Julia Oestmann

Content Strategist

BCom Solutions

Auburn, Neb.

Graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Journalism & Mass Communications

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2020 Experience

Focus: Economic Development, Entrepreneurship, Workforce Training

The primary project will involve creating a great marketing and research effort with a strong community campaign to secure passage of LB840, the local option municipal economic development act that authorizes incorporated cities to collect and appropriate local tax dollars for economic development purposes. Additional projects will include entrepreneurship, coding camp and mobile STEM lab promotion, business recruitment and workforce training.

Students: Brittney EmersonEmma Hoffschneider
Peer: Kim Beger

Sponsored By: Auburn Development Council, Nemaha County Development Foundation Fund, Nemaha County Hospital

Julia’s Nebraska Story

I have lived in Nebraska my whole life. I grew up a few miles outside of Johnson and graduated high school from Johnson-Brock. In 2014, I headed off to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, trading a town with about nine total streets for one with more than 400 stoplights! The marketing agency I work for is headquartered in the Lincoln Haymarket, but its unique rural ties allow me to split my time between the capital city and Auburn, Neb., which is great, because my heart will always live in Nemaha County!

What do you hope to gain?

I was a communications intern for the Rural Futures Institute in college. I would love to help foster the same growth and development I experienced being a part of the program.

Why do you think it important community leaders have this type of experience in terms of inclusive leadership development?

The key to positive community growth is inclusion — of both people and diverse ideas. I think it’s important as a leader to foster that inclusion and make the best effort possible to help the community thrive.

Why is this contribution of students from the University of Nebraska significant to you and your community?

It sounds cliché to say, but it truly is always great to get young people in the door to pour their time and ideas into a community. Even though rural communities are the heartbeat of Nebraska, they don’t usually receive that type of investment.

I also think it’s important for University of Nebraska students to experience the vibrance of rural Nebraska. Some of them may be familiar with what it’s like to live in a rural area, but for others it could be incredibly eye-opening.

In this age of technology, the opportunities for young people in rural America are real and truly endless, and it’s important that we make the time and commitment to cultivate those opportunities so that they don’t fall behind or shrivel up.

Why is rural important?

Perhaps I’m biased, but to me, rural is the backbone and the heart beat of the United States. It is home to the ag cycle that produces our food, and it is quickly becoming the hub for cleaner energy and renewable plastic solutions. That doesn’t mean that rural America is without its setbacks. It’s important that we develop and protect the opportunities and resources that exist in rural, while continuing to work toward solutions for issues such as access to health care and broadband. A thriving rural U.S. is in the best interest of everyone.

Why does now provide tremendous opportunity to move rural communities forward?

With the rapidly changing landscape of agriculture and job availability, the reality is that the population of many rural communities is both aging and shrinking. I believe that by capitalizing on changes in technology and seizing rural broadband opportunities, we can start to shift those trends. As the job market changes, more and more young people have the ability to work from anywhere — so why not work in the middle of everywhere? There are hundreds of reasons to choose rural — including, but not limited to, a lower cost of living, safe neighborhoods, clean air, vibrant community spirit and more.