Farm Kids Make the Connection at NAYI


Their dad is a leader in Nebraska agriculture, as John Dvoracek serves on the Sorghum Board and with Nebraska Farm Bureau. Now it’s time for Michelle and Amanda Dvoracek to do their part.

"Cause we’re the next generation," said Amanda, a recent graduate of Elba High School.

This generation will join the farm at a time when the world population is exploding and farmers are aging.

The Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute gives them a glimpse of what roles they may play.

Michelle said, "Definitely a lot of things going on it ag, it's a really great industry to be in right now."

"The fun is getting to meet all these influential people in ag," Amanda said.

NAYI, as its known, is the oldest event of its kind in the county, and this is the largest group ever as they meet for five days on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Shawn McDonald said, "We're all farm kids, we all love ag, we all want to be in this field."

For McDonald, this program took him from a Hamilton County farm to Taiwan to see the global picture.

Others too say there’s a need to work in related fields like ethanol, food processing and shipping.

Bobbie Kriz-Wickham is the assistant state ag director. She said, "It's a really great place to have those conversations that there's a great deal of opportunity out there for them."

For 43 years, this week-long event has forged relationships that have lasted long after. It’s why college senior Michelle Dvoracek is serving as a counselor for her younger sister Amanda, giving her a week she’ll remember.

"It's an awesome experience," Amanda said.

Michelle was a delegate for a few years, and now that she's in college, serves as a counselor.

She said, "I came to NAYI, really got interested in agriculture. It’s really taken off from there. It’s just been really interesting to see what all you can do in the ag industry."

This is the largest group of kids this program has ever seen. Industry leaders say the future is bright for kids who pursue careers in agriculture.