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World Herald Editorial Recognizes Entrepreneurship Education Efforts in Rural Development

The Omaha World Herald on April 2, 2014 featured an editorial entitled, Rural Youth Welcomed Back.   The importance of nurturing the entrepreneurial spirit, and enhancing their skills and knowledge about entrepreneurship, was a key element of the editorial.

Curriculum efforts like the highly successful EntrepreneurShip Investigation (ESI) developed by UNL 4H Extension in partnership with many collaborating partners, including the Nebraska Department of Education were mentioned. 

One person quoted in the editorial was Joe Ferguson, a retired Northeast Community College division chief and rural development consultant.  He noted that, “Developing strategies to connect young people to rural jobs is important, but so is nurturing young people’s entrepreneurial skills.”

“We need to start teaching entrepreneurship in the lower grades,” Ferguson told The World-Herald. “We need to lay that out there like we do other career options. It needs to be an obvious career option — maybe it ought to be the first consideration.”

ESI (focused on middle school and high school youth), Leap Into Careers (upper elementary), and the advanced high school digital curriculum currently under development, Blueprint for Success, are helping Nebraska , other states and nations to answer that call.  UNL 4H Extension has been a nationally recognized leader in creating these resources with the collaboration with entrepreneurial advocates and organizations across the state.  Rural Development and Entrepreneurship are alive and well in our state…but there’s much more to do!


Nebraska Loves Our Public Schools

The newest video on the Nebraska Loves Our Public Schools is a truly inspiring story of how Cody-Kilgore harnessed the entrepreneurial spirit of community members, educators, and students to address a community need.

Cody-Kilgore: Cowboy GRIT Inspires a Community

A lot of adults underestimate our youth today. I’m beyond being surprised. With our youth today, I expect the conquering of the impossible because I've seen it. And if you empower those youth, they will rise to the occasion.” – John Johnson, retired teacher and chairman of the Cody Village Board

At first blush, it seems like your average small ranching town. Just like many you’d see while driving down Hwy 20 though the Nebraska Sandhills. But Cody is special. With a population of just over 150 residents, its school draws kids from all over North Central Nebraska. In fact, even though Cody is in one of the most sparsely populated areas of the state, its unified school district covers one of the largest geographic areas: 553 square miles, to be exact. That includes two time zones and three area codes.

So how does this small town sustain such a powerful school? Because its residents think big. This big thinking led to a unique project to address a major community need in a way that encourages real-life learning, leadership and entrepreneurial spirit in its students.
To watch the video and to read more about Cody-Kilgore’s journey, go to:

Want to learn more about Nebraska Loves Our Public Schools and the mission of the Sherwood Foundation to instill pride in Nebraska public schools? Click here.

Have a great story idea for a future video highlighting great things happening in our Nebraska public schools? Email, find them on Twitter @NElovesPS, or visit their Facebook page at Facebook/NElovesPS.

Nebraska Entrepreneurship Education

The Nebraska Department of Education provides statewide:

  • Curriculum support
  • Technical assistance
  • Professional development

Entrepreneurship education outreach and services provided through Nebraska Career Education include:

  • Nebraska Entrepreneurship Education website
  • Nebraska Entrepreneurship Education listserv
  • Nebraska Career Education Conference sessions
  • Publicity for local, state, and national activities
  • Support and leadership for Nebraska's National Entrepreneurship Week activities

NET Force

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The Nebraska Department of Education is an active member of the Nebraska Entrepreneurship Task Force (NET Force). The mission of NET Force is to identify and leverage educational resources that will educate, engage, and empower current and potential entrepreneurs.

Information about NET Force curriculum/programs, member organizations and events is available at

Nebraska Entrepreneur seeks to support an entrepreneurial environment in Nebraska and is a rich source of: