Talent Comes Home for Jobs - Part 3

21 Sep 2015

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


Nolan Breece, Ethan Johnson and Terah Maaske were three of 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.


Nolan Breece, a 2014 Holdrege High School graduate, is a sophomore at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. He plans to earn a four-year degree in agronomy.


In high school, he played Legion baseball and golf. At Curtis, he has participated on the crop judging team, intramural sports and golf.


His work experience includes SunnyView Farms and South Platte Crop Consulting in Phelps County and at Arrowhead Meadows Golf Course in Curtis.


Nolan, the son of Kevin and Mary Jo Breece, started working at SunnyView Farms as a sophomore in high school, and through that experience he “fell in love” with agriculture. He is excited to return to the Holdrege area someday to start a career in agriculture.


“My years in the Holdrege school system were memorable, and the many friendships I made there will be lifelong,” Breece said. “My hope is to obtain an agronomy position in the Holdrege area. I love Holdrege and can’t imagine myself living anywhere else.”


Ethan Johnson, also a 2014 graduate of Holdrege High School, is a sophomore studying agricultural economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


At UNL, Ethan is involved in Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity (where he serves as computer chairman), UNL Collegiate Farm Bureau, UNL Collegiate Cattleman, Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars, UNL Ag Econ Club, UNL Block and Bridle, Campus Crusade for Christ and intramural flag football. He also is involved in service projects such as Phelps County Food Pantry deliveries during Christmas break and raking leaves for elderly in Lincoln.


He has worked for Bunker Hill Farms and McGinnis Family Farm.


Ethan said his desire to pursue a degree in agriculture started with a flock of laying hens and his experience growing up on a farm. His 4-H and FFA projects included the laying hens and raising steers.


“Someday, I want to join my family’s farming business and advance to a management role,” Ethan said. “I hope to bring new ideas and skills to contribute to our family farm when I return. It would be a privilege to take part in preserving the farm for future generations.”


Ethan is the son of Brian and Julie Johnson of rural Holdrege.


Terah Maaske is a 2015 graduate of Loomis High School and is a freshman studying nursing at Hastings Community College.


In high school, Terah was involved in art club, Quiz Bowl, served as president and secretary of her class, was on the honor roll, yearbook staff and was cheer captain. She also played basketball and volleyball and ran track. She also volunteered with Toys for Tots and helped with youth Saturday morning basketball.


Terah has enjoyed her baby-sitting jobs throughout her teen years, and her love of children sparked her interest in neonatal and pediatric nursing. She enjoyed her tour of Phelps Memorial Health Center during high school.


“In the future, I intend to come back to the Phelps County area and pursue my interest in nursing and soon become either a neonatal or pediatric nurse practitioner,” she said.


Terah’s parents are Jodi and Brian Maaske.


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.