Northeast Ag Facilities Get Boost From Frontier Co-op Investment
Frontier Cooperative, headquartered in Lincoln, has pledged $50,000 to the Nexus capital campaign to build new ag facilities at Northeast Community College.
“Frontier Cooperative is proud to support ag education and the next generation of future ag leaders,” said Jeremy Wilhelm, CEO of Frontier Cooperative. “We have had a great partnership with Northeast Community College and have hired many interns and employees who have come through the Northeast program. Supporting the Nexus campaign and doing our part in continuing the education of the next generation of ag leaders perfectly aligns with Frontier’s mission and vision and with the ag industry as a whole.”
Formed by the merger of Frontier Cooperative and Midwest Farmers Cooperative in September 2019, Frontier Cooperative is a full-service, member-owned cooperative operating approximately 55 locations throughout east and southeast Nebraska. Frontier offers products and services in grain, agronomy, feed and energy and has been proudly serving local producers for more than 100 years.
“The future success of modern agriculture and rural America will be in the hands of our current students,” Wilhelm said. “It is important that we are investing in the education of our young people, so they can improve upon the future of agriculture in Nebraska.”
Groundbreaking ceremonies were held Sept. 10 for the project, which includes a veterinary technology clinic and classroom located to the west of the Chuck Pohlman Ag Complex, and a combined farm operations and large animal handling building and a feedlot, located north of the Pohlman Ag Complex on the Acklie Family College Farm. Construction began in April and the facilities should be ready for students by Fall 2021.
“Frontier’s contribution will help provide state-of-the-art learning facilities for agriculture students at Northeast,” according to Dr Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation. “Northeast already has a nationally-recognized ag program,” she said, “and these new facilities will help our instructors further strengthen that program, providing our students with training in the latest technology and best practices.”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (402) 844-7056.
Students and ag-related clubs are competing to sell animal silhouettes that will be engraved with the purchaser’s name and displayed on a farm-scape plaque in one of the new buildings. For more information, text “animal” to 403-383-3276 or visit the website agwaternexus.com. Online donations may also be made through agwaternexus.com. Checks may be mailed to Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.
Frontier Cooperative Senior Management (Left to Right:) Mike Carroll – VP of People Engagement & Safety, Randy Birchem – VP of Energy, Craig Schultz – Chief Operating Officer, Dave Reese – VP of Agronomy, Marsha Whetham – Chief Financial Officer, Jon Brabec – Chief Marketing Officer, Bryan Choutka – Sr. VP of Grain, Jeremy Wilhelm – Chief Executive Officer, Russ Vering – VP of Nutrition and Howells Branch Manager.