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John Deere dealer supports Northeast’s Nexus project

John Deere dealer supports Northeast’s Nexus project
(From left) Ben Brummels, Bill Fehringer, Klay Kluver, Eric Essig, Tad Jilg, Dennis Smydra, and Cody Bennett of Green Line Equipment in Norfolk. (Courtesy Photo)

NORFOLK, Neb. – Green Line Equipment, a John Deere dealership with 10 locations in northeast and central Nebraska, has committed $50,000 to the capital campaign to modernize the agriculture education facilities at Northeast Community College in Norfolk.

“We understand the need for modern ag facilities at Northeast,” said Dennis Smydra, Green Line general sales manager, “and Green Line is proud to invest in the future of agriculture in this area.”

Smydra serves as a member of the Ag Advisory Committee at Northeast, providing input on programs and curriculum and helping keep ag education at Northeast relevant.

“We have partnered with the Northeast ag department for many years,” he said. “Green Line has helped Northeast train future farmers and ranchers on cutting edge technology, providing both equipment and staff. We have hired many Northeast students to fill skilled positions at several of our locations.”

Green Line, which is locally owned, is headquartered in Grand Island. The company recently joined with Stutheit Implement and Plains Equipment Group to form AKRS Equipment Solutions. The new dealer will have 27 locations in Nebraska and Kansas and be headquartered in Lincoln.

“The Agriculture & Water Center of Excellence at Northeast Community College will provide a 21st century training facility for future farmers and ranchers and agribusiness employees,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation. “These are the young people who will return to the small towns in our 20-county service area to work and raise their families. They will shop on Main Street, send their children to local schools, and keep the communities of northeast Nebraska vital and growing.”

The funding for the new agriculture facilities will come from the College’s commitment of $10 million, as well as external fundraising to fill the gap. With a total project cost of $22.3 million, the College has raised enough funds to begin construction; however, fundraising for the Nexus campaign will continue, as more is needed for equipment, technology and furnishings. Site work on the project began in April and construction on the first phase of construction is expected to be completed by Fall of 2021.

In August 2019, the Acklie Charitable Foundation (ACF) announced a $5 million lead gift to the Nexus project. ACF was founded by the late Duane Acklie and Phyllis Acklie, both Madison County natives and graduates of Norfolk Junior College, a predecessor institution of Northeast Community College.

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