Learning from Others’ Perspectives

You may have met Amanda Burau and Amanda Clymer – also known as “the Amandas,” B and C, Chicago and David City…they’ve developed many nicknames during their time in our community as Rural Futures Interns. Amanda B. and Amanda C. have been working at the Ord Area Chamber, Valley County Economic Development and Valley County Community Foundation Fund offices throughout the summer developing many impactful programs related to youth retention, alumni and newcomer recruitment, community branding and a variety of other projects.Amanda C and Amanda B

I am sure I can speak for the rest of the staff in our office when I say that we have learned as much from Amanda and Amanda as they have learned from their experiences in Valley County. Their knowledge and insights have taken the programs they have been working on to the next level – all of which contribute to the greater good of our county-wide community. Take a few moments to read about their perspectives of our community – I’m sure you will learn a few things or develop a new insight or perspective about our community. I certainly did.  ~Kristina


“Amanda-Chicago here, I’d like to invite you into my perspective of Valley County from the few weeks I’ve stayed here. 1) Rural communities aren’t all the same. I interned in Lexington last summer. My expectations for this internship started from my experiences last year in that small town of 10,000. False. Thank you for welcoming us into your community while we contributed to the productive spirit that defines Valley County. 2) We’re not just interns. My first impression: for little pay, UNL will drop me into a town smaller than a spec of dust, uprooting my life just for a few weeks, to work on projects less than five people care about. Instead, the work we are doing for Valley County really matters. Community development, here, is one for the books and it’s been inspiring to be a part of your story. 3) Rural communities aren’t just cowboy boots and farmland, but metropolitan areas aren’t solely crime and traffic, either. We are each a product of our surroundings. Everyone is different. There’s no right or wrong way to live; and, one way doesn’t trump another. “Strength lies in differences, not similarities.” –Stephen R. Covey. 4) History is a valuable part of planning the future. This community takes pride in a history rich with families who’ve lived and worked in Valley County for generations. 5) Valley County united: the whole town shuts down for a high school baseball game. I really didn’t know what community pride was until I moved to Nebraska where everyone’s a Husker fan. Further, in Ord, I’ve learned it goes even deeper. Grandma rounds up a crowd to get FIVE vehicles down to a car wash to support the Chanticleers. And, every single Friday, two little girls sell $2 fresh-squeezed lemonade to raise money for the new community pool. That’s passionate community love. 6) Just for fun: cows are scary when the whole herd glares at you. There are too many dead birds on the road. The scenery in Valley County is really as breathtaking as the pictures. Breakfast, dinner, supper not breakfast, lunch, and then dinner. Wave with one finger… TO EVERYONE.”

“I grew up outside the rural community of David City, Nebraska. You could say I grew up and had many of the experiences that country music stars sing about in their songs. I went to church on Sundays, played softball in the summer, went to high school football games on Fridays, and participated in 4-H and FFA. I think that because my life story paralleled country music so much that is why I am still an avid listener of George Straight and Chris LeDoux. My fellow intern once said to me in regards to my music selection, “I was starting to think you lived under a rock with only a cowboy hat and a guitar.” Growing up in the same community my whole life and living the traditional country lifestyle made me want to venture to Valley County- I wanted to know what rural life was like in a community other than my own. During my experience in this community I have realized that Ord is not David City and David City is not Ord and that is okay. Each rural community has its own strengths, its own challenges and definitely different people who shape the community. Three things have definitely stuck out to me during my time in Valley County. 1) The care of lawn and landscape: during my time in Ord I have biked the hills and went through much of the residential areas. I have noticed the pride that people take in their lawns. Most people also have flower pots on their porch. This sight is not as consistent in my hometown of David City. This is definitely evidence that the people of the community have pride for where they live. 2) Populating of the Prairie: it seemed whether I was at church, at softball league, or at the Farmers Market I saw little children. To an outsider like me I see this as a great thing. This means people believe the community is a suitable place to raise a family. They always say it takes a village to raise a child. This “village” or county must be a suitable place to raise a child. 3) Valley County is not the limit: through meeting people in the community I have heard some great stories about people who make their home in Valley County, but have done work far beyond. Stories such as Zangger Popcorn Hybrids selling varieties all over the world, is an inspiring story to anyone. Having a coffee roasting company in small town America is yet another great story. People are making their home in Valley County, but thinking beyond the confines of the area. The mentality of thinking outside of Valley County is sure to help this community thrive in years to come. I consider these three points to be great things and it’s what makes Ord and Valley County different than David City. These are the things that will help this community continue into the future. – Amanda C.”


Amanda and Amanda’s  internship experience in Valley County was sponsored locally under the direction of the Ord Area Chamber of Commerce, Valley County Economic Development and Valley County Community Foundation Fund. These local organizations are grateful for the opportunity to participate in this internship program which was designed and made possible by the Rural Futures Institute, Heartland Center for Leadership Development and the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.

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