Faculty Spotlight: Terry Hejny

Terry Hejny
Meet Terry Hejny, director of the Nebraska LEAD Program and president and chief operating officer of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council.
May 3, 2021

About Terry

My wife Pam and I have two married daughters: Ashley and her husband Nathan Mueller of Lincoln, and Courtney and her husband Evan Luxon of Omaha, and three grandsons, Garrison and Kase Mueller and Jasper Luxon. Agriculture has played a tremendous role in my life as I was raised on a diversified crop and livestock farm in Seward County, Nebraska. I earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Doane College in 1994 and a doctorate degree from UNL in human sciences with a specialization in leadership studies in 2010.

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

Since September 2007, I have served as director of the Nebraska LEAD Program and president and chief operating officer of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council. I assist in preparing men and women in agriculture for more effective leadership.

What drew you to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

I spent the first 18 years of my professional career as the agricultural education instructor and FFA advisor at Geneva Public Schools. In 1998, the opportunity to join UNL as an extension educator allowed me to take my teaching skills to the next level while continuing to serve those involved in agriculture across our state. During my nine years as an extension educator, my programming responsibilities include marketing, risk management and cropping systems education. I stressed to producers that they make decisions that would allow their farm business to be as profitable and competitive as possible. I was a member of the Nebraska LEAD Group 20, and the opportunity to serve as the director has allowed me to assist in the development of the future decision makers, problem solvers and spokespersons for our industry. I had led LEAD delegations to over 40 countries with a goal that each participant will gain an improved understanding of the interdependence of nations and the need for our working together for the betterment of all nations and their people.

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

I enjoy the people. I am honored to work with the very best people, including my support staff, the administrators, faculty and staff here at UNL and across the entire Nebraska University system, my current LEAD classes, the LEAD alumni, the Board of Directors of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, our many donors and supporters, and the many higher education administrators, faculty and staff that host the Nebraska LEAD Program on their campus each year.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I would consider being a husband, father and grandpa my greatest achievement. By the way, the best job I have ever had is being a grandpa!

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

I love to read. My favorite authors are Clive Cussler, Steve Berry, Brad Thor, John Grisham and Craig Johnson.

What is your life like outside of work?

When LEAD is in season, with two concurrent classes taking place (plus a 10-day national seminar and a 14-day international seminar), I don’t have much of a life outside of work. I enjoy spending time with my family and try to work in a little golf.