Student Spotlight: Josh Wehrbein

Josh Wehrbein
Josh Wehrbein

Hometown: I grew up on a 2,500 acre farm just west of Plattsmouth, Neb.

Major: Agronomy

Minor: Plant Biology

Anticipated Date of Graduation: May 2017

Why did you decide to come to the University of Nebraska?

I began my academic career as a biology major at UNO. Upon completion of my first year, I decided that I wanted to return to my roots in agriculture. UNL offered a variety of well-respected agricultural programs in the area, of which I decided that agronomy was the best fit for my interests.

What is your favorite thing abou the University of Nebraska?

My favorite thing about UNL, and specifically my college, is the great learning community that is made up of like-minded, hardworking, and supportive fellow students and faculty members.

What has been your favorite class so far and why?

My favorite class that I have taken over the last four years was my capstone course, Crop Management Strategies, taught by Dr. Steve Mason. This was a rigorous course that involved a three-day field trip to a farm in Aurora, Neb. During our trip we analyzed a farm operation, taking notes on all agronomic practices that were used, a cow-calf and feedlot operation, and the facilities of the operation. We then spent the rest of the semester writing a 120 page report that included various recommendations to improve the efficiency of the operation from an agronomic, environmental and economic standpoint. This class was certainly a highlight of my academic career because it allowed me to synthesize all of the information and skills that I had gained over the past four years, and apply it to a real-world situation where a producer was making real decisions based on the information that we supplied.

What are your plans post-graduation? 

I have secured a graduate research assistantship position here at UNL beginning next fall. I will be working with Dr. Chris Proctor, an extension weed management specialist within the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture. The project that we are working on involves several different studies, however primarily looks at the effect on soybean yield as the result of using different soybean maturity groups to maximize cover crop biomass production. I am also getting married at the end of May to my wonderful fianceĢ, Mairin.

What is your life like outside of school? 

My life outside of school (when it exists) has recently been very busy wedding planning with Mairin. I also keep busy helping with harvest, planting cover crops, and mowing waterways in the fall, taking care of livestock and cutting firewood in the winter, and planting soybeans in the spring. There's never a dull moment on the farm.