LINCOLN, NE - Ten farmers and ranchers from across Nebraska have been selected for Nebraska Farm Bureau’s 2016 Leadership Academy. The selected farmers and ranchers will begin a year-long program Jan. 28-29 in Kearney.

“The goal of the academy is to cultivate the talents and strengths of the participants and connect their passion for agriculture to opportunities of service within the Farm Bureau organization. Great leaders have a clearly defined purpose; purpose fuels passion and work ethic. By developing leadership skills, academy members can develop their passions and positively impact their local communities and the state of Nebraska.” said Adam Peterson, facilitator of the 2016 Leadership Academy. Peterson also serves as the central regional director of membership for Nebraska Farm Bureau.

Academy members will participate in sessions focused on leadership skills, understanding the county, state and national structure of the Farm Bureau organization including Farm Bureau’s grassroots network and policy work on agriculture issues. Also, the group will travel to Washington, D.C. in September, for visits with Nebraska’s Congressional delegation and federal agency representatives.

“We congratulate this group of diverse individuals and thank them for their willingness to step up and out of their comfort zone to learn more about how they can influence their community, state and world for the better,” said Peterson.

The 2016 Nebraska Farm Bureau Leadership Academy members are:

Joseph Sateren of Wisner, a Cuming County Farm Bureau member. Sateran produces corn, soybeans, alfalfa, cattle and also custom farms.

Caroline Weihl of Grand Island, a Hall County Farm Bureau member. Weihl is an agricultural professional and is a seed advisor manager with Syngenta.

Bryce Doeschot of Lincoln, a Lancaster County Farm Bureau member. Doeschot works on his family farm where they have a cow/calf operation and custom feed hogs. They also grow corn, soybeans and wheat.

Chelsey Girard of Osceola, a Polk County Farm Bureau member. Girard, her husband Tim, her father and uncle grow yellow and white corn and soybeans. They also have two barns of laying hens and are a dealer for AgriGold seed.

Amy Nelson of Axtell, a Kearney/Franklin County Farm Bureau member. Nelson and her husband Scott grow irrigated corn, soybeans and seed corn.

Rebecca Schwarz of Bertrand, a Phelps County Farm Bureau member. Schwarz farms with her family and has a certified organic farming operation. They grow corn, alfalfa, wheat, soybeans, oats, sorghum, popcorn, organic vegetables and herbs. They also run a custom haying business.

Brandon Essink of Syracuse, an Otoe County Farm Bureau member. Essink is a part of his family operation and raises registered Lowline Angus cattle and commercial cattle, registered Morgan horses, Boer goats and Mini Australian Shepherds. They also grow alfalfa and prairie hay for winter feed.

Erin Norman of Crawford, a Dawes County Farm Bureau member. Norman and her husband Luke operate a cow/calf operation on the family ranch that is more than 100 years old. They also grow hay.
Darrel Entz of Mason City, a Custer County Farm Bureau member. Entz runs a background cattle operation, a cow herd and grows irrigated row crops.

Robert Hartman of Champion, a Chase County Farm Bureau member. Hartman has a cow/calf operation and backgrounds calves. He also has a greenhouse operation where he grows vine ripened tomatoes.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service and advocacy efforts. More than 61,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit