I grew up in Springfield, Nebraska and currently reside on an acreage outside of Springfield with my wife, two children, two dogs, three cats, and a whole bunch of chickens, ducks and geesel and Lizzy the Lizard. Growing up, my interest has always been in poultry thanks to our family’s hatchery business my grandpa and great uncle had back in the day. I was two years old when they closed the hatchery but my grandpa for some reason saw the poultry spark in me and kept it aglow! I showed poultry in 4-H and currently breed and show poultry professionally around the midwest and south. I’m trying to instill my poultry obsession in my kids, however, a very protective mother hen kind of killed that hope for my daughter. My son on the other hand loves them! It was through my interest in poultry, animal agriculture and 4-H that I decided to pursue a degree in animal science from UNL, then stayed on for a master's degree and finally, landed a job with Nebraska 4-H.
What’s your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
Currently, I am the Urban 4-H Program Coordinator and Head of the Douglas-Sarpy 4-H Program in Omaha.
What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?
The University of Nebraska-Lincoln was the only school I applied to. Thank goodness I got in! I really liked how close it was to home, but yet far enough away. I was drawn to the animal science department and all it had to offer. Being a Husker was also a draw. I like to tell people that it wasn’t because my friends were going there as I was the only guy out of my Platteview High School senior class that went to UNL and the only one out of my immediate group of friends that actually attended college.
What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?
While my degrees were not in education, they should have been. I found out very late in my academic career that I really enjoyed teaching. Not only about poultry but teaching youth about agriculture and science. I really like to see the kids’ faces light up or be disgusted when I walk into a classroom to do a pig heart dissection or break the bridges that they’ve worked hard to build. It’s just fun to see how their minds work.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
This is kind of a hard question, because I don’t think I’ve reached my greatest achievement yet. I’m still really young in my career. If I had to say though, having a wife and kids and a big acreage to have them run all over would be my greatest achievement thus far.
What is something that most people don’t' know about you?
One of my many useless talents is I can crow like a rooster and honk like a Canada Goose convincingly. I’ve called in a few very confused geese before. In junior high, I had to stand on a desk in class and crow like a rooster then that day in front of the kids in the lunch room. You could say I eat, sleep and talk poultry!
What is your life outside of work?
Outside of work, I like to work on all the many tasks that I can find on our new acreage. They’re endless! We’ve started Kreifels Pumpkin Patch where we grow and sell many different types of pumpkins, squash and popcorn in the fall. I also like to show poultry at various shows throughout the region as well as judge 4-H poultry and rabbit shows in Nebraska. Additionally, I like to hunt, fish and frequent the great winery we have outside of Springfield in the summer and fall.