Alumni Spotlight: John Foley

John Foley
Meet John Foley, a University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumna who graduated in 1984 with an agriculture economics degree.
September 13, 2022

Graduation Date: 1984 

Major: Agriculture Economics

What is your current position?

I am currently the CEO of Verdant Specialty Solutions. 

How did your time in CASNR shape your career path?

The agriculture economics curriculum proved to be an ideal mix of commercial and technical disciplines. This, along with a strong Midwestern work ethic and values, provided a foundation to build a fulfilling career in the global chemical industry.  

What is the most fulfilling aspect of your job? 

The most fulfilling aspect of my job is finding the opportunity in challenge, along with building teams and teamwork to deliver impact. 

What activities were you involved in during your time at UNL? 

I was a proud member of Alpha Gamma Sigma. I also had the opportunity to serve on the Interfraternity Council. To fund my college education, I worked nearly full-time at a convenience store. 

What is your best memory of your time in CASNR? 

Events and places come to mind such as football Saturday, Cornstalk Concerts, Dairy Store visits and the old Sidetrack Lounge, but today what I value most are all the wonderful people that I had the opportunity to meet and to learn with and from. We formed lifelong relationships that I still enjoy today. 

How did CASNR prepare you for your life outside of work? 

It was a safe environment to be exposed to a much greater diversity of thought, people and experiences than my small Nebraska hometown afforded.  

What do you think IANR and CASNR contribute to Nebraska, the United States and the world? 

We are clearly in an age of great change. We need to innovate the next set of solutions in several fields, perhaps none more important than agriculture and natural resources. IANR and CASNR can play an important role in the development of the technical skills and experiences necessary to meet those challenges and more generally, the common-sense business and community leaders we need to succeed.  

What is your one piece of advice for current CASNR students? 

Do what you love and call it work.