of your own.
Paul’s story could be yours.