Terry Hejny Photo

Terry Hejny, Director of the Nebraska LEAD Program since September 2007, has a multitude of responsibilities that include Chief Operating Officer and President of the Nebraska Agricultural Leadership Council.

An alumnus of LEAD XX, Terry has been a supporter of Nebraska agriculture and the educational opportunities that LEAD provides. A native Nebraskan, Terry grew up near Milford on his family's farm. Terry earned a B.S. in Agriculture from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Doane College. In December 2010, Terry was awarded a Ph.D. in Human Sciences/Leadership Studies.

Terry worked seventeen years as an Agricultural Education Instructor/FFA Advisor for the Geneva Public Schools. In 1998, he began his career with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an Extension Educator in Fillmore County specializing in grain marketing and risk management. In 2005, he went to work for the Extension office in Cass County.

Terry and his wife Pam have two daughters and are the proud grandparents of two boys. Terry can be reached at 402-472-6810 or via email at


 Gerdes Photo

 Shana Gerdes has been a member of the Nebraska LEAD Program office since 2008. She started out working half time as the administrative assistant and was subsequently promoted to the position of administrative associate.  In this position she manages the office, coordinates the seminars held throughout the year, publishes the annual report and assists in the work to secure program funding.

Shana grew up on a farm near Kilkenny, Minnesota. She has a B.A. in Social Work from Dana College and previously used her degree in hospital, mental health and school settings. Prior to leaving the work force in 2000 to be an at home mom, Shana worked at NC+ Hybrids in the Sales Department.

Shana and her husband Mike have two children who attend Waverly High School where they are active in the band and drama programs. She enjoys running, reading, music, and planting things.

Shana can be reached at 402-472-6810 or via email at

Kimberly Braaten

Kimberly Braaten joined the Nebraska LEAD Program staff in December 2016 as an Office Assistant. Prior to that, Kimberly worked at UNL in the Academy for Child and Family Well-Being as the Program Assistant.  Agriculture has always been in Kimberly’s family, and with both of her grandfathers’ having been active in agriculture, she is excited to be following in their footsteps.

 Kimberly grew up in Missouri, and attended UNL, and earned her degree in History and English.  Prior to working at UNL, Kimberly worked in the medical field and also spent time at home with her children. 

 Kimberly and her husband Jon, have two boys, who keep them very busy with activities.  In her spare time, Kimberly loves to fish, travel, read, and spend time with family and friends.  

Kimberly can be reached at 402-472-6810 or via email at