Nebraska Farm Bureau Names 2023 Leadership Academy Class

KEARNEY, NEB.- Ten farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness professionals from across Nebraska have been selected for Nebraska Farm Bureau’s 2023 Leadership Academy. They will begin a year-long program starting Jan. 19-20 in Kearney.

“The goal of the Nebraska Farm Bureau Leadership Academy is to cultivate the talents and strengths of our members and connect their passion for agriculture to opportunities of service within the Farm Bureau organization. Great leaders have a clearly defined purpose, purpose fuels passion and work ethic. By developing leadership skills, academy members can develop their passions and positively impact their local communities and the state of Nebraska,” said Audrey Schipporeit, NEFB’s director of generational engagement and facilitator of the 2023 Leadership Academy.

Academy members will participate in sessions focused on leadership development, understanding the county, state, and national structure of Farm Bureau and its grassroots network, policy work on agricultural issues, and the importance of agricultural literacy. The group will also travel to the Capitols in Lincoln and Washington, D.C. to visit with elected officials and agency representatives.

“We congratulate this group of diverse individuals and thank them for their willingness to step out of their comfort zone to learn more about how they can influence their community, state, and world for the better,” said Schipporeit.

The 2023 Nebraska Farm Bureau Leadership Academy members are:

Ayla Smith, a member of Hayes County Farm Bureau, lives near Palisade on her late-grandparents farm. She grew up helping her family on their small farm while assisting local ranchers with their cattle operations. She currently works at her local church while managing a small poultry and goat operation and assists her husband with his trucking business.

Emily Haxby, a member of Gage County Farm Bureau, lives near Clatonia. She is a 5th generation farmer, wife, and mother. Along with her Dad and uncle, Emily and her husband, grow corn and soybeans with an occasional year of wheat or milo. She and her husband started out with 24 head of cows and now have more than 100 head and they put up their own hay and alfalfa. Emily is vice chairman of the Gage County Board of Supervisors.

Ryan Musgrave, a member of the Clay County Farm Bureau, lives near Ong. He and his wife, operate a diversified livestock operation. In 2018 Ryan and his wife were the NEFB state Excellence in Agriculture winners representing Nebraska in the national contest. Ryan currently serves on the board of the Clay County Farm Bureau.

Emily Young, a member of Kearney/Franklin County Farm Bureau, lives near Minden. Emily and her husband Brandon have two children. Emily grew up in rural Nebraska and works in agribusiness as a Farm Bureau sales associate. She serves on the Kearney/Franklin County Farm Bureau board and as the OA/PKR.

Parker Jessen, a member of Morrill County Farm Bureau lives near Oshkosh. Parker is a third-generation farmer where he grows wheat, corn, millet, milo, soybeans, and hay. He is raising cattle to direct market his beef. Parker has been involved in the Nebraska Farm Bureau’s Young Farmers and Ranchers program attending the annual conference.

McKenna Schlueter, a member of Washington County Farm Bureau, lives near Blair. McKenna attends Chadron State College where she is working on receiving her bachelor’s in Business Administration with an emphasis on Agribusiness. She serves as treasurer of the Chadron State College Collegiate Farm Bureau.

Katerina White, a member of Kearney/Franklin County Farm Bureau, lives near Minden. She and her husband have two children. They own and operate a cow/calf operation and help with Katerina’s family farm. She serves as a board member of the Kearney/Franklin County Farm Bureau board.

Diane Kar, a member of Adams/Webster County Farm Bureau, lives near Blue Hill. A sixth-generation farmer, she and her husband, Mike, have four sons. They own and operate Blue Valley Family Farms, growing corn, soybeans, and alfalfa and raising cow/calf pairs. Diane serves on the board of the Adams/Webster County Farm Bureau.

Darcie Gallagher, a member of the Jefferson County Farm Bureau, lives near Plymouth with her significant other Evan. Darcie grew up on a family operation in Northwest Missouri raising corn, soybeans, and cattle. She works for an agriculture retail company as a Field Training & Implementation Specialist. Darcie also serves as secretary on the Jefferson County Farm Bureau Board.

Jakob Andreasen, of Cuming County Farm Bureau, lives near West Point. Jakob attends Chadron State College. He has degrees from Northeast Community College in Animal Science, Agri-Business, and Agronomy and he also received an Associate of Science Degree in Applied Science. He is currently studying Rangeland Management with an emphasis on livestock. He serves as vice president of the Chadron State College Collegiate Farm Bureau.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, state-wide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans through a wide variety of educational, service, and advocacy efforts. More than 55,000 families across Nebraska are Farm Bureau members, working together to achieve rural and urban prosperity as agriculture is a key fuel to Nebraska’s economy. For more information about Nebraska Farm Bureau and agriculture, visit