Lincoln, Neb. — Jason Dirks of Ankeny, Iowa, is the second recipient of the Steve Nelson Yeutter Institute International Trade Internship Award. The award honors Steve Nelson, a longtime Nebraska Farm Bureau leader, as it helps students gain valuable experience in the nation’s capital.
The award will provide Dirks with a $6,000 stipend to intern full-time with the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) this summer in Washington, D.C. WITA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and related issues. He will gain valuable exposure to and experience with trade policy issues and trade leaders in business, agriculture, law, academia, non-governmental organizations, embassies and the U.S. government.
Dirks became interested in agriculture during his international trade research internship with the Yeutter Institute, in which he worked with Cargill on its sustainability initiative. This internship sparked Dirks’ interest in global agricultural sustainability.
"International trade has the opportunity to advance environmentally friendly approaches in agriculture and their supply chains to create a more sustainable world,” said Dirks, a junior economics major with minors in statistics and mathematics.
As he looks toward his internship in Washington D.C., one aspect of it that excites Dirks is the event planning for international trade policy discussions, which people from around the world will attend, he said. “I think the internship will be a great place to hear so many stories and I can get more of a view of what I actually want to do,” said Dirks.
The faculty and staff at the Yeutter Institute were instrumental in assisting Dirks in the international trade arena. As a current Yeutter Student Fellow, they guided him on career paths in the field, supported him in preparing for this internship opportunity, and continue to advance his knowledge of international trade, he said.
Following completion of his internship, Dirks will work with Yeutter Institute leadership to plan an educational event for students and the public on an agricultural trade policy issue. Dirks will finish out his undergraduate career at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, with hopes of going to graduate school and potentially working towards his doctorate degree in the area of macroeconomics.
Gifts in honor of the Steve Nelson Yeutter Institute International Trade Internship Award may be directed to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. Donations can be made online at www.nefbfoundationorg or mailed to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, P.O. Box 80299 Lincoln, Neb. 68501.
The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educations, service and advocacy efforts. More than 58,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit www.nefb.org.
The vision of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumnus and renowned trade expert Clayton Yeutter, the Yeutter Institute connects academic disciplines related to law, business and agriculture in order to prepare students for leadership roles in international trade and finance, support interdisciplinary research and increase public understanding of these issues. For more information about the Yeutter Institute, visit yeutter-institute.unl.edu.