Staff spotlight: Erin is committed to connecting with rural America

Farm and Food
Small Towns

Whether with co-workers or the community members she serves, Erin Schoenberg is at her best when she’s connecting with others.

Since fall 2019, Erin has worked with the Center for Rural Affairs as a project associate. In that role, she strives to reach out to rural Americans in any way she can.

“Relationships are my world,” said Erin. “At the Center, I get a chance to genuinely connect with people. Situations and needs change, and it’s all about adapting, rolling up our sleeves, and jumping in.”

Erin’s day-to-day responsibilities include organizing, facilitating, and occasionally teaching workshops and courses for a range of audiences including beginning, women, and veteran farmers.

“I provide technical assistance and resources to schools for their greenhouse to cafeteria programs, and to rural farmers market managers and vendors,” she said. “I’m always working to strengthen community networks and partnerships so we can work together for the greatest good.”

Growing up on a farm and ranch, Erin has known rural her whole life, and continues to advocate for the land she loves.

“I’m from rural north central Nebraska, and live in rural Lancaster County now,” she said. “From the people to the natural resources and economy, we all have a responsibility to care and to take care.”

After college, she buried herself in the world of local foods, running and working for several small businesses. That bond with rural America is what led Erin to the Center.

“I’ve always been a connector, and have stayed involved with various community efforts and organizations,” Erin said.

Above all else, she said she wants to help people find creative ways to prosper.

“I’m fascinated with how the Center has grown in the past several years, and I can't wait to see how our work and our approach will continue to evolve,” said Erin. “I’m excited to be a part of that process.”

When she’s not working, Erin enjoys various pastimes and shares, “It's only been in the last few years that I've really discovered the joy of the hobby. I love quilting, reading, baking bread, and playing in the dirt—I’m happiest in my bib overalls.”

Erin can be reached at her home office at 402.499.2781 or