Hometown: Alliance, Neb.
Major: Agricultural Education (Leadership)
Minor: International Agriculture & Natural Resources, Entrepreneurship
Graduation Date: May 2015
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What is your story?
I grew up on a family farm outside Alliance, Nebraska where faith, farming and family are foundational to how I live. Growing up in this agricultural community and being involved with 4-H and FFA ignited my own excitement of leadership, agriculture, entrepreneurship, community and culture both here in Nebraska and abroad - which has continued on through several opportunities at UNL. This last year has been a gamechanger. I travelled to Benin, West Africa as part of a faculty-led study tour focusing on culture and agriculture in a developing country. Upon my return to the US, I then interned with the City of Neligh through the Rural Futures Institute Grant Initiative where I filmed and launched a marketing campaign (with GoPros, of course) with a teammate and worked closely with the Economic Development Director with other community development projects. I also served my third and last term on the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council. I am now interning with the Kimmel Education and Research Center working with social media marketing and analysis for next generation extension content focused on entrepreneurship. These combined experiences have shaped my world view of how all of these pieces of the puzzle fit together on purpose, for a purpose. There are important stories encompassing faith, agriculture, leadership, entrepreneurship, community and culture around the world right now and yet to be written!
What is your business?
Against the Grain - GoPro videography and social media marketing service that takes storytelling to a new level - from a unique filming perspective to blending online presence with offline experience. My mission is to help you #liveyourstory. On Facebook @atgliveyourstory
Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?
I am so blessed to have several heroes in my life that challenge, inspire, and teach me in different capacities, but my parents are definitely my biggest heroes. When it comes to pursuing God, being selfless, having a relentless work ethic and doing what's right, they have set the bar high.
What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?
Never underestimate the power of handwritten thank you notes and cards of gratitude. Every adversity holds a seed of equal or greater opportunity - be open to those blessings in disguise. Get uncomfortable. That's when you grow and learn about yourself. Challenging the norm opens up so many new doors - and it's fun! Travel as much as possible. Be a global citizen.