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February 12, 2015


What’s Up

Merz Farm Equipment teams
up with SCC - Milford for
Ag Diesel Technology Program
“When I came home to work at the
family business five years ago
(at age 25), I looked across
the dealership and realized
there weren’t very many young
employees,” reflected Mitch Merz,
the third generation of Merz Farm Equipment
in Falls City, Neb. “I felt it was important to get the younger generation working at the
dealership to help secure the future of our business. However, I couldn't wait until the
older generation retired because I needed them to share their years of experience with
the younger generation.”
Merz used resources like his equipment dealer association and started some different
programs to help recruit and train potential younger employees. “Any business who has
not looked into the using their resources and starting some type of program is just plain
crazy,” stressed Merz. “I often hear from other dealerships how they are struggling to find
full-time service technicians. These programs can and will help you fill these positions
with qualified and committed employees.”
Currently, Merz Farm Equipment employs four full-time service technicians who
received scholarships through the program and earned their Diesel Ag Equipment Service
Technician degree at Southeast Community College (SCC) in Milford, Neb. Merz has
their fifth student in the program today attending SCC-Milford. They also have two other
full-time employees who used the intern program to attend other schools and work in
other departments throughout the family’s farm equipment dealership.
Merz Farm Equipment caters the scholarships to the individual student’s needs. Merz
added “The financial assistance provided from the dealership can be used for tuition,
housing, tools, or even everyday college living expenses like pizza! We want the student
to be able to focus on their studies and not be worried about having to juggle their school
work and a part time job. It is their choice on how to utilize the financial assistance. We
do work with the students to get other scholarships including from the Iowa-Nebraska
Equipment Dealers Association. Each of our students that applied were granted this
scholarship. Those funds are directly used for tuition assistance. We also provide the
students with uniforms and other resources while attending school.”
The Ag Diesel Technology Program through SCC at Milford is a 21 month program.
The student will attend three quarters of classroom training before on the job training
begins during the 4th quarter. During that on the job training quarter the student works
as a paid intern at the dealership. The student then returns to the classroom for the
5th & 6th quarters, before a final quarter of on the job training during that 7th and final
quarter before graduation. The students also have the option of working at the dealership
over breaks from school and between quarters.
Ever since he was a little boy, Jordan Schomerus knew he wanted to work around
tractors when he grew up. Today, thanks to a great education at SCC, financial assistance
from Merz Farm Equipment and a lot of hard work on his part, Jordan is now a full-time
service technician at Merz Farm Equipment. “The financial assistance provided by the
scholarship helped me greatly with my expenses,” said Jordan. “It allowed me to purchase
higher quality tools that I continue to use today.” He added, “I also like that I was able
to hit the ground running at the dealership after I received my degree.”

“I was
able to hit the ground running
at the dealership after I received
my degree.”

Old Fashioned
Saturday Night -

Members of this year’s team are Melanie Wilson,
Alyssa Beck, James Barnhart, John Barnhart and
Joseph Dunn.


FFA members have the opportunity to be on a
trapshooting team. The team practices at Wally Riebesel’s
- Atchison County Shooting Sports range for monthly
competitions at Smithville. They shoot 50 targets against
other Area 1 schools and are placed by most targets hit
per year.

On Old Fashioned Saturday
Night, the FFA Chapter sells
pork chop on a stick and oldfashioned root beer. This is
a great fundraiser for our
chapter, and we look forward
to the communities support
every year. Members sign up
to work shifts through-out
the night, and everyone has
a great time.

Graves Chapple

Early in the year, new FFA
members get the opportunity
to attend Graves - Chapple
Research Center Field Day.
There, we learn about the
type of crop experimentations
they do, the business of
agriculture, new technologies
in agriculture, and farm
safety. Members always
have a great time and enjoy
what is presented, as well as
the great lunch they serve.

Food Drive

- As our
Christmas Service Project,
we hold a canned food drive
every year before Christmas
break. We collect over 200
cans every year from FFA
members and members from
the community. We donate
all of the cans to the Rock
Port Food Pantry.
Pictured front left to right: Sam Giddinge, Montana
Martin, Shelbie Gaines, Courtny LaHue and
Juleighanne Adams. Back left to right: Anthony
Jones. Trent Oswals, Nick Herron, Dalton Jones and
Andrew Jackson.

FFA Cleans up

On May 1st, 2014 the Rock Port FFA chapter had their biannual, “Highway Clean-up Day”. Ten members met to help
remove trash and litter from the chapter’s adopted 1 mile
portion of Highway 136. After picking up trash, all members
who participated met at Mr. Hastert’s house for a cook out.

Fruit Sales

- We sell
fruit every winter as a
chapter fundraiser and are
very happy with the support
and sales we receive from the
community. Selling fruit is
always a big success and the
fruit is very good. Members
sell and deliver the fruit
around Christmas and we
thank the community for
generously buying our fruit.

Saturday , Feb. 21Area Barnwarming with
Tarkio and Fairfax at the
Velma Houts Building.
Monday, Feb. 23John Deere v Case day,
Elementary ag day, food
Tuesday, Feb. 24- Hat
day, food guess
Wednesday, Feb. 25Pearl Snap day- tractor
drive in- petting zoo @ the
Thursday, Feb.
26- dress like favorite
teacher, food guess, teacher
Friday, Feb. 27official dress day, member
breakfast, food guess,
member and officer pictures

Young minds, bright future.


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West Of Tarkio”

21586 US Highway 136 • Tarkio • (660) 744-2696

2405 S. Main St. • Maryville, MO • (660) 582-2232

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Atchison County FBLA,
I-29 & 136 West • Rock Port • (660) 744-2404
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