Schild celebrates more than three decades in Extension

As Nebraska Extension Educator Jim Schild prepares to retire from a 35-year Extension career—30 of them spent in Scotts Bluff County—he says what he’ll remember most is the connections he’s made with people over the years.

“I appreciate all the opportunities I’ve been able to take advantage of in my career,” Schild said. “Meeting a lot of great people, developing lifelong friendships, helping people, making their lives more productive, helping them save a tree or shrub, seeing 4-Hers growing up to be leaders in their communities.”

Born and raised in the North Platte Valley, Schild attended Gering High School. He received a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1980. In 1983 he received a master’s degree in soil science from UNL. After working for five years as a county Extension agent in Kansas, Schild returned to Nebraska, to Scotts Bluff County.

While in Kansas, Schild had been stationed in Graham County as a county agent, working mostly with winter wheat, beef range cows and 4-H.

When he returned to Nebraska, Schild connected with Dave Nuland, a horticulturalist at the Panhandle Research and Extension Center who worked on a number of dry edible bean projects. At that time, crops such as dry beans and potatoes were labeled under horticulture by UNL Extension.

Schild also acknowledged the work of Research Technician Bob Hawley, who worked for Nuland and then Schild. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without him.”

Schild’s plans for retirement include spending more time with his wife, Deb, who recently retired from teaching for Gering Schools, and his grandchildren, ages 7 months to 13 years. The grandchildren are spread around the eastern half of the state. There will be more time for fishing, one of Schild’s passions, as well, and just an overall slower pace of life.