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In a rural area, ATVs and side-by-sides can be vital to the operations of many farmers. Big Red Motorsports in Neligh ensures that those farmers have the latest and greatest in equipment to be successful.
Craig Smith, a Neligh native himself, knows exactly how vital an off-road vehicle can be in a farming operation as he was once a farmer himself. In 2006, he decided it was time to give Antelope County a source for reliable vehicles for such purposes.
That's when he opened Big Red Motorsports, selling new and used ATVs and service parts, as well as offering repairs. Since then, business has gone so well, he was able to expand operations to Holt County as well, opening his second location in O'Neill in 2012. Part of why the business has been so successful has been Smith's ability to see what the people of his community need in the powersports industry.
"Obviously me growing up locally, knowing the community and trying to do our service work the best and most promptly that we can sets us apart. That and knowing the need of the communties," he said.
That business practice went so well that Smith decided to discontinue his own farming operation four years ago so he could focus solely on serving his customers. His wife, Melissa, joined him in running the business before starting an endeavor of her own with State Farm Insurance. Regardless of which business they are focusing on, the duo always make sure to give back to their community.
"We want the community to grow. As far as getting the young generation to come back and employment. We try to help out as much as we can that way and just try to keep people in the area," he said.
As Big Red Motorsports continues to grow, so too do the opportunities for customers. When Smith expanded to O'Neill, he took on the Arctic Cat line of ATVs as well. More recently, he made the decision to expand his business to include high-end zero-turn lawnmowers.
"We just took on the Bush Hog zero-turn lawnmowers. We are now a full-line Bush Hog dealer," Smith said. "We are going to focus on the zero-turn lawnmowers. We've got one in our inventory and they are supposed to be sending us seven more here in just the next few days."