Five College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources students recently were named Engler Scholars in the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Institute of Agricultural and Natural Resources.
The students were designated Engler Scholars and received renewable scholarships of up to $10,000 based on their need and existing scholarships and grants.
The Engler program began in 2010 with a $20 million gift over 10 years from the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation. The purpose of the program is to identify students with the entrepreneurial drive and then foster development of professional skills conducive to success in applying entrepreneurism in agriculture and agribusiness.
Engler scholars are:
-- Logan Peters, freshman animal science major from Pender. Peters, a believer in diversification in his entrepreneurial efforts, currently raises cattle, chickens, field corn, ornamental corn, sweet corn and pumpkins, and also runs a mowing business and a scrap-metal business. Peters said "my diversified businesses are a direct result of my hard work and drive to be a successful entrepreneur. I would hope to gain relationships and experience through the Engler Program so that one day I can own a successful farm business."
-- Steven Fish, freshman agribusiness major from Oxford. Fish began life on a family farm, but when his father switched careers to commodities broker, Fish shifted with him, accompanying him to meetings with bankers, farmers and others. He became a seed salesman in high school and installed seamless gutters in his spare time and currently farms 57 acres of dryland. Fish said, "Through my very diverse background in the agriculture industry I have grown to realize how much money is lost in rural communities from mismanagement. It is my goal and my desire to make rural communities more profitable through a future entrepreneurship. This along with my past experiences is what continues to drive me to continue and I would be very grateful to be part of this program."
-- Travis Schiefelbein, freshman animal science major from Kimball, Minn. Schiefelbein comes from a family of entrepreneurs. He hopes to be the next generation of leadership on the family's farm, continuing its reputation for innovation in breeding and genetics. Schiefelbein said, "I want to increase my skills and use them to build and grow our farm in the same tradition as my grandfather and uncles, who have set such a tremendous example through their own willingness to take calculated risks and embrace cutting edge technology. This is what has helped our farm evolve and grow into the 21st century. They have left large shoes to fill, and I believe that the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program will be able to help me as I attempt to continue to expand and improve the farm. "
-- Dylan Tegtmeier, freshman fisheries and wildlife major from Milford. Tegtmeier grew up on a small acreage, starting his own animal damage control business and also tanning wild fur pelts. He got involved in 4-H as a youth and later became an instructor and volunteer. Tegtmeier said, "They say if you love your job, you'll never feel like you've worked a day in your life. To me, being an entrepreneur and having my own business is the ultimate goal. Involvement with the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program would assist me in achieving this goal. I enjoy being in control of my time and money and I'm comfortable with the risks and rewards that business ownership entail. I know I have a lot to learn and feel the Engler Entrepreneurship Program can assist me in this endeavor."
-- Haley S. Harthoorn, a sophomore agribusiness major from Ainsworth. Harthoorn takes his inspiration from his father, who built a successful swine operation. Haley Harthoorn helped develop Heartland Corn By-products to market wet distillers grains to feedlots, helped establish the Ainsworth Youth Soccer League, worked on developing the Biz Kidz Entrepreneurship Camp and sells crocheted Husker wear. "Two of my passions are agriculture and rural communities. I want to tie these into my career. In my recent business plan, I've created a business that offers consulting to rural communities to create community vision, leadership development, opportunity assessment, and assistance in the framework of community projects. I am so excited to continue this exploration further."