Dream Job Anyone?

With the 2013 graduating class preparing for the next chapter in their life, other youth might be wondering what they’d like to do after high school. Rather than asking what they want to major in, ask them what would be their dream job or what do they enjoy doing. From there, college admissions or others such as Extension faculty/staff can help direct youth in the right direction. Recently I had the opportunity to attend an in-service for UNL Extension which updated us on college degree programs and opportunities for students. We spent time on both city and east campus, toured a couple of dorms and brainstormed on ways to help youth decide their preferred college path.

Whether youth attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln or not, our goal in UNL Extension is to help all youth realize their career goals through 4-H projects, workshops and other programming. For some youth, a two year school might be appropriate, for some starting at a two year school and transferring to a four year might work, and yet for some, a four year school is the best fit. Regardless, receiving some education beyond high school is increasingly important with today’s ever-changing society.


Before youth decide on their post-secondary education, it is important to investigate several options.  As a UNL faculty member, I can provide youth with the resources or contacts to explore the numerous options that the University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers. For example, I had the chance to view and visit the UNL Chemistry Department and it was very impressive! With several flat screens, lab stations and other high tech features it made me want to go back to school and take a chemistry course. Not only was the classroom impressive, the professor was very engaging and had some innovative teaching methods. The learning center was equally impressive as it takes into account how today’s students learn best.

One of the highlights for me was the Agronomy and Horticulture tour. Kim Todd, host of Backyard Farmer and UNL professor, shared the hands-on learning that occurs in landscape design and horticulture courses. Students design, plant and care for landscapes not only on campus, but in the community such as Bryan LGH and other businesses. This provides youth with real world application and experiences.From there, we toured the UNL Tractor Test Lab which provides students interested in mechanical systems and ag engineering hands-in learning and also a job on-campus. UNL Animal Science also provides numerous hands-on learning opportunities such as becoming certified in artificial insemination, etc.  Once again, on campus jobs are offered, including caring for livestock on campus which was one of the jobs I had as an undergraduate. For students with jobs on campus, it continues the learning occurring in the classroom and allows them to see first-hand some of the cutting edge research taking place.


In conclusion, youth considering college are encouraged to contact college admissions directly by going to their website or are more than welcome to contact their local extension office and we’d be more than happy to locate the correct resources needed. You may email me at or call our office at 402-759-3712. With over 150 majors, more than 400 student-run clubs/organizations, intramural sports and research opportunities with world renowned faculty to provide outstanding academic success, I’m sure youth will be able to start the pathway to achieve their dream job at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln! The University of Nebraska–Lincoln is determined to get you where you want to go. Your story starts at NEBRASKA.


Returning to the Farm

 Bringing a young person into a farm/ranch operation presents challenges. However, the business operation can accomplish numerous goals by helping the young person get a solid start in the operation, keeping the farm/ranch in the family, and ensuring a comfortable retirement for all involved. However, success does not come automatically; it requires effort. Blending a variety of talents and personalities into one farming or ranching operation takes planning, communication, and management.

The Returning to the Farm program is designed to assist families and operations in developing a financial plan and successful working arrangements that will meet the needs of multiple families. During the program participants will:

  • Review financial feasibility, balance sheets and trend sheets
  • Identify estate planning issues
  • Develop a farm/ranch transition plan
  • Set both personal and professional goals
  • Look at the communication process between family members

 It is strongly recommend that all members of the management team attend all four days of sessions. Each day will build on material from the previous sessions. The registration deadline is November 30; registrations received after the Nov. 30 deadline will be charged an additional $25. Registration is limited to the first 15 families with paid registrations.

 The cost of the conference is $300 for the first 4 family members, plus $35 for each family member after the first 4. This fee covers instruction, handout materials, meeting room costs, refreshment breaks, Saturday continental breakfast and most meals. Program dates are: December 9 & 10th and January 6 & 7th To register or for more details, call Sandy Sterkel at 800-535-3456 or email her at