· 3 min read
Rohrer grows hay baling business through Engler Program
Carter Rohrer, junior at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln from Hickman, wasn’t always sure that a four-year university was right for him.
By the time he was a senior in high school, he was already focused on operating his own hay baling business and juggling multiple large-scale clients on top of classes. Going to a four-year college while continuing to expand his business didn’t seem feasible — until his father heard about Nebraska U’s Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program.
“My father asked if I’d heard about the Engler Program, and I hadn’t. He thought I might be interested and told me to look into it,” Rohrer said. “It was the day before their scholarship app was due, so I applied and ended up getting accepted.”
Headquartered in the Dinsdale Learning Commons, Engler is an entrepreneurial program where students incubate business ideas, learn from experienced professionals, and take courses to hone their business acumen and focus their ideas. The program is in its 12th year and boasts more than 230 alumni living, working and growing businesses in Nebraska.
For Rohrer, being part of Engler has given him the hands-on experiences and professional connections he was looking for at the university, helping him maintain and grow his business as a college student.
“You’re not just talking to people who theorize about doing things — the people Engler brings in to talk with students are people in the industry,” Rohrer said. “You want to learn about banking? They’re bringing one of the owners of First State Bank Nebraska to talk to us. They bring in owners, people willing to help make connections.”
Along with the professional networks he’s built, Rohrer also values the collaboration Engler promotes among its members.
“There’s a student here who creates websites and social media for businesses, which I know nothing about,” he said. “I’ve been working with her to build a website for my business, and she’s awesome at it.”
Rohrer notes that the Engler Program has helped him to think more practically as an entrepreneur, planning his business moves step-by-step.
And while Rohrer has big plans for his business (like a used limo he bought online to shuttle VIP clients), he credits Engler for helping him think one move at a time.
“At times, it can be overwhelming trying to run a business,” he said. “No matter where you’re at, they just help you make that next small step forward.”