Northeast Faculty, Staff Support Nexus Project

Published on: August 29, 2019

NORFOLK, NE – The faculty and staff of Northeast Community College are stepping up in a big way to support the Nexus campaign for new agriculture facilities on the Norfolk campus.

Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Community College Foundation, announced this week that the staff and faculty have pledged $132,000 to the campaign. This follows last week’s announcement that the Acklie Charitable Foundation would provide a lead gift of $5 million for the $23 million project.

“Northeast employees have always been generous with their time, talent and treasure in support of the College,” Kruse said. “This financial investment in the Nexus campaign demonstrates both their commitment to the College, and the need they see for new facilities for the ag department.”

A kickoff event for faculty and staff was held earlier in the campaign, with food, games and information provided by the Nebraska Pork Producers, the Nebraska Cattlemen, the Cuming County Cattlemen, the Nebraska Corn Growers, the Nebraska Dairy Association, and Nebraska Farm Bureau. Several area businesses also supported the event, held in the Chuck M. Pohlman Ag Complex.

Long time ag faculty member Michael Lechner is one of those who has pledged his financial support for the Nexus project.

“The veterinary technology program is always at maximum enrollment,” Lechner said. “In my opinion the veterinary technology building located on the College farm is the least adequate building for teaching and learning at Northeast Community College. In general, the College farm has changed very little for decades.”

Mike Roeber, an animal science instructor at Northeast for the past 22 years, has also contributed to the Nexus campaign.

“This project will allow our faculty and staff to better prepare students for their post educational careers,” Roeber said.

Roeber was recently recognized as the top faculty member in the western region of the Association of Community College Trustees.

Nexus campaign co-chair Russ Vering said he was impressed by the support of the faculty and staff for the project. He said he once heard a speaker say that when the rate of change inside an organization is slower than the change outside, the end is near.

Mike Zierke (left), mechanized agriculture instructor at Northeast Community College, visits with Russ Vering, co-chair of the College’s Nexus Agriculture and Water Campaign during a kickoff event for faculty and staff that was held earlier in the campaign. Employees have pledged $132,000. This follows last week’s announcement that the Acklie Charitable Foundation would provide a lead gift of $5 million for the $23 million project. (Courtesy Northeast Community College)

“Northeast staff and faculty have shown by their donations to Nexus that they are ready and preparing for rapid change,” Vering said.

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,, 402-844-7056. Online donations may be made through the website Checks may be mailed to: Nexus Campaign, Northeast Community College Foundation, P.O. Box 469, Norfolk, NE 68702-0469.