Farmers Mutual of Nebraska recently pledged $100,000 to the fundraising campaign for the completion of the North Platte Community College Health & Science Center.Farmers Mutual's donation will arrive in installments over the next four years. In return, Farmers Mutual of Nebraska has been given the opportunity to name the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) classroom at the new Health & Science Center.
Byron L. Boslau, Chairman and CEO of Farmers Mutual of Nebraska said there were several reasons behind the company’s decision to donate to the Health & Science Center.
The central reason was that it gives Farmers Mutual the opportunity to continue its historic role and interest in the development of rural fire districts and their services in Nebraska.
In 1945, Farmers Mutual was instrumental in getting a bill written in the Nebraska Legislature that empowered farm mutuals to lend up to 20 percent of their surplus to volunteer fire districts at low interest rates for the purchase of modern fire trucks and equipment. Farmers Mutual was the main player in the program and it helped reduce fire insurance rates by 30 percent.
“It was a win-win situation for Farmers Mutual and their insureds to help get those rural fire districts established in the ‘40s,” he said. “They figured that if they were going to insure against fire, they better support fire districts.”
“Another reason is that we try to extend our donations throughout the state rather than just focusing on the eastern portion,” he said, noting that although the company is based in Lincoln, they are a Nebraska company that serves the entire state.
Boslau added is a graduate of North Platte High School and he has always had a strong interest in seeing the community grow and thrive, as well as promoting educational opportunities in the area. He noted that Dr. Jim States, a retired North Platte dentist and Farmers Mutual board member, shares this interest.
Boslau said that Farmers Mutual has continued to support rural fire districts through donations to help replenish equipment at fire stations and similar causes.
“Supporting the education and training of EMS workers in Nebraska expands upon these efforts exponentially,” he said.
The $9.2 million health and science center opened in August. Officials have not said how much money must still be raised.