Upper Big Blue NRD announces Burke Scholars recipients

YORK — The board of directors of the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District has named Remi Christensen of Seward, Mason Lindburg of Stromsburg, and Sarah Springer of Aurora recipients of the 2024 Burke Scholarship.

These awards, in the amount of $2,000, are designated for district residents who are full-time students pursuing a two-year or four-year degree at a Nebraska college or university. Recipients must be enrolled in a natural resources program or related field and intend to enter the workforce upon graduation in a hands-on position such as farmer, conservationist, land manager, ag educator or engineering technician.

The family of Raymond A. Burke established this scholarship in his memory for the benefit of young men and women interested in pursuing careers in natural resources related fields. Mr. Burke was a land improvement contractor and farmer with very strong interests in the management of conservation and educating young people. He served for 40 years on the elected boards of the Polk County Soil and Water Conservation District and the Upper Big Blue Natural Resources District. From time to time, donations memorializing other individuals have been added to the Raymond A. Burke Scholarship Fund.

Previous recipients of Burke Scholarships have attended technical schools, private colleges, and state universities across Nebraska. Many have gone on to have rewarding careers in natural resources, including conservation and research activities.

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Remi Christensen is a 2022 graduate of Seward High School. She is the child of Pete and Shawna Christensen of Seward. She is a current student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln where she is studying plant biology in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. Her future career plans include plant breeding and biotechnology research. At UNL, she is involved in plant biology club, works as a teaching assistant and is on the Dean’s List.

Mason Lindburg will graduate from Cross County High School in May. He is the child of Tyler and Laree Lindburg. He plans to study biological systems/agricultural engineering at the University of Nebraska Lincoln this fall. He has been involved with speech and one-act competitions, quiz bowl, robotics, student council, and athletics. He is the local chapter National Honor Society president and an honor roll student.

Sarah Springer is a 2023 graduate of Aurora High School. She is the child of Scott and Candy Springer of Aurora. She is a current student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, where she is majoring in fisheries and wildlife management. After graduation, she will pursue a career in conservation biology with an emphasis on prairie restoration. In high school, she was a state medalist in FFA natural resources speaking. She was also a Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute delegate and an Agricultural Future of America delegate. At UNL, she is a Wildlife Club member, Discover Companion Animals and Equine Careers Learning Community Member and Mind and Craft member. She is also on the Dean’s List.

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