Haley Ehrke Shares Thoughts on Rural Entrepreneurship on Podcast


April 3, 2019 — Haley Ehrke, a junior studying agribusiness and agricultural and environmental sciences communication at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, joined her mom as Episode 26’s Bold Student Voice at 21:25.

The weekly podcast, “Rural Futures with Dr. Connie,” debuts every Tuesday, featuring a University of Nebraska student within a primary interview of a researcher, futurist or rural maverick creating leadership, technology and collaborative opportunities for rural communities across the country. The podcast is hosted by Connie Reimers-Hild, Ph.D., RFI Interim Executive Director and Chief Futurist and is available across listening platforms — iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloudGoogle Play and Spotify.

Haley’s mother, Janell Anderson Ehrke started GROW Nebraska when Haley was still in the hospital after her birth. “I’ve really been around GROW my whole life,” she said.

“GROW has really transformed Nebraska, and it’s really growing Nebraska’s economy,” Haley said of her mother’s non-profit.

Like her mother, Haley has a thriving entrepreneurial spirit with her own marketing company and cow herd which she has developed through the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program. “Everyone can be an entrepreneur. It’s just a different point in life when you become one,” she said.

Haley, a rural native from Orleans, Neb., was also a 2018 Rural Futures Institute Student Fellow. “The Rural Futures Institute has really impacted my college experience in a magnitude of ways,” she said.

She worked in Alliance, Neb., serving Box Butte County to recruit and retain rural residents by creating seven Marketing Hometown America videos. “We are really hopeful that the videos will help attract people to Box Butte County — because it’s a great place to live,” she said.

Haley is now a student pathways intern with USDA Rural Development, and she has a real passion for rural communities. “Rural is not dying,” she said. “It is thriving!”


About the Rural Futures Institute at the University of Nebraska
The Rural Futures Institute (RFI) at the University of Nebraska leverages the talents and research-based expertise from across the NU system on behalf of rural communities in Nebraska, the U.S. and around the world. Through a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, RFI encourages bold and futuristic approaches to address rural issues and opportunities. It works collaboratively with education, business, community, non-profit, government and foundation partners to empower rural communities and their leaders.