Gerlach brings strong global experience to her Yeutter Institute role

by Geitner Simmons | IANR Communications

Cheyenne Gerlach
Cheyenne Gerlach, a Dewitt, Nebraska, native with wide-ranging global experience, began work this summer as assistant director for the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance.
August 8, 2023

Lincoln, Neb. —Cheyenne Gerlach, a Dewitt, Nebraska, native with wide-ranging global experience, began work this summer as assistant director for the Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance. She will assist with the institute’s day-to-day operations and event preparation, support the institute’s new International trade minor and student fellowship program, and aid in research communication.

As a University of Nebraska–Lincoln undergraduate, she studied and did research in Benin and South Africa. Her internship with the World Food Prize led to academic study and field research on agriculture and international development topics at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology in Mbita, Kenya.

She was a Fulbright Scholar sponsored by the U.S. State Department, spending almost three years studying and working in the Netherlands at Wageningen University and Research. Her academic work included research in agricultural economics topics as well as a regional agriculture-related study on Southeast Asia.

The breadth of Gerlach’s international experiences has helped her see the notable range of perspectives globally regarding agriculture and related issues. “Really sinking into how different parts of the world view agriculture — or pesticides or food production — is a game changer,” says Gerlach, who received her UNL bachelor’s degree in integrated science in 2020.

“Cheyenne has an intuitive sense of the Yeutter Institute mission, as illustrated by her innovation in designing her own undergraduate degree and her achievements as a Fulbright Scholar,” says Jill O’Donnell, the Haggart-Work director of the Yeutter Institute. “She will play a key role in advancing our integrated teaching, research and public engagement mission during our next phase of growth, and we are thrilled that she has joined our team.”

Gerlach joins the institute as it marks its five-year anniversary and launches a minor in the international trade. The institute’s multifaceted mission includes hosting multiple presentations for students by trade experts; facilitating student research projects with Nebraska stakeholders; and providing a range of academic and internship opportunities, including the Yeutter Student Fellows program.

Gerlach’s family raised hogs, and childhood for her and her siblings was filled with activities around farm animals including time in 4-H and FFA. As a teen, Gerlach was a Nebraska FFA state vice president. During her college years, she was an intern with the Nebraska Corn Board as well as the U.S. Grains Council in Washington D.C. In 2018, she studied business conditions in Norfolk, Nebraska, as a student fellow with the Rural Futures Institute, the predecessor organization of Nebraska Extension’s Rural Prosperity Nebraska.

Her background has helped understand the vital role that agriculture plays in the U.S. economy – and in the fabric of Nebraska life -- from multiple perspectives, she said.

“For those who didn't grow up on a farm in Nebraska, I think it's easy to mistake agriculture as an industry, and an industry only, whereas agriculture in Nebraska is heritage,” she says. “Most farmers in Nebraska today have such strong bonds and connections to the ground that they farm, what they farm, and the future ability of their sons and daughters to be able to farm. It's not comparable to an industry. It's more comparable to livelihood.”

The central guidepost for the Yeutter Institute, she says, is furthering its mission as a student-focused organization. Regardless of whether a UNL student focuses on trade issues specifically or only as a side area of study, the experiences provided by the institute “makes them equipped with knowledge to make better decisions, whether it’s on the farm or at a trade association or wherever.”

“Knowledge is power,” she says, and whatever a student’s career, the understanding of trade issues provided by the institute “will definitely have value for them.”

Share to:

News Release Contact


Yeutter | Trade