Board spotlight: Krista Dittman dedicates decades of support to the Center

Small Towns

From a potential client to a member of the Board of Directors, Krista Dittman has spent the past few decades getting to know the Center for Rural Affairs.

She started on the board in 2018, but she had known about the Center since 2003.

“When I was trying to start a cooperative cheesemaking endeavor, I met with the Center’s lending team to inquire about different funding opportunities for my startup,” Krista said. “For many years after that, while I served on the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society Board, the Center was a go-to for program advice and assistance with the annual conference. Becoming involved was an easy decision to make because the values of the Center and their amount of success turning ideas into practice is exciting to support.”

Krista’s first service to the organization was on the Advisory Committee. She also helped reorganize and update many Center practices to best position the organization for further growth and sustained impact in all of its focus areas.

“I remember leaving the board meetings excited about how the Center was making an impact in so many areas,” she said. “I always enjoy the time we have to share and build our friendships and meet the staff. It is always impressive to hear about the projects they are stewarding and the engagement they have with the communities they serve.”

Krista has lived in the Lincoln, Nebraska, area since 1989 and taught German at Lincoln Public Schools and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, using the language skills she acquired as a Rotary Youth Exchange student and a Fulbright Teaching Assistant. She’s also worked with local foods, helping to start the first Slow Food group in Nebraska.

“Though I was educated as a German teacher, I spent many years running my own business,” Krista said. “I wore many hats: production manager, quality control officer, human resources/payroll, sales, and marketing—just like so many small business owners do. Currently, I am working in the health insurance industry as a sales agent.”

Krista believes the Center is doing important work to showcase the dedication of small business owners and family farmers and ranchers, among the organization’s other priorities.

“I think the work of the Center focuses on highlighting others' successes,” she said. “The newsletters, the stories, and all of the support offered to individuals and communities is quietly and powerfully inspirational.”