Nebraska to host 101st National Block and Bridle Convention

by Natalie Jones | IANR News

Nebraska Chapter of Block and Bridle
The Nebraska Chapter of Block and Bridle at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is set to host the 101st National Block & Bridle competition March 31-April 2 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus.
January 19, 2022

Lincoln, Neb. —The Nebraska Chapter of Block and Bridle at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln is set to host the 101st National Block & Bridle competition March 31-April 2 at the Nebraska Innovation Campus.  

“The Good Life: Standing out from the Herd” will be the theme this year, where nearly 400 students in 50 Block and Bridle clubs from across the nation will find the opportunity to connect with fellow students and industry professionals, hear from speakers, focus on the future of animal agriculture and tour agricultural industries.  

“I think most people who come to Nebraska think it’s just a flyover state, they don’t really appreciate the ecological and agricultural diversity,” said Tom Burkey, Nebraska’s Block and Bridle advisor and associate dean in the College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources.   

“The highlight of students coming to Nebraska is the opportunity for them to see outside of the I-80 corridor and instill a true appreciation of what the state has to offer.” 

Burkey has been working with the Block and Bridle club since 2009, and while he teaches mostly graduate-level classes at Nebraska, he says the club provides him an opportunity to get more involved with undergraduates.  

Students, staff and faculty of Nebraska’s Block and Bridle Chapter have been working collaboratively since 2019 to create a fun, educational and memorable convention with a goal to provide national members with opportunities for professional development through guest speakers, workshops, and going on industry tours to experience Nebraska agriculture.  

Shaye Koester, Nebraska’s past Block and Bridle president has been working diligently on registration, sponsorship and encouraging club members to get involved with convention planning. As an out of state student from North Dakota, Koester is a tri-chair for the convention along with Malina Lindstrom and Emma Schmidt. 

“I’m excited to show the vastness of the livestock industry and how diverse it is in Nebraska, said Koester.  

“Obviously Nebraska is the beef state, but we also have poultry, swine, the farming side, agricultural businesses and lots of entrepreneurship.” 

Convention attendees will kick off the opening session with a welcome from Chancellor Ronnie Green the day they arrive in Lincoln, and later spend time exploring campus and the Haymarket district in Lincoln. The first evening will close with a motivational keynote from Ron Gustafson, a Nebraska entrepreneur who was raised on a farm. 

On Friday April 1, convention attendees will experience “The Good Life” of Nebraska by participating in an all-day production tour. Tour stops will feature various operations that highlight crop and livestock production, animal products, and industry research. Participants will have the option to choose from eight tour options including: companion animal care, dairy, animal products, specialty ag, beef lifecycle, the beef state, allied industries, and ag in Nebraska. The day will conclude with a night of fun at the University of Nebraska Animal Science Complex, compete with games, music and food from local vendors.    

On Saturday April 2, members will have another educational day learning how to “Stand Out From the Herd” by hearing from a lineup of speakers feature in a variety of sessions. Topics relating to entrepreneurship, industry issues and transitioning back to the farm will be covered, featuring Tom Field, director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program and several CASNR alumni. That evening, the convention will wrap up with an awards banquet followed by a social event. 

Additional details regarding registration, tours, and the program are available online. Find Nebraska Block and Bridle on Facebook and Twitter, and direct any questions to 

The Nebraska Chapter of Block and Bridle is dedicated to providing its members with opportunities to further their education of agricultural industries, how to engage in their communities, learn about current issues affecting agriculture and to network with industry leaders.  

The 101st National Block & Bridle Convention sponsors include Cactus Cares, Nebraska Pork Producers, Cactus Cares Foundation, Nebraska Pork Producers, CASNR, UNL Extension, UNL Agricultural Research Division, Kimmel Foundation, Doug Brand, David and Loretta Hamilton, and Bill and Barb Rishel. 

If you would like to support the Nebraska Chapter of Block and Bridle, please contact Thomas Burkey at

Natalie Jones | IANR Media