My relationship with the Center started when I attended a Center-sponsored event in Hastings, Nebraska, where I live. That chance meeting led to joining the Board in 1995, and proudly serving since.
The core topics we face on the Board probably haven’t changed very much since then, although the Center is working in a broader area now. They’re much more involved in the financial and business advisory field than they were initially. From my perspective, the important things are the ones that shape what we do and how we run the organization. Because of the diversity of the Board, I see it as a source of ideas and perspective from different points of view and expertise in Nebraska, and now Iowa as well.
I was an extension educator with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension for 35 years, and specialized in sustainable agriculture and direct and cooperative marketing. Since retiring, I have been involved in organic farming, and with the farming and community segment of the Center, as I’m interested in progressive, regenerative agriculture. I think it is a place to be heard for people with that background, and a chance for a broader exposure to those concepts.
In the future, I hope the Center will have more input in those areas and convey the connection between regenerative ag and positive possibilities in terms of climate change. And, I think just the sheer size of the organization has certainly changed things. It has made it more likely to have more influence in the state and probably regionally, which is what we’re striving for.