NORFOLK, Neb. - A five generation, multi-state business headquartered in Norfolk has made a financial investment in the future of agriculture, in Northeast Community College and in the economy of the region.
Bob Dudley, owner and president, said many of APPEARA’s customers are ag-based.
“From implement dealerships, ethanol plants, fertilizer and seed dealers, etc., we service a lot of customers from the ag industry,” Dudley said. “So, anything that Northeast can do to perpetuate ag education is important to all of us here in Nebraska, and especially APPEARA when we rely so much on the ag industry.”
“APPEARA’s experience bears out what a University of Nebraska study found,” said Dr. Tracy Kruse, Northeast vice president of development and external affairs and executive director of the Northeast Foundation. “In Nebraska, one of every four jobs are related to agriculture and in the northeast region, that is one of every two jobs.”
Dudley has announced that APPEARA will invest $25,000 in the Nexus project at Northeast, an update of ag facilities that includes a veterinary technology clinic and classroom building, a combined farm operations and large animal handling building, a feedlot and lagoon and other farm structures.
Dudley called Northeast an asset to the community and region.
“Norfolk is fortunate to have Northeast in our community,” he said, “and we want to do all we can to make sure the College is the best it can be.”
“APPEARA’s support will help provide the latest technology and a modern learning environment for Northeast’s 350 ag students,” Kruse said. “We appreciate their investment in this vital part of the regional economy.”
APPEARA was started in 1916 by Bob Dudley’s great grandfather. The company now specializes in uniform rental, linen services, dust control and janitorial supplies. APPEARA has 75 employees and provides service in Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Minnesota.
The new ag facilities currently under construction near the Chuck M. Pohlman Ag Complex, 2300 E. Benjamin Ave., will replace a 100-year-old repurposed dairy barn. Construction on the project began in April 2020 and is expected to be completed by fall 2021. Progress can be viewed in real time at northeast.edu/webcams.
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, Northeast has raised enough funds for construction; however, fundraising for the Nexus campaign continues, 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 email@example.com, 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.
PHOTO ID: APPEARA staff (from left) Brandon Keech, manager trainee, Justin Lackas, customer service rep, Vicki Bargstadt, office manager, Brandy Prauner, A/R manager, Tom Eacker, district manager, Troy Farrier, district manager. (Courtesy APPEARA)