Northeast Graduate Rylee Stoltz Advocates for Agriculture

Published on: August 27, 2019

LINCOLN, NE – Rylee Stoltz of Lincoln is a fan of agriculture. A 2016 graduate of Northeast Community College, Stoltz utilized the associate degree program offered through the college to further her education, leading her where she is today: advocating for agriculture.

Stoltz, who grew up in Hadar, showed 4-H cattle and horses as a youngster, as well as taking part in FFA at Norfolk High School. It was a quick step over to Northeast, located in the same community.

Stoltz found Northeast to be affordable, plus she could live at home while attending classes. She found the close-knit class sizes to be of benefit, where she was able to make good friends and spend an enjoyable time while gaining an education.

The connection with Northeast teachers was also invaluable. “I knew if I needed something, they’d be more than willing to help,” Stoltz said.

Stoltz received her associates of science degree in May of 2016, transferring that August to the University of Nebraska at Lincoln where she earned a bachelor’s degree in agri-business with an option in banking and finance.

She alternated classes with work as a loan administration manager at an ag-focused bank in Bassett, completing her final semester with on-line classes.

Today, Stoltz advocates for agriculture as the program coordinator for the non-profit organization, Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, or A-FAN.

The Alliance was formed in 2005 by agricultural organizations within the state to conduct outreach and promotion and to provide information to consumers about the sources of their food. The organizations involved include those in the financial and construction communities; grain, feed and implement suppliers; environmental partners; food processors and integrators; plus various stakeholders.

Some of the larger state associations supporting A-FAN are the Nebraska Cattlemen, Nebraska Pork Producers, Nebraska Soybean Association and Checkoff, Nebraska Corn Board, Nebraska Corn Growers Association, and Midwest Dairy as well as the Nebraska Farm Bureau, Nebraska Bankers Association, and the Nebraska Rural Electric Association.

“I’m super excited to be working with A-FAN,” Stoltz said. One of the first events on her roster was the Northeast Nebraska Swine Summit, held at familiar location: Northeast Community College. The summit encouraged those in attendance to ask themselves important questions such as, “What if I were to add swine to my operation?”

Stoltz has found A-FAN goals to be in line with her own: to work with communities and Nebraska leaders to create opportunities for individual livestock producers. In doing so, Stoltz will help Nebraska communities and its leaders create opportunities for industries to add value to Nebraska’s agricultural output and energize the economy.

Funding for the$23 million project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new farm site with a farm office and storage, a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, and a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue.

For more information, contact Northeast Community College Associate Vice President of Development and External Affairs Dr. Tracy Kruse, tracyk@northeast.edu, 402-844-7056. Online donations can be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks can be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.

Photo Cutline – Rylee

Northeast Community College alum Rylee Stoltz, program coordinator for A-FAN (Courtesy Northeast Community College)