From staff reports
DES MOINES, Iowa— The Iowa-Nebraska Equipment Dealers Association has awarded $88,500 in scholarships for the 2023-24 academic year to 66 students from Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado and Wyoming, who intend to pursue careers at Iowa and Nebraska equipment dealerships.
“Diesel technology has always been at the forefront of my life,” said Kristopher Hadeen, a scholarship recipient from Haxtun High School in Holyoke, Colorado. Hadeen plans to enroll in the John Deere Tech program at Southeast Community College in Milford, Nebraska, and pursue a service technician career at 21st Century Equipment.
Through the INEDA Andrew Goodman Scholarship, Hadeen received $1,500 toward his education, with 21st Century Equipment matching that amount for a total of $3,000.
In the John Deere Tech program at Southeast Community College, Hadeen will learn the skills needed to become a John Deere dealership technician who works on engines, powertrains, hydraulic systems, electrical and electronics, air conditioning diagnosis and repair, tillage, planting, spraying and harvesting equipment. During training, he will work at his sponsoring dealership between semesters.
Dealership operators see the INEDA Andrew Goodman Scholarship program as an important resource as they work to combat farm equipment technician shortages.
“It’s always a highlight of my year to make the phone call to our future and existing employees to let them know they were chosen as a recipient,” said Deanna Hagen of LandMark Implement. “These funds help reduce the financial burden for these students and puts them in less debt than their peers.”
“Scholarship offerings are key for our business to demonstrate to potential employees that we’re invested in their future and we’re willing to help them reach their professional goals,” said Leah Orr of Manzer Equipment. “It oftentimes leads to a more well-rounded workforce and in turn, allows us to retain the very best employees. These individuals are engaged at work and in our community. Engagement in both are necessary for each to flourish and provide for generations to come.”
The shortage of service technicians isn’t a new problem in the farm equipment industry, but it continues to have a significant financial impact on dealerships. The Andrew Goodman Scholarship program was created in 2008 to address the technician shortage and help dealers attract and nurture homegrown talent. Since establishing the scholarship fund, INEDA has awarded more than $745,000 to 648 students.
“INEDA—along with our members—takes great pride in helping students achieve their goals and aspirations,” said INEDA President and CEO Mark Hennessey. “Their education lays the foundation to many career possibilities. Seeing their dreams come to life is a very rewarding experience for all of us.”
The Andrew Goodman Scholarship is available to all employees and potential employees of INEDA dealerships. This year, the following dealers provided matching awards: 21st Century Equipment, AKRS Equipment, Bancroft Implement, Bobcat of Omaha, Bodensteiner Implement Company, Butler Ag Equipment, Cove Equipment, Deike Implement, Deitering Brothers, Fransen Sales and Service, Geneva Implement, KanEquip, LandMark Implement, Manzer Equipment, Mitchell Equipment, Platte Valley Equipment, Sinclair Tractor, Titan Machinery, Van Wall Equipment and Vans Implement.