CHS Foundation Partnership with Northeast Provides Support in Three Areas

Published on: August 12, 2020 ,

A recent partnership formed between Northeast Community College and the CHS Foundation has provided three different types of support to students and the College – scholarships, emergency assistance, and a contribution to build new ag facilities at Northeast.

In 2019, Northeast was named as one of the CHS Foundation’s University Partners. The CHS Foundation University Partner program provides scholarships to undergraduate students studying agriculture at select two- and four-year colleges and universities. As a two-year partner, Northeast receives eight, $1,000 scholarships each year to benefit incoming freshman and returning second year students.  In addition, as a University Partner, Northeast receives $2,000 to support professional development opportunities provided through college clubs or organizations focused on agriculture.

“The CHS Foundation is dedicated to developing ag leaders for life,” said Nanci Lilja, president, CHS Foundation. “Supporting students as they pursue degrees in agriculture ensures the success of our industry far into the future.”

When the COVID-19 Pandemic forced Northeast to close the campus and hold all classes remotely, the CHS Foundation provided $5,000 in student emergency funds for Northeast. The funding is to support students studying agriculture, providing them with essential resources to continue their education and assist with loss of income, financial support or stability, or lack of resources to effectively engage in studies remotely.

“The support of the CHS Foundation has provided much-needed support for our ag students in these challenging times,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation.

The CHS Foundation also made a $50,000 contribution to the Nexus campaign to construct new ag facilities at Northeast.

“The CHS Foundation recognized the great talent coming from Northeast,” explained Lilja. “By supporting these new ag facilities, students will have even more opportunities to hone their skills and be better prepared to enter the ag industry,” Lilja explained.

 “Through scholarships, emergency assistance, and now support for the Nexus project,” Kruse said, “the CHS Foundation is making it possible for more students to study agriculture, and for those students to learn in state-of-the-art facilities.”

The initial phase of construction in the Nexus project includes a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, a new farm site with a large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be located near the Chuck M. Pohlman Agriculture Complex on E. Benjamin Ave. in Norfolk. Site work began in April and construction should be completed by the Fall of 2021. Groundbreaking ceremonies are scheduled at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 10.

The funding for the 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.

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.

For more information on the Nexus Campaign, contact Kruse, at, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through Checks may also be mailed to Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.

To learn more about ways CHS and the CHS Foundation give back, visit