Family-Owned Bank Joins Nexus Campaign

Published on: August 20, 2020 ,

A family-owned bank with 43 banks in 34 Nebraska communities has joined the growing number of banking institutions to support the Nexus project to construct new ag facilities at Northeast Community College. Cornerstone Bank, headquartered in York, has pledged $50,000 to the capital campaign.

“We are pleased that Cornerstone Bank is joining other Nebraska banks that have pledged more than $1 million to the Nexus project in support of agriculture education,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs at Northeast and executive director of the Northeast Foundation. “Nebraska is fortunate to have a vibrant local bank community that supports rural residents and the towns they call home.”

Doug Young of Albion, vice president of Cornerstone Bank, said agriculture is the lifeblood of the state and all the communities that Cornerstone serves. “Regardless of your profession,” he said, “some way, in some form, you are affected by agriculture, even if you work in an office cubicle in Omaha.”

Cornerstone Bank was chartered in 1882 as First National Bank of York and has grown into a $1.7 billion financial institution.  The bank continues to grow, having purchased the Tilden Bank effective in January of 2021. This purchase will include banks in Tilden, Clearwater and Creighton.

“We’ve been serving the agriculture community for more than a century,” Young said, “and we are proud to partner with farmers and ranchers and the businesses that support them.”

Young said that educating the next generation of producers is important to Cornerstone Bank management. “This year is a perfect example of how important education can be in agriculture,” he said. “The markets have been crazy, below break-even costs for both proteins and grain. It is important for producers to be able to figure their costs, and that is where the ag program at Northeast Community College comes in, training students in all aspects of the business of agriculture.”

Young said Northeast Community College helps keep young people in the area, living and working in rural communities. “Our biggest export is our kids,” he said “and we need to keep them here closer to home.”

The initial phase of construction on 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 tracyk@northeast.edu, or call (402) 844-7056. Online donations may be made through agwaternexus.com. Checks may also be mailed to Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.