Melissa Smith is all smiles after celebrating 5 years as an agent with State Farm Insurance.
Smith started as a State Farm Insurance Agent in 2013 and has served as an agent in Neligh throughout her time.
In 2016, Smith moved the State Farm office into the new location in the Mill Point Plaza along Hwy. 275.
Owned by Craig and Melissa Smith, the Mill Pointe Plaza also houses two other businesses- Midwest Medical and Neligh Family Medicine.
Smith said that this new location has improved her business in multiple ways.
“I think we definitely have more room, as far as staff space. We have a more professional looking space,” she said.
Smith also said that being along the highway has made parking easier for her customers.
“The parking situation is better. You aren’t having to compete with main street parking.
Smith, who is a former president of the Neligh Chamber of Commerce, is a longtime resident of Neligh.
She worked with Long Term Care Nursing and Administration until 2010 when she joined her husband, Craig, with his growing Big Red Motorsports business. They have locations in both Neligh and O’Neill and also own Smitty’s Super Clean and the newly constructed Mill Pointe Plaza in Neligh.
Smith said that that life insurance, especially for younger people, is often overlooked, but its very important.
“You hear about these terrible tragedies of younger people dying in accidents. They typically don’t have life insurance, and people are setting up GoFundme accounts. It’s just a tragic thing to think about, having you loved ones having to rely on that,” she said.
The State Farm office is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Smith and associates can be reached by calling 402-887-5156
Sports are very popular during the winter and spring months the keep in shape, but the strenuous physical activity can cause damage within your legs and feet.
Steve Simonsen at Antelope County Chiropractic is practicing a new technique to help heal those injuries - kinesio taping.
Kinesio taping involves taping the knee in order to provide support the muscles and joints and promote the healing process. Simonsen said that he has introduced kinesio taping into his offerings after attending classes involving the process.
“I’ve started to do a lot more myofascial work. I’ve started going to the RockTape classes and seminars to learn how to do the myofascial release, to do the kinesio taping,” Simonsen said.
Simonsen, who started Antelope County Chiropractic in 2009, has been practicing in the chiropractic field since graduating in 2002. He practiced in North Carolina for a year before returning to Nebraska and practicing in Lincoln. He made the move to Neligh in 2008 and began practicing in the community.
For many who give Simonsen a visit, the pain in their arms or legs is causing them extreme discomfort or keeping them from certain activities.
Simonsen said that often, the pain can be easily remedied.
“I do a lot of extremity work, working on shoulders, working on knees, on ankles and feet. They are having aches and pains there, and often it is just a subluxation in one of the bones or the bone isn’t moving correctly,” he said. “We get that corrected, and a lot of the time the pain can go away or at least go down.”
Simonsen added, “We use drop tables, we use pro adjusters, we use activator. There are a lot of techniques out there that we can use here in the office besides just laying you down, cracking your back and sending you out the door.”
Community members will now be able to purchase a golf car locally thanks to a new offering from Big Red Motorsports.
Big Red Motorsports is now a dealer of Yamaha golf cars. Craig Smith, the owner of Big Red Motorsports, said that Big Red Motorports started having Golf Car’s in their inventory during the summer of 2017.
“We took the dealership of Yamaha Golf Car’s over in June of 2017,” Smith said.
Smith said that although the new line of Golf Car’s will be at the dealership in O’Neill, there will be golf cars for sale at the Neligh dealership, also.
“We will still have Golf Car’s for sale at both locations, but the new models of Golf Car’s will be at the O’Neill dealership,” Smith said.
As being a dealer for Yamaha Golf Car’s, Big Red will do servicing as well as the sale of the Golf Car’s and accessories.
“The Golf Car’s are a complete deal from us. They include sales and service for the golf car’s. We are servicing the Golf Car’s,” Smith said.
Servicing the Golf Car’s at either location is made simple, as mechanics at both locations are able to work on them.
“The mechanics at both the Neligh location and the O’Neill location will be able to work on the Golf Car’s. The same service will be offered at both locations,” Smith said.
Another addition to the offerings at Big Red Motorsports are the Textron side by side’s. Textron purchased the Arctic Cat brand in 2017, and continues to make products under both names.
“Textron purchased Arctic Cat in May of 2017. We still have the Arctic Cat products, and we have added the Textron lineup of side by sides, Smith said.
As far as how the dealerships are managed, they are very similar. Smith said that the dealerships almost mirror each other.
“They are almost the same. There is a service manager at both locations and an office manager at both locations.
For customization, Big Red Motorsports has multiple options for you to personalize your rig. From enclosed cabs to heaters and sound systems, Smith says they can fill custom orders at the dealer.
“Wheels, cab’s heaters, radio’s, all of that we can install at the dealership shop,” Smith said.
According to Smith, the most popular options for dealer modifications are the comfort options for the side by side’s.
“Our biggest sales are cabs and heaters and radios in the side by sides,” he said.
The mods can be viewed and installed at either location, according to Smith.
“We have displays at both locations showing the accessories that we can mount onto your ride,” Smith said.
Big Red Motorsports was opened in 2006 in Neligh by Craig and Melissa Smith. The Smiths first started with sales, but expanded to include servicing with a full-time mechanic.
The Smiths opened the O’Neill location in 2012, and followed the same techniques they used in building up the business in Neligh to hit the ground running in O’Neill. Soon after, Big Red became an authorized dealer for Arctic Cat ATV’s. Since then, they have added Textron off road vehicles, Yamaha Golf Cars and Bush Hog Mowers.
Big Red Motorsports in Neligh is located at 106 E. 3rd St. and can be reached at 402-887-5076. The O’Neill dealership is can be reached at 402-336-3048.
Precision agriculture is key for farmers looking to maximize yields and keep prices down, and Midplains Ag aims to help get customers where they should be.
Midplains Ag is a full-service precision ag consultation group, headquartered near Elgin. The company opened its doors in April 2013 to begin helping farm owners and operators in the region collect and analyze geo-referenced data and implement decisions based on that analysis.
They work with a wide range of data sets including those from imagery, soils data and yield data. They also offer products and services that have been carefully selected to assist in the data collection and analysis.
Tiffany Hemenway of Midplains Ag said that they also offer insurance to farmers in the area.
“We are a local, crop insurance agency and provide precision ag services.”
Crop insurance is something that is essential for farmers to have in case of disaster, and Hemenway said that it’s great for risk management.
“Crop insurance is a great risk-management tool the government offers to farmers.”
Hemenway said that their services within precision ag involve prescribing farmers different levels of chemicals and water to put out into fields.
“Prescriptions for planter, fertilizer and water. We are a dealer for Agsense, so we can help monitor your pivots,” she said.
Midplains Ag also offers other services for helping get the best results out of fields, such as soil sampling. Hemenway said that all of this equates to the goal of precision ag.
“Keeping costs down and putting the right inputs in the right place is the goal for precision ag.”
Thriftway is now offering meal planning help thanks to the Thriftway app and social media.
Thriftway Market, which is celebrating 18 years of serving the public for their grocery needs, has set up meal planning tips and advice through their app in the app store.
The app has a list of recipes that rotate through the seasons, or you can import your own recipes. Once you have the recipes entered on your devices, you can add the items you will need to your grocery list, and bring it on your phone with you to the store.
The website is similar to the app, so customers can use either one and be able to view the recipes and meals. Also, Thriftway has coupons that they list online that customers can bring into the store.
Although the recipes change throughout the year, Donnelle Weed said that customers can still search for what they are looking for on the website and view past ones.
“They rotate each quarter, but if they wanted to search for a beverage or desserts or something like that, then all they have to do is just search for it,” she said.
Besides the app, Thriftway is also utilizing social media to spread meal planning and meal prep ideas. Thriftway has a Facebook page that they post deals and coupons to, as well as a Pinterest board that they post meal planning and meal prep ideas to for customers to view.
In store, Thriftway offers freshly made meals every day that customers can buy and warm up at home or at work. Also, they offer custom made meat and cheese trays for parties or bigger events.
In order to get a weekly list of deals going on in store, customers can text 41570 and have everything that is going on in store during the week sent to their phone.
Insurance is a constantly changing world, and a dependable agent is necessary to keep on top of everything. That is where Neligh’s Dane Nielsen steps in.
Located in Neligh, Nielsen Insurance provides insurance across all types of loss coverage, including auto, home, business, crop, recreation, health, life, long term care, medicare, disability and dental.
Nielsen, a Valentine native, purchased Heckert Insurance in 2005. He has operated it under the name Nielsen Insurance ever since.
Recently, Nielsen opened a office in Valentine, and he says that having both locations allows the business to offer more to its customers. Nielsen said that this is due to having connections in both places.
“I have contacts here in Neligh that I don’t have in Valentine, and I have contacts in Valentine that I don’t have here because of the companies that are already seated in both places.
He also said that having an office in Valentine helps for those existing customers that aren’t close to Neligh
“It helps those people that are already customers that have been calling down to the Neligh office. Now, they can just stop in the office in Valentine.
Nielsen said that although he himself doesn’t specialize in all insurance, his team is able to cover all insurance needs because each agent has their own specialties.
“I don’t take care of a lot of the life and health insurance, but we have people in the office that take care of that. I specialize in everything else.”
An insurance provider that can cover all needs is valuable in the market, and Nielsen said they take pride in what they have to offer.
“We can do about anything that people would like us to do, and we pride ourselves on the service that we can offer everybody.”
Blackburn Manufacturing has put Neligh on the map as the “Flag Capital of Nebraska” with their huge production of marking flags, and now the business is celebrating 65 years of being open in Neligh.
Blackburn, which established in 1953, has made an estimated 5.5 billion marking flags and counting during their operation. However, flags are not the only thing that Blackburn can do.
In 2015, Blackburn received a new state-of-the-art printer, which has opened up new realms of possibilities for clients to have products made. Krista Blackburn said that some of the most recent popularity has come from the production of ag signs.
“We can do plot signs, dealer signs, service stickers, service tags...those are newest products.”
Blackburn also said that the community signs have also been popular within the past year.
“Sports and local signs have been a big hit again this year.”
Popularity of the signs made at Blackburn started to grew after a few projects were seen by the community, such as the cutouts of the school athletes.
The new printer at Blackburn is able to print on a huge variety of surfaces. Besides the normal materials, the printer can also print on more unique surfaces, such as wood, leather and ceramic.
Although they aren’t advertised, Blackburn said that they are always willing to experiment with different printing techniques.
“We are always willing to try anything. We have printed on several different substrates that we don’t advertise but we can do.”
The printer has been used for many customer’s personal needs, like birthdays, graduations, open houses, parties, as well as political signs or signs for local businesses.
The Neligh Senior Center has been putting food on the table for many citizens in the community for years. However, senior citizens are not the only ones allowed to have lunch at the center.
The Neligh Senior Center is open to the public Monday-Friday and serves lunch meals for anyone. Ruth Anne Rodgers of Senior Citizens Program, Inc. said that age is commonly mistaken as a qualifier for meals.
“Our meals are for any age. So many people think that they have to be old to come in and eat. You can be any age.”
Although there isn’t an age limit on those that can stop in for lunch, there is a price difference. For citizens 60 years or over, the price for lunch is $5. However, for those younger, the meal price goes up to $7.50.
Besides meals, the senior center also hosts events throughout the year and has regular bingo games on Monday afternoons and exercise on Fridays. Rodgers said that there is a group that would like to get a pitch day added as well.
“One of the things that we would like to do more of is play pitch on Thursdays, but we don’t seem to get enough people,” she said. “We’d like to play but we only have five people, and if two are missing, then the others don’t get to play.”
Another role that the senior center plays is that their home delivery helps check on residents who are at their homes. Rodgers said that the home delivery acts almost like a wellness check.
“We have home delivery, and if someone isn’t answering their door or the phone, we get ahold of the contact people or the police if there is no one else to call.”
Besides activities during the week, the Neligh Senior Center is open for rentals on the weekends. For baby showers, graduations, family reunions or just a gathering of people, the senior center is available to rent.
Green Line Equipment has expanded it’s product base for customers with the addition of Tri Valley Electric.
After the purchase of Tri Valley Electric in Neligh in 2016, Green Line Equipment became the Valley Irrigation dealer in Neligh.
Brad Detlefsen, a technician with Valley Irrigation/Green Line Equipment, said that the merger has allowed Green Line to better serve its customers due to the more resources.
“It gives us a bigger footprint in order to fully utilize our resources. We have Plainview, Norfolk, Neligh and Albion. We have more technicians available to work on equipment,” he said.
One of the programs that Green Line/Valley Irrigation offer is the Valley Irrigation Service Inspection Program. Detlefsen said that this program allows Valley certified technicians to analyze pivots and check over all the mechanic and electrical systems before they go online in the spring.
“We go through and expect every tower for electrical, oil levels, air pressure, check fuses and everything else before they start running in the spring,” he said.
In January of 2017, Valley Irrigation released their “ICON” range of smart panels for irrigation systems. With this new series, farmers can monitor temperature, rain levels, wind speed, and other factors straight from your phone.
The Icon X series of panels are made to retrofit to any pivot system, regardless of age. Detlefsen said that this panel will allow older systems to be brought up to speed of the current offerings.
“With the addition of the ICON X panel, we can bring it up to speed and have the agsense unit built right into it, ready to go,” he said.
In addition to Neligh, Green Line Equipment now has locations that serve Valley Irrigation products in Norfolk, Albion, Spalding, and Plainview.
Before the purchase, Tri Valley Electric was owned and operated by Pat Veik. Since then, the staff has carried on over and continues to work under Green Line Equipment.
The 3rd annual Ag & Home Expo is set to kick off on Tuesday, March 6, at the Antelope County Fairgrounds in Neligh.
The two-day expo will showcase business from across the county that provide services for consumers in both the agriculture and home markets. Lauren Sheridan-Simonsen, the assistant director for the Neligh Economic Development Office, said that the expo helps to show what is available close to home.
“We are promoting different business and services that are available right here in our area where you don’t need to go to other places to find them, and to put them under the same roof at the same time,” she said.
The idea for the expo came from a proposal from a chamber committee. Simonsen said that, although she wasn’t one of the initial brains behind the event, she hit the ground running and worked to make the idea come to life.
“I walked in after it had originally been discussed with Craig and Melissa Smith, Wade Pitzer, and Greg (Ptacek), and I ran with it and did everything I could to make it successful,” she said.
The marketing plans for the event have drastically changed since the start of the expo, and has started to include partnerships with local media to help get the coverage it needs. Simonsen said that without these partnerships, it would not be what it is.
“I really do believe that our partnership with the Antelope County News and KBRX made the event successful,” she said.
Partnerships are a common theme in the planning and organizing of the expo. Simonsen said that without other help, the event would not be possible.
“None of this would have happened without partnership with the Antelope County Ag Society. We could not do that without them . . . They are a vital part of the program,” she said.
Simonsen said that partnership and the ability for businesses to be able to work together are key to making business better.
“We are a community, whether or not we are in the same business, we can still elevate and make business better by working together. One of my favorite quotes is ‘A rising tide lifts all boats.’ By working together, we make everyone better.”
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