Talent Comes Home for Jobs

23 Jul 2015

Three Phelps County students have received scholarships to return to the area after college to work in the automotive, agriculture and medical fields.


Colter Edgren, Trevor Smith and Dustin Langenberg were three of the nine students who received a share of $30,000 in community-donated scholarship funds because they are planning future careers in high-demand jobs in Phelps County.


Colter Edgren, a 2015 Holdrege High School graduate, plans to attend Southeast Community College in Milford this fall to study general automotive. His long-term goal is to own a business specializing in hot rods and performance cars.


His passion for fixing up cars started out of necessity when first his dirt bike and then his Trans Am broke down, and he didn’t have the funds to repair them. With some help from his dad and a friend, he learned to perform the repairs himself.


He also works at Dannull Engine in Holdrege, a job that he enjoys and has learned a lot from.


In high school, Colter was involved in FFA, basketball, football, track, wrestling, baseball, youth group Dare to Share Ministries, FCA and was a Children’s Church instructor. He also has volunteered doing 4-H service projects and service projects for widows and single women from his church.


Colter, the son of Steve and Brandy Edgren, is a fifth generation Edgren to live in Phelps County.


“My dad has taught me to appreciate the people, the land, the community and my family that are a part of Phelps County,” Colter said. “Someday, I hope to give back to this community part of what it has given to me. I would like to mentor and teach other young boys interested in mechanics and offer a service to the area that is always needed.”


Trevor Smith is also a 2015 graduate of Holdrege High School. His goal is to earn a four-year degree in agricultural economics with minors in animal science and entrepreneurship. He plans to attend the University of Nebraska-Lincoln this fall.


In high school, Trevor was involved in FFA, football, golf and track. He also is a member of the Trinity Church Youth Group and volunteered at the food pantry and at youth camps for football and golf.


While in high school, he worked for 37 Cattle Co. and Bunker Hill Farms.


He said it was during his time working for Richard Waller at 37 Cattle Co. that he became interested in cattle and agri-business.


“Holdrege and the surrounding area is just a great place to be,” Trevor said. “The people are friendly, there are good places to work, and the schools are good. It has that good community feel that if you need to go to your neighbor, they would be there to help you out.”


Trevor, the son of Rick and Susanne Smith, said he hopes to return to Holdrege to work in insurance or as a commodity broker and own and operate his own cow/calf operation.


“I was excited about this opportunity because it seems scholarships for ag are limited,” he said. “I was really excited to receive something that you get to come back to the area, and that they feel that is important.”


Dustin Langenberg, a 2014 graduate of Bertrand High School, will be a sophomore at Wayne State College this fall and is studying pre-physical therapy.


He is involved in a church worship program at Wayne State called CRU. In high school, he was involved in National Honor Society, Student Council, wrestling, track and football.


“I want to return to Phelps County because it is where I was raised,” he said. “I like that it’s a small, tight community. Everybody knows everybody, and they are there for each other.”


Langenberg, the son of Tim and Deb Langenberg, has worked for WJD Farms outside Bertrand for six years. He also has started his own business called Wildfire Studs that features jewelry he crafts out of bullets.


The high-demand jobs scholarships are funded through LB840 sales tax funds, Prosperity Project donations and a matching grant from the Phelps County Community Foundation. This is the second year the scholarships have been offered.