Article - UNL ag student hopes to help feed the world someday

UNL ag student hopes to help feed the world someday

Internship on Capitol Hill is the latest way private support is making it easier for Maci Lienemann to focus on her studies – and her dream.

Posted: jue, jun 18, 2015

All dreams start somewhere.

Maci Lienemann’s dream began in her family’s living room when she was just a little girl, standing behind her Little Tikes table.

It was her make-believe auction block.

“Everyone, thanks for coming!” she’d call out, pretending to be the auctioneer. “We have a nice group of bulls here, they’re nice and big and black!”

She’d announce that while her younger brother led their black lab (appropriately named Angus), around the living room. 

Maci just finished her junior year at UNL, where she’s majoring in animal science with a focus in biology and a minor in political science. She grew up in Princeton, Neb., on her family’s registered Angus operation, Lienetics.

Growing up with cattle, she says, helped lead her to her dream of pursuing a Ph.D. in animal breeding and genomics.

Through animal genetics, Maci hopes to promote efficiency and sustainability among livestock producers and fight world hunger.

“I’ve always had a love for biology and research along with livestock,” she says. “Through working with Angus cattle, I discovered how important of a role the understanding and analysis of genetics are in livestock production. I’ve been fortunate enough to combine my two passions of biology and research with cattle into a future career in the livestock genetic field.”

Going to UNL, she says, is helping her achieve her dream. 

 “What really brought me to UNL was the world-renowned animal science program and the cutting-edge research that has been done and continues to be conducted. More importantly, there were a few professors who went out of their way to connect with me and share about all the opportunities available and specifically what I could get involved with as an undergraduate.”


Besides her academic and research goals, she says, she understands the importance of being able to communicate with and educate producers, consumers and policymakers about science-based technologies and practices for food and agriculture.

This summer, Maci is interning on Capitol Hill with U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., who is serving as the chairman of the Livestock, Marketing and Agriculture Security Subcommittee. Through this internship, Maci works with congressional staff and federal agencies to prepare research and legislative briefings.

This internship is funded by the Nebraska Farm Bureau through the Keith R. Olsen Ag Policy Internship Award. This award was established in 2011 to honor former Farm Bureau president Keith Olsen.

“I’m very thankful for the support of the Nebraska Farm Bureau through the NU Foundation for my summer internship experience in Washington, D.C.,” Maci says, “and I look forward to gaining first-hand experience with the federal legislative process. 

“Through the Institute of Ag and Natural Resources as well as the animal science department, I’ve received several scholarships each year which have truly been beneficial to my education as I am paying for college on my own.”


If you would like to help promising UNL ag students like Maci Lienemann pursue their dreams, please consider giving to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources Scholarship Fund or contact the foundation at 800-432-3216.

Next year, Maci’s family will host the Cattlemen’s Ball of Nebraska at their ranch in Princeton to raise money for the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. 


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