What is your story?
I came to UNL hoping to earn a bachelor's degree as a backup plan in case farming didn't work out for me and to expand my network. After serving as a Nebraska FFA state officer, I realized I wanted more than to be held to the farm and that I wanted to be more engaged with people off of my family farm. I couldn't find a way to engage with others off the farm in a meaningful way while still farming until I took EAEP 275 with Dr. Tom Field. A problem I wanted to solve was agricultural labor. The struggle with ag labor became personal for me when my grandpa was unable to work on our operation leaving my dad without help for the year until I could return home. The problem was discussed often, but it felt like people got lost in how big of an idea it was and struggled to focus and find an entry point. Today, I’m in a position where I can connect farmers and ranchers to qualified labor, while still working on my family’s operation where we farrow to finish hogs and raise cattle, corn, soybeans, and alfalfa. Partnering with Upstream Farms will allow me to market our products directly to consumers as well. Engler truly gave me a whole different story than what I had written up before college. I’m excited to see where my endeavors lead me!
What is your business?
FarmLink- We connect farmers and ranchers to qualified labor.
Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?
Abraham Lincoln- He stood for what he knew was right and didn't waiver in his morals or values. This quote of his has stuck with me since I was young, "Give me six hours to chop down a forest and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax."
What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?
Starting a business will not be as easy as it might seem. There are many pivots and hurdles to overcome, but in the end finding and pursuing a passion is the most important thing to not lose sight of.
What has been the biggest hurdle or struggle you've dealt with in your entrepreneurial journey?
A big hurdle we've struggled to get over has been working with dual markets and trying to solve a problem that is both big and very specialized to each producer.