WEST POINT – A West Point agricultural firm that believes in local solutions to local challenges has made a financial pledge to the Nexus project at Northeast Community College.
Jeff Wilmes, president of Kaup Seed & Fertilizer in West Point and Kaup Forage and Turf in Norfolk, said his family-owned company has a deep commitment to the producers in the trade area.
“We give back . . . significantly,” Wilmes said, “to communities through fundraisers, schools, charities, and most importantly, the talented Kaup employees who work with our clients each year.”
In keeping with that philosophy, Wilmes and Kaup companies have pledged $25,000 toward the campaign to build new ag facilities at Northeast.
“Agriculture technology is changing fast,” Wilmes said, “and producers of tomorrow need to be able to understand, evaluate, and use technology to produce more profit. The ag department at Northeast provides that training, but new facilities are needed for a better teaching and learning environment.”
Wilmes says it was important to donate from the standpoint of keeping Northeast graduates in the local area.
Kaup Seed & Fertilizer has been serving Midwest agriculture since 1956 and offers all the necessary crop inputs for area growers. Kaup teammates separate themselves by delivering impeccable service and an innovative approach to researching products that enhance yield for their customers.
Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation, expressed the College’s gratitude for the Kaup contribution to the Nexus project.
“The support of the agribusiness community is important to this endeavor,” Kruse said. “Northeast is educating their future employees and their future customers. A shortage of skilled workers is restricting the growth of many businesses in rural communities, and one of the goals of the Nexus project is to increase the number of ag graduates available to fill those open positions.”
“I can’t stress enough the importance of local financial support for the Nexus capital campaign,” Kruse said. “We have received several six-and-seven figure gifts, but we also need many smaller gifts from area businesses, producers and individuals. Every dollar contributed will be used to ensure the future of agriculture in this area.”
Kruse suggested to those interested in donating to check the website, agwaternexus.com, for the “donate now” link.
“You can give a one-time gift, or a recurring gift,” she explained. “As little as $20 a month over the five-year pledge period means a $1,200 donation to help create a state-of-the-art education facility for agriculture students.”
Wilmes says Nexus is a strong ag campaign.
Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is currently being solicited to enhance and expand the agriculture facilities at Northeast Community College. In addition to the College’s commitment of $10 million, Northeast is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations and a new farm site with a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on E. Benjamin Ave. in Norfolk.
In August, 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.
For more information on the Nexus Campaign, contact Kruse, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.