Faculty Spotlight: Joe Luck

Joe Luck
Joe Luck
October 5, 2020

About Joe

I am a husband and father of two young daughters that are 3 ½ and 1 year(s) old.  I grew up on a small family farm in western Kentucky; I was the seventh generation to live there and my mom and dad still live there and farm. After high school, I went to community college in town and was going to be an elementary school teacher before I eventually switched to engineering. I’ve always enjoyed working among teams and groups and really value people and relationships both personally and professionally.

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

I am an associate professor and precision agriculture engineer with an Extension and research appointment in the Department of Biological Systems Engineering.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln? 

When I graduated from the University of Kentucky, I was looking for a faculty position where I could primarily work in ag technology Extension. I enjoy working with farmers and other folks in the agricultural industry. After I interviewed for this position at UNL, I knew it was where I was supposed to be, my experiences growing up matched up with what farmers here in Nebraska were doing with their work with corn, soybeans, cattle and more. The only exception was irrigation, we didn’t have irrigation where I grew up!

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

In addition to working with farmers and students, I really enjoy having colleagues with broad expertise, well beyond that of my own. If I have plant or soil science questions, or questions related to computing systems or electrical engineering, I know exactly who to contact!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I think one of the things I’ve been most excited about in the past two to three years has been feedback from several of the growers we’ve been working with. Some of them have been making changes in the amounts of crop inputs they’re using based on cooperative projects through the Nebraska On-Farm Research Network. I really feel good about this because we’re helping producers improve their on-farm economics, and often environmental impacts. This was always one of my goals when I sought out an Extension faculty position over eight years ago!

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

I really love music. Growing up, our family always had music on, or we were playing the piano or guitar. I used to sing in choir at church and still do some of that while playing guitar, which my daughters love, for now! We are always listening to music in the house these days. It seems like Disney Children’s Radio is our top station at the moment!

What is your life like outside of work? 

We recently moved to an acreage a few miles north of Lincoln where my wife is able to keep her horses and I enjoy being able to do some ‘farm work’ in my spare time here and there. We get to spend time out at the barn and in the garden and pasture with our girls in the afternoons when they get home from daycare. It is really awesome to see them enjoy life in the country. We like to cook together a lot with breakfast being my specialty and spend time outside as much as possible! Like many people, we’re social distancing as much as we can and can’t wait to reconnect with our friends as soon as we can.