Lincoln, Neb. —An education compact in northeast Nebraska that includes the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is expanding its number of partner organizations, aiming to boost student success, teacher support and workforce development for agricultural and natural resources careers. The addition of 20 school districts and three Educational Service Units at a March 29 signing event will expand the compact’s reach as far west as Ainsworth and include all of northeast Nebraska’s tribal schools.
The Northeast Nebraska Agriculture and Natural Resources Education Compact, dating from 2019, is a first-of-its-kind regional educational partnership for Nebraska, and this expansion sets the stage for major collaborative steps forward, leaders with the initiative say.
Partner organizations will gather on March 29 for a signing event that will begin at 3 p.m. at Northeast Community College in Norfolk.
The compact’s original membership from 2019 consists of CASNR, Little Priest Tribal College, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, Nebraska Indian Community College, Northeast Community College, Wayne Community Schools and Wayne State College.
The compact aims to pool resources and promote collaboration among member organizations to boost ag education and strengthen academic transfer processes. Other goals include building relationships with industry and introducing students to the breadth of career opportunities in agriculture and natural resources fields. The initiative will increase the use of expertise and facilities at UNL’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources as a resource for students and teachers.
A survey now underway among K-12 educators in the region will provide important direction in shaping the strategies ahead for the compact.
CASNR has begun a newsletter that helps compact members understand available resources among the partner organizations, along with events held by the members.
The Haskell Ag Lab, 15 miles north of Wayne, will be an Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources site providing experiential learning for students. The 550-acre site includes extensive cropland, farming and ranching facilities, an arboretum, pollinator gardens and beehives.
ESUs 1, 7 and 8 will join the compact on March 29, along with these school districts: Ainsworth, Allen, Battle Creek, Boone Central, Crofton, Elkhorn Valley, Emerson-Hubbard, Homer, Laurel-Concord-Coleridge, Neligh-Oakdale, O’Neill, Ponca, South Sioux City, Stanton, Summerland, Umonhon Nation, Walthill, Winnebago, Winside and Wisner-Pilger.
Geitner Simmons | IANR Communications