Student Spotlight: Maria Harthoorn

Maria Harthoorn
Meet Maria Harthoorn, a junior studying agricultural economics from Ainsworth, Nebraska.
March 15, 2021

Hometown: Ainsworth, Nebraska

Major: Agricultural Economics

Anticipated Date of Graduation: May 2022

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

I knew Nebraska could offer me a degree program focused on advancing agriculture, specializing in areas common to the state. I desired to learn about Nebraska’s competitive advantage and how to share its value with others. Our power lies in our people. CASNR has staff and students strong in both knowledge and social capital!

What is your favorite thing about University of Nebraska-Lincoln?

My favorite thing here is learning about how everyone else ended up at the University. The stories, backgrounds and passions that led people to the same place is such a joy for me to hear. I have found community and a home in CASNR that I truly could not find elsewhere.

How has diversity and inclusive excellence played a role in your CASNR experience?

Diversity and inclusive excellence have become a forefront brand for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Being trained to recognize these things, I have learned value in people comes from their integrity, character,and honor. All people have value, it is our job to distinguish that value justly.

What is your favorite class you have taken so far and why?

My favorite course was EAEP 388, one of my entrepreneurship classes with my professor, Dave Lambe. This class had us use a business idea we created and get it as close as possible to launch. We went through customer discover, competition and branding. This class launched me forward in experiential learning and gave me a great mentor and friend in Dave.

What are your plans post-graduation?

I plan to stay connected with rural affairs and communications and marketing for the agriculture industry. I continue to hope production agriculture will continue to play a role in my life for a long time, as well with our home operation in Brown County.

What’s life like outside of school?

Life lately involves time spent on our ranch north of Ainsworth. I love findings gems in all the little towns my friends hail from, whether it be a restaurant, boutique, or even having the pleasure of meeting good people. I can be found at a red dirt or classic country concert, a friend’s house playing pitch, or most commonly, Virginia’s Café after church on Sundays!

Maria has received the following scholarships: Engler Entrepreneurship Program, the Alliance for the Future of Agriculture in Nebraska, the Nebraska Cooperative Council Education Foundation, CASNR Ambassador, Sandhills Task Force, Lee Harlan Agribusiness, Husker Traditions, UNL CANSR William D. Zimmerman, National FFA Organization, Holling Memorial and Frank & Inez Mussehl Scholarship.