Lincoln, Neb. — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is kicking off its 150th anniversary year by welcoming its second largest enrollment of new students in the history of the college.
This fall, CASNR welcomes 635 first-time freshman and transfer students, an increase of 7.1% from 2021. The college also saw its largest class of domestic freshman and transfer students in the school’s history, with incoming students from across Nebraska, as well as a 24.5% increase in out-of-state students.
In all, over 3,300 undergraduate, graduate and professional students are enrolled in academic credentials offered by the 12 academic units affiliated with CASNR, even after graduating a near-record 505 seniors in May 2022.
“Since the college’s founding 150 years ago, students have sought out CASNR for an education that prepares them to face the opportunities, challenges and way of life unique to careers in agriculture and natural resources,” said CASNR Dean Tiffany Heng-Moss. “Today, agriculture and natural resources are just as important as ever, accounting for one in four jobs in Nebraska. CASNR is proud to continue to prepare a talented, innovative workforce equipped for the ag and natural resources careers and challenges of the future.”
Throughout CASNR, the number one priority is student success, Heng-Moss said. The college strives to create an environment where students have the support they need to succeed, and at the same time, the freedom to customize their experience to their own goals and interests. Unique programs give students a chance to challenge themselves and to experience new places and ways of thinking.
For example, the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program gives students the tools they need to adopt an entrepreneurial mindset and event start their own businesses while still in college. The Rural Fellows Program sends pairs of students to rural Nebraska communities for 10 weeks each summer to work on projects important to the host communities. And the CASNR ChangeMaker scholarship competition challenges students to pitch an idea for solving a worldwide problem related to food, energy, water or societal systems, then pairs winning students with faculty mentors to help make their pitch a reality.
Brianna Gable is a senior agricultural economics and agricultural and environmental sciences communications major, who also has become involved in many campus activities including the CASNR ChangeMakers and the Engler Program, which helped her launch an outdoor greeting card business during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Her experience in the Engler program, she said, has allowed her to blend her favorite parts of both of her majors.
“I really like the concepts and the theories of economics, and I’ve been able to mesh that well into my communications work,” she said. “Engler is really the execution of everything that I’m learning in my degree programs.”
Elijah Riley, a junior studying fisheries and wildlife and agricultural and environmental sciences communications, has also made the most of his time in CASNR. Riley grew up in Lincoln, but always loved the outdoors. In college, he took part in the UNL Rodeo Club, as well as the UNL chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences; the Engler Program; and the We Are Nebraska inclusive leadership program. During his time in CASNR, he has launched a photography and videography business, as well as a YouTube channel to teach people about the outdoors.
Through his degree programs and other activities, he’s been able to learn more about his own interests and passions, and he advises incoming students to do the same.
“The more weird and different things you try, the more you’re going to have an understanding of who you are and what you want to do with your life,” he said.
For more information on CASNR’s academic units and other opportunities for students, visit CASNR.unl.edu.