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Nebraska Farmer scholarship winner hopes to advocate for ag

Curt Arens Nebraska Farmer announces our 2021 scholarship winner, Taylor Gregory
UNL STAR: Nebraska Farmer announces its 2021 scholarship winner, Taylor Gregory of Hooper, a senior agriculture and environmental sciences communications major with an agribusiness minor.
Taylor Gregory, a senior agriculture and environmental sciences communications major, is the 2021 scholarship recipient.

Nebraska Farmer is pleased to announce that Taylor Gregory, an agriculture and environmental sciences communications major with an agribusiness minor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is our 2021 scholarship recipient. She will be a senior at UNL this fall.

4-H and FFA

Gregory grew up in Missouri and moved to Hooper, Neb., with her family when she was 12 years old. She participated in 4-H from the age of 8, and served as president of her local club, Hearts and Hooves, for five years.

Gregory served as historian as a high school junior and vice president during her senior year with Logan View FFA. During her 4-H and FFA careers, she exhibited cattle, hogs and goats. She also participated in public speaking and parliamentary procedure through FFA.

In a recent interview, Gregory told Nebraska Farmer that she went into communications because of an aunt who worked in a similar background as a journalist.

“I’ve always had an interest in advocating for agriculture,” Gregory says, “getting the stories of agriculture out there with the facts.”

Courtesy of Taylor GregoryTaylor Gregory of Hooper, Neb

Taylor Gregory moved to Hooper, Neb., with her family when she was 12 years old.

Gregory says that there is plenty of misinformation about agriculture, so she is interested in using her communications skills to advocate and share knowledge she has gained from her farming and 4-H and FFA background to dispel myths and talk more about the facts and solutions agriculture brings to the table.

She added the agribusiness minor to her collegiate portfolio, because understanding the business side of ag is crucial in career development, she notes. Her communications and agribusiness studies have led to internships last year with Nebraska Extension, working on social media marketing on the People Attraction Team, combining those communication skills to reach people in a new way.

This summer, she is working as an intern with the underwriting staff at Farm Bureau, again bringing ideas into play about how to communicate with farmers and ranchers and Farm Bureau, as well as helping communicate and network with insurance agents, looking at individual insurance policies to help fix any problems with those policies.

In the long run, Gregory hopes to work in social media and communications or marketing to advocate for agriculture. Her internships, as well as involvement on campus with Block and Bridle and Ag Communicators of Tomorrow, are helping prepare her for the job market after college.

Special COVID-19 projects

COVID-19 may have thrown a wrench into the studies of many students at UNL, but Gregory came out with unique experiences that will ultimately help her in her chosen career path.

“Probably the highlight of my college career so far came with COVID,” Gregory says. “In one of my classes, we had to do a mobile production, and work around COVID and all those challenges. We did a documentary of what our families were doing and how we were involved with family and friends during COVID lockdowns and restrictions.”

The family has young pigs to train for shows, along with goats. Gregory spent more time with her younger siblings, filming them and working with the animals. “I really enjoyed that, because I got to videotape my family and friends,” she adds.

Documenting the challenges of the 2019 floods to the Central Valley Ag Cooperative in Hooper was another important project for Gregory. “I was able to connect and network with people in the community, listen to the numbers and understand the processes businesses went through during the flooding,” she says. “I learned how CVA runs, and their recovering process.”

For Gregory, her unique experiences, inside and outside the classrooms at high school and UNL, are preparing her for a career in communications in agriculture. We wish to congratulate her on winning the Nebraska Farmer scholarship, and we wish her well as she completes her studies at UNL.

The Nebraska Farmer scholarship dates back to 1962. Glenn Buck, president of Nebraska Farm Co. at the time, created the scholarship to support agricultural journalism students at UNL. According to the University of Nebraska Foundation, which administers the scholarship, Buck was the first agricultural journalism graduate of UNL, receiving his degree in 1927.

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