Faculty Spotlight: Hilary Maricle

Hilary Maricle
Hilary Maricle
July 28, 2020

About Hilary Maricle

I grew up in Spalding with my family owning and operating the local grocery store and my grandparents all farming.  I was lucky to learn the full story of our food from farm to fork at an early age and to be an active 4-Her.  I graduated from UNL with degrees in animal science and agricultural eladership, education, and communication and then decided to stay in Lincoln for my graduate work in leadership education while working on a USDA Challenge Grant.  While in college, I had my first taste of Extension as an adult, serving as an Extension intern in Boone county.  I moved into my career as an agricultural educator after college, teaching in Spalding and Albion and I still enjoy helping to coach our local FFA teams.  After teaching grades 7-12, I had the opportunity to teach agribusiness at Northeast Community College and to serve as the associate dean of agriculture, math and science.  Having always wanted to try my hand at public service, I ran for county commissioner and proudly served Boone County for four years.  After serving as a commissioner, I worked part-time for UNL admissions as a rural recruiter, taught adjunct courses for Doane and Northeast, and farmed with my family near Albion.  I have also served on a variety of boards with the American Farm Bureau, Nebraska Farm Bureau Federation, and their foundations to help share the ag story.  I am married to my husband, Brian and I have five children, Austin who teaches social studies in Montana, Carson (16), Cody (16), Cassidy (14) and Katerina (11).

What is your position at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I serve as an Engagement Zone Coordinator for Nebraska Extension in Zone 6, which includes Boone, Greeley, Hall, Hamilton, Howard, Merrick, Sherman, and Valley counties.  This position allows me to work with Extension professionals, community leaders, and the entire UNL campus as we seek to grow engagement with all Nebraskans.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln always felt like home while I was a student.  Throughout my career, I have always done my best to stay connected with the campus regardless of where I was at that point in my life.  I have always had great respect for the work that Extension does and the opportunity to work with experts across our state was a huge draw for me.  The University of Nebraska system continues to lead innovation and success globally and I am humbled to have to opportunity to work with such great people. 

What aspect of working in an educational setting do you enjoy the most?

Working in education affords everyone on our team the opportunity to be challenged and to think bigger than ourselves.  No matter the changes or challenges presented, when Educators work together there are continual opportunities for growth and success.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Connecting with people who are each unique and different is one of my proudest achievements.  There is nothing as fun and exciting as when you can connect people who may not have realized they had much in common to help a community or department come together to find a solution to a problem.

What is something that most people don’t know about you?

Most people don't know that I have served in a few roles outside of ag and education.  I have had amazing opportunities to expand my thinking by serving on boards and committees dealing with international development, economic development, environmental quality, workforce development, emergency management, and providing services for the disabled.  Each of these experiences has helped me to be a stronger team member and leader.

What is your life like outside of work?

Beyond work, my world revolves around our family and farm.  Our children's activities keep us busy from day to day as they are involved in 4-H, FFA, football, basketball, track, golf, volleyball, piano, and dance.  We also have the great fortune of farming with Brian's parents and occasionally helping my parents at their grocery store.  On our farm, we raise cattle, hogs, sheep, corn, soybeans, and alfalfa.  You will often find me giving a lot of opinions as we work with the livestock and I am more likely to be doing what I am told when working with the crops.  As the family that is on the homesteaded farm, we enjoy having extended family visit and spend time on the farm.