Brothers Use Northeast Education As Basis for a Successful Business
Published on: August 13, 2019 Media
The Koehler family of Osmond has made their mark at Northeast Community College. Two sons attended the area community college in agriculture and have used their knowledge to grow a specialized business.
Jared took up mechanized ag, and started a seed corn business during his second year of college. In between he worked with his uncle Paul on the family farm, operating a feedlot and farming row crops.
“I never really planned on attending college but after my dad passed away, I decided some education would be a good thing,” Jared said. “Knowing a little bit about ag would help me, and my brother had good things to say about Northeast.”
During Jared’s experience he found all the teachers very knowledgeable, but ag instructor Bernie Thyen left a special impression on Jared, as well as many of the students who had him as a teacher.
Jared particularly remembered a trip to Texas for the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference and another trip with the Diversified Ag Club to the Nebraska Farmers Union College Conference on Cooperatives in Minnesota.
“When you get out of high school, you really think you know a lot but you really don’t,” Jared said. “I think I learned the most in Bernie’s classes and he taught things I had never really thought about.”
It was one of Bernie’s classes at a seed plot with a seed corn dealer that really got Jared’s wheels turning about the future. It was a pivotal point for the start of Jared’s seed corn business, a venture that eventually pulled the two brothers to grow their business into much more.
The brothers’ business, Precision Point, has expanded from the original seed corn sales to specializing in precision planters, selling planter parts, repairing precision planters and even building custom precision planters. The business also grew to include monitors on irrigation pivots so they can be controlled with an app on a phone. Another aspect they also added is moisture probes to monitor moisture levels in the fields and auto-steer in tractors.
Being the older brother, Justin got his feet wet at Northeast first. Growing up working with his dad, Mark, he saw how important it was to be not only a farmer but a businessman and that influenced his course choices. He took business classes and eventually finished with a degree from UNL as well as an ag business degree from Northeast.
Justin is a cooperating partner on the College farm, carrying out applied research projects that involve students and provide valuable data that instructors use in the classroom.
“Starting local at Northeast gives a young man or woman the opportunity to really figure out what they want in their future,” Justin said.
Shortly after Justin graduated from Northeast, his dad learned he had cancer. The family has set up an endowment scholarship in his dad’s name.
“I had to grow up really fast and realized my dad was my best friend,” Justin said. “He never really pushed me to go into ag but now that I’m a father of three little boys, I know your kids love what you love.”
Getting dirty, having fun all contribute to Justin’s idea of a good life while still running a family-oriented business.
Funding for the$23 million 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 farm site with a farm office and storage, a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, and a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue.
For more information, contact Northeast Community College Associate Vice President of Development and External Affairs Dr. Tracy Kruse, email@example.com, 402-844-7056. Online donations can be made through the website agwaternexus.com. Checks can be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.
Photo Cutline – Jared
Jared Koehler, his wife Amanda, and (l-r) Jameson, Adalyn and Alyvia
Photo Cutline – Justin
Justin Koehler with (l-r) sons Toby, Knox and Tripp