Staff spotlight: Traditions lead Derrik home

Small Towns

Traditions have anchored me and generations of my family. Rooted in the importance of traditions made and new ones sought, I learned at a young age how to use them as I navigate triumphs, challenges, and changes. 

Agriculture has had a big impact on me, as I saw my great-grandfather, grandfather, father, and cousins all work throughout their lives to promote and provide for their family in ranching and farming. I learned a lot of lessons through the heartwarming and heartache of this industry during both rich and poor years. 

I learned how working hard on a farm or ranch can bring people closer together, and I watched traditions being passed down through generations. It inspired me to continue this work, with, of course, the aid of new technology, which brings new traditions. I was inspired to attend the University of Wyoming to study and support my passion for rural communities and agriculture so I could continue advocating for fellow Nebraska families in agriculture. 

Traditions adapt with time, and change can be positive as we learn from it. I love the traditions I have been taught so far and will continue to embrace them throughout my life. 

After earning my degree, I moved to a new, but familiar place I love to call home. I am excited to continue the traditions of my forefathers and adapt for the future, including starting my own cattle operation. I hope to one day pass my traditions down to the next generations of my family so they can add onto them and develop their own. 

In the interest of new traditions, I embark upon my journey with the Center for Rural Affairs. I look forward to working with rural communities in advocating for traditions and how they can be improved through legislation and policies. 

If you would like to discuss the agricultural and rural traditions you hope to ensure for the next generation or the ones you are presently living, feel free to email me at or give me a call at 308.225.3010.