Agriculture and youth are important to the Bomgaars family, and those priorities are why the family is investing in the Nexus project at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, according to a Northeast media release.
Aaron Bomgaars, vice president at Bomgaars Supply Inc., has announced that the company will contribute $50,000 to the project to build new ag facilities at Northeast.
“Agriculture is the foundation of the economy of the Midwest states served by Bomgaars,” he said. “And the future of agriculture is the future of Bomgaars.”
Bomgaars Supply Inc. is a family-owned retail chain of farm and ranch supply stores with its headquarters in Sioux City. Bomgaars serves customers in Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. Bomgaars stores can be found in 10 communities in the 20-county area served by Northeast Community College.
Bomgaars said his family is excited to be part of the Nexus project.
“Northeast is training students to be the next generation of farmers and ranchers,” he said. “Those students will become the future residents of the small rural communities where Bomgaars stores are located. These new ag facilities at Northeast will attract more students who will help local communities grow and thrive.”
College officials welcomed the support.
“At Northeast Community College, we share the Bomgaars family’s support of agriculture and youth,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, associate vice president of development and external affairs, and executive director of the Northeast Foundation. “Each year, 350 students enroll in agricultural classes at Northeast, making it the single largest program of study on the campus.”
Kruse said Northeast grants more associate degrees in agriculture than any other college in Nebraska and the eighth most two-year degrees in agriculture in the nation.
“We have an excellent faculty and outstanding programming,” she said. “We are now trying to bring the ag facilities up to that same standard.”
Funding for the $23 million Agriculture & Water Center for Excellence project is being solicited to enhance and expand the agricultural facilities at the college. In addition to Northeast’s commitment of $10 million, the institution is seeking at least $13 million in private funds to begin the initial phase of construction, which includes a new veterinary technology clinic and classrooms, a new farm site with large animal handling facility and other farm structures for livestock operations, a farm office and storage. The new facilities will be near the Chuck M. Pohlman Ag Complex on East Benjamin Avenue in Norfolk.
In August, 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.