Kate Likens


    
          Kate Likens
Kate Likens

    
          Kate Likens

Kate Likens

Hometown: Swanton, Neb.
Major: Agricultural Education
Minor: Engler Entrepreneurship
Graduation Date: May 2018

Business: Meal Map (not launched yet). Meal map is an all-inclusive source of education and information for all things food and health from the point of production to the point of consumption through a blog format. Meal Map retrieves information from farmers and ranchers across the state of Nebraska, providing production practices of organic, natural, and conventional farming and ranching and the steps they take in order to ensure healthy, safe, and great tasting food makes it to the table. These stories will be laid out side by side with factual information allowing the consumer to make informed food choices. In addition, a beloved family recipe will be featured from the Nebraska farmers and ranchers. These recipes will be dissected by registered dietitians and food scientists in order to provide nutrition facts and information along with the recipe so the consumer knows what kind of ingredients he/she will be cooking with.

What is your story?

I grew up in a rural community in southeast Nebraska. It wasn't until I attended the Nebraska Agriculture Youth Institute (NAYI) that I realized there was a place for me in the agriculture industry. During our senior year of school, Sarah and I came up with the idea to create an ag camp for elementary students. Although our friends laughed at the idea, I think that's part of the reason Sarah and I are where we are today. Our idea has changed since starting college and getting involved in the Engler program. Thanks to Engler’s 3DS weekend we are further on our business idea than ever before. Engler has been a transformational experience which has helped bring all of my ideas and passions to life!

Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?

My biggest inspiration is my sister. She has pushed me and encouraged me to do and be my best every day, whether that be physically, mentally or spiritually. For as long as I can remember, I’ve looked up to Emma and wanted to be just like her, from having matching outfits in elementary, to being in the same organizations in high school and college. Through that though, I struggled to find who I truly was because so often I felt like I needed to live up to the things she had done. She has always been there though to encourage me to bring my personality into everything I do. No longer do I strive to be like my sister, but she still inspires me by pushing me to be my best self every day.

If your story were made into a movie, what actor/actress would portray you and why?

Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe from Friends) is who I would pick to portray me. In Friends, Phoebe is the one who is always looking on the bright side of every situation, finding joy in the smallest of things and embracing her ability to make others smile.

What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?

Embrace failure. All too often society tells us that failure is a bad thing. But in reality it’s a good thing, it’s just as important as success is. Failure can knock us down, but it can build us up too – it’s all in how you look at it. When you fail (which you will because it’s unavoidable) choose to fail fast and fail forward. Get back up, brush off the dirt, look at the situation differently and try again.

Kate Likens
Kate Likens
Kate Likens