Nebraska LEAD 41 Travels to Albania, Greece, and Italy

Nebraska LEAD 41 Fellows
Eighteen Nebraska LEAD 41 Fellows recently returned from a visit to Albania, Greece, and Italy.
February 16, 2024

Lincoln, Neb. —Eighteen Nebraska LEAD 41 Fellows recently returned from a visit to Albania, Greece, and Italy.  

The international seminar is a critical part of the two-year leadership development program. In addition to developing a deeper understanding of global agricultural challenges and opportunities, delegates also are able to meet with farmers, processors and agricultural leaders from around the world.           

“Our international study/travel seminar is designed to provide firsthand appreciation and understanding of our international community and the potential for people of all nations to work together,” said Terry Hejny, Nebraska LEAD Program Director and group leader.

The trip, which took place Jan. 14-19, included visits to various working farms, including a dairy, a sheep farm and an olive tree farm with more than 200,000 trees. LEAD delegates also visited a chocolate processing facility, an olive oil mill and a several meat processing plants. Delegates also had the opportunity to meet with global leaders in agriculture and trade at the U.S. Embassy in Rome, including Lola Herrera, regional director of the U.S. Soybean Expert Council.

“The people-to-people encounters provided the members of Nebraska LEAD Group 41 an opportunity to view characteristics, conditions and trends in Albania, Greece, and Italy allowing them to determine relationships to issues and situations in our country,” Hejny said. “Through this experience, LEAD Fellows develop techniques in identifying comparisons and contrasts of the countries they studied in areas such as agriculture, politics, economics, energy, religion, culture and history as well as technology, trade, food, art and philosophy.”

Nebraska LEAD 41 Fellows by hometown that traveled to Albania, Greece, and Italy are:

ALBION: Amanda Berg

ARTHUR: Karina Christensen

ATKINSON: Amber Shane

BATTLE CREEK:  Brian Schwartz

BRADY: Steve Vaughn

DICKENS: Caleb Ayers

GORDON: Anna Shadbolt

HEBRON: Lance Pachta

IMPERIAL: Jakob Burke, Jon Lechtenberg

KEARNEY: Makayla Fox, Rhett Montgomery

LINCOLN: Tyler Wellman

MILFORD: Allissa Troyer

NORTH BEND: Joe Ruskamp

NORTH LOUP: Luke Zangger

OMAHA: Easton Eggers

SCRIBNER: Chris Beerbohm

The Nebraska LEAD Program includes Nebraskans currently active in production agriculture and agribusiness and is a two-year leadership development program under the direction of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council, in cooperation with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

For more information, or to request an application for Nebraska LEAD 43, contact the Nebraska LEAD Program, 104 Agricultural Communications Building, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0940, telephone 402-472-6810 or email the Nebraska LEAD Program at The application deadline is June 15.

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