Staff spotlight: Terri’s roots brought her back to rural America

A desire for fresh air and quiet country life led Terri Mentink and her husband, Brian, to leave Lincoln, Nebraska, 20 years ago. Since then, they’ve enjoyed raising their daughters on an acreage outside Lyons.

Though she didn’t mind city living, Terri, a self-proclaimed farm girl at heart, says two decades away from rural America was more than enough for her.

Originally from the Lyons and Oakland areas, Terri is happy she made the move back to her hometown. Her daughters are now grown, but she has no intention of leaving the area again, as she recently accepted a position with the Center for Rural Affairs.

“I’m what’s called a ‘hybrid employee,’ which means I do lots of different things in lots of different areas,” said Terri, whose official title is accounting associate.

She says her extensive administrative and financial experience in the medical and insurance fields provides her ample experience for any roles she takes on.

Terri works on accounts payable and the loan system for the Center’s small business program, Rural Enterprise Assistance Project (REAP).

“Knowing that I’m part of the team that is helping others achieve their goals, whether it's a client starting a business, or a colleague wanting to further their career, is such a thrill for me,” said Terri.

A deep love of small towns, plus her excitement and enthusiasm for helping those around her made the Center feel like a natural fit for Terri.

“Rural America is the backbone of our country – we provide food, energy, and have a real sense of community,” she said. “It's always been comforting to know that neighbors and friends in our community are watching out for one another. There’s nothing more important than that.”

When Terri isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters, Taylor and Cassidy, as well as reading a good book.

She can be reached at the Center’s home office in Lyons at 402.687.2100 ext. 1021 or terrim@cfra.org.