Hometown: Callaway, Neb.
Major: Hospitality, Restaurant, and Tourism Management
Minor: Agronomy, Leadership and Communications, and Engler Agribusiness
Graduation Date: May 2022
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What is your story?
I was raised by my parents, Carla and Duane Kimball, in Callaway Nebraska along with my older sister Emily. Growing up in a small town has helped me to see the value of a sense of community which has shaped my life. This has led me to want to create something that would bring people into my community with a sort of tourism based business as well as a place for my community to get together and enjoy each other. This led me to the wine industry. I have been interested in the Nebraska wine industry since high school, but I did not know much about it until the summer after my first year of college. I was an intern at Mac’s Creek in Lexington, Nebraska where I learned about growing grapes, making wine, and working in the tasting room. This solidified that I wanted to go into this industry. By October of my sophomore year we ordered 200 vines and they were planted in May of 2020. The vineyard is called 31:16 vineyards from Proverbs 31:16 “She considers a field to buy, out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.” which has been my inspiration in this process. It will take a few years before these vines will yield a crop so in the meantime we will be working on developing a business plan and possibly buying land to start building a winery.
What is your business?
31:16 Vineyards launched in 2020
Who is your entrepreneurial inspiration OR biggest hero?
I would say my dad, Duane Kimball. He owns Kimball Farms and works harder than anyone I know. I don't think that I would have the grit or courage to pursue my passion without him.
What advice would you give to a student starting their entrepreneurial journey?
Trust the process even when it is difficult and surround yourself with people who will help you achieve your dreams.
What has been your favorite "Engler Experience" to date?
I really enjoyed the Letter of Intent Ceremony in the library while it was under construction. It was so cool to envision what is happening in the new space.
What has been the biggest hurdle or struggle you've dealt with in your entrepreneurial journey?
The biggest hurdle for me was finding the courage to just start. I knew that starting a vineyard and eventually having a winery was my dream but I have always been afraid to start and just dive right in.