Gerlach awarded 2021 Steve Nelson Yeutter Institute International Trade Internship

Source: Jill O’Donnell, Director, Clayton Yeutter Institute of International Trade and Finance

March 31, 2021

Lincoln, Neb. —Savannah Gerlach of DeWitt, Neb. is the inaugural recipient of the Steve Nelson Yeutter Institute International Trade Internship Award. The award honors Steve Nelson, a longtime Nebraska Farm Bureau leader, as it helps students gain valuable experience in the nation’s capital.

“Agriculture will benefit in the long term because youth receiving this award will learn how to influence future agricultural trade policy,” said Mark McHargue, Nebraska Farm Bureau President.

“Nebraska Farm Bureau’s extensive involvement in the trade arena and support for agricultural youth and leadership development makes this internship a perfect match for these priorities.”

The award will provide Gerlach with $6,000 to intern full-time with the Washington International Trade Association (WITA) this summer in Washington, D.C. WITA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to providing a neutral forum for the open and robust discussion of international trade policy and related issues. She will gain valuable exposure to and experience with trade policy issues and trade leaders in business, agriculture, law, academia, non-governmental organizations, embassies, and the U.S. Government.

“I’m incredibly excited to be in the heart of ag policy and trade so that I can discover career opportunities, build my network and see what is out there,” said Gerlach, a sophomore studying agricultural economics with a public policy option and minors in international agriculture and natural resources and leadership and communications within the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

“This opportunity will put me on the right path to prepare myself for everything I want to do in the future.”

Gerlach grew up raising show pigs on her family’s hog operation in southeast Nebraska and always knew she wanted to make agriculture her future career. “As a former State FFA Officer, she was able to travel across the state of Nebraska and internationally – exposing her to virtually every avenue of agriculture.” 

Gerlach knew she wanted to be involved with international agriculture very early on. Her interest in trade policy and building international agriculture relationships was jump started when she listened to a presentation by Jill O’Donnell, Director of the Yeutter Institute, as a high school student attending the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Conference.

“Because of my background and involvements, I have a strong grip of what ag means in Nebraska, but something I’m really excited to see is what role ag plays in the U.S. economy on the international scale,” Gerlach said.

“To be able to see what it really means in that kind of atmosphere, it will grow my respect and passion for agriculture, even more so rounding out my perspective. Seeing what it means will help me appreciate it and be an even better ambassador for it– especially Nebraska agriculture.”

Following completion of her internship, Gerlach will work with Yeutter Institute leadership to plan an educational event for students and the public on an agricultural trade policy issue.

Gifts in honor of the Steve Nelson Yeutter Institute International Trade Internship Award may be directed to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation. Donations can be made online at or mailed to the Nebraska Farm Bureau Foundation, P.O. Box 80299 Lincoln, Neb. 68501.

The Nebraska Farm Bureau is a grassroots, statewide organization dedicated to supporting farm and ranch families and working for the benefit of all Nebraskans thought a wide variety of educations, service and advocacy efforts. More than 58,000 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

The vision of University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumnus and renowned trade expert Clayton Yeutter, the Yeutter Institute connects academic disciplines related to law, business and agriculture in order to prepare students for leadership roles in international trade and finance, support interdisciplinary research and increase public understanding of these issues. For more information about the Yeutter Institute, visit

Natalie Jones | IANR Media

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