Opportunities sprout for Ag. department following generous donation

Nichole Sheley, Staff Writer

Last spring, Charles and Irene Kreher donated $18 million to Lincoln Land’s agriculture program. The Krehers, who were farmers for more than 20 years, had no children upon which to bestow an inheritance; this contributed to their decision to donate their life savings to Lincoln Land.

The farming couple was passionate about both agriculture and education, so they donated to numerous charities during their lifetimes that benefited local children and agriculture. After their passing, their 18 million dollar donation was put into the agriculture program’s trust fund.

The trust was designated to be used for improvements to the program such as purchasing new equipment, increasing recruitment efforts, and acquiring a new crop research plot.

The interest that the department receives on the donation pays for the program specialists, recruiters, new scholarships and agriculture student travel fees. The Agriculture Department has also purchased a 15-passenger bus to transport students to field trips and contests.

The trust directs Lincoln Land to implement an educational program on the Kreher’s farm, where agriculture students will help with the Spring planting. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to operate new, exciting machinery that is available to the department because of the Krehers’ donation.

Next year, the department will conduct student designed research plots at the Krehers’ farm and at the 50 acres that it manages here on campus. The department is also developing educational programs and assistance for elementary and high school agriculture programs in the district, as well as adult programming outside the classroom.