It was a brief meeting for the Lexington City Council on February 27th with only three items of new business on the agenda.
First the council accepted the annual audit report prepared by Contryman Associates. They then passed an ordinance directing the sale of property at 204 E. Fourth St. Following a remonstrance period of three weeks if no objections are raised the property will then be eligible for sale.
Under the third and final item of business the council approved a resolution supporting an application by RYDE transit for federal funds available under the Nebraska Public Transportation Assistance Program. The funds would be used during fiscal 2018-19.
Supporters of the community of Cozad came from far and wide to participate in the Third Annual RedDay Celebration held on Saturday evening at the Elks Club in Cozad.
The hosts of the RedDay festivities, the Cozad Community Foundation, unveiled their initial plans for a softball/baseball complex. “Everybody was really enthused about the project and we need to garner that support from the community members to complete our goal,” explained RedDay Chairperson Robyn Geiser. “I think it was a great evening with many new faces, more people than last year, we raised over $70,000 and everybody had a great time.”
Patrons that attended the RedDay Celebration were treated with delicious foods that were paired with drinks that included wines and microbrews. Shawn Engberg prepared the foods for the tasting. There were many silent auction items as well as live auction items that created a great synergy for the evening. PJ Jacobson was drawn the winner in the Grand Prize raffle as well.
The RedDay Celebration was a great start towards a future goal of a traditional softball/baseball four-plex that is projected to cost upwards of two million dollars.
The Terry and Linda Lauby family was honored as the 2018 Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce Farm Family of Year Friday night at the annual chamber banquet at Kirk’s.
They are Southsiders, a nickname given years ago to the families farming and living on the south side of the Platte River. For 111 years they have been a part of Dawson County agriculture. As with many farms at the turn of the century Michael J. Lauby ran a diversified operation including sheep, cattle, hogs, corn and alfalfa.
From the 1930s through the 1950s, sons of Michael J. Lauby - Louis, Chris, Mike and Steve, joined the operation and the focus turned to cattle and row crops. Then in 1961 Lauby Co., Inc., was founded by brothers Steve and Mike E. Lauby.
“We had roughly 1,000 head in the 1960s and everything was in the home feedlot,” recalls Terry.
Today Lauby Co. Inc. is permitted by the Department of Environmental Quality for 6,500 head, and they are split between the North Yard and the South Yard. “We started building the north yard in 1975-76 and can put 4,500 there and 2,000 in the South Yard," he noted.
In addition, they run about 600 acres of row crops and lease, share crop and own about 600 acres of alfalfa.
Terry Lauby was born on Jan. 21, 1947, the second child, oldest son of Stephen Joseph and Margaret Adell (Andersen) Lauby. His siblings included Anne, Brian, James (Jamie), Mary, Jane, Anthony (Tony), Edward, Anders (Andy) and Jason.
Terry went on to graduate from St. Ann’s High School with the Class of 1965. A day and half after graduation in June of 1965, Terry joined the Army. After completing basic training and some additional courses he spent a year in Vietnam from March 1966 to March 1967. “I was stationed six months near the DMZ in the north, and the last six months were in the south along the Mekong Delta. My entire deployment I was part of the Army Security Agency (ASA),” notes Terry.
Meanwhile back in Lexington on the north side of the river Linda Warner was growing up on her parent’s farm. Born on Jan. 2, 1949, Linda was the oldest child of Ross Claude and Elizabeth (Reinhardt) Warner.
Joining her were sister, Pamela and brother Charles. After graduating in 1967 from Lexington High School, Linda spent 13 months in Sweden with the International Christian Youth Exchange.
After returning from her international experience Linda went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) for two years studying general education. She met Terry shortly thereafter and came back and worked at Farmer’s State Bank. “Be careful what you wish for or say you will never do,” she said. “I vowed I would never marry a farmer. Look what happened.”
The couple was married on June 28, 1970 and note they remember the day well because the high in Lexington was 107.
Back in Lexington Terry began assuming more responsibility in the family corporation. As the years progressed one of his main goals was to simplify the operation. “When Grandpa was alive he had 17 hired men and used to harness 9-11 teams of mules.”
Tractor power gradually filled in for those mules, but they still had some more simplifying to do, he noted. “We used to grind two to three loads of small bales about every other day for roughage in the cattle rations,” he said. “We converted to large round bales and that has made a huge difference in labor. We put up between 3,000 and 4,000 round bales a year and that is usually enough to meet our needs.”
Everything they grow goes through the feedyard, well almost. For the last five years they have grown about 80 acres of soybeans for rotation on corn ground. “That’s why soybeans don’t work out for us because we can’t put them through the feedyard. On the rotation we do get some benefits on the corn crop, but they are a challenge to market and get to the elevator,” said Terry.
For the most part then it is corn and alfalfa, although Terry notes, “We dabbled in growing seed corn for DeKalb for a time.”
While the feedlot still requires a lot of hands on work, technology is also part of day-to-day operations. Terry notes they are like a cattle hotel, taking in not only their own cattle, but also custom feeding cattle from all over. A drive through the two feedlots has Terry pointing to a pen from Virginia, then Kentucky, one from Colorado and another with Sandhills cattle. “Other than from the Northeastern United States we get cattle from almost every one of the lower 48 states,” he said.
After they were married Linda continued to work at Farmer’s State Bank, working almost until their first daughter Heidi was born in 1975. Second daughter Jessica arrived in 1980.
“After Heidi was born I went to work for Bill’s Agri-Service doing part-time work for a while, but in 1977 I started helping Dad Lauby. I worked at silage time weighing trucks and one thing led to another and now I do the books for Lauby Co., Inc. I love working with figures.”
Even before the girls were born Linda started volunteering as a 4-H leader for the Southside Homemakers 4-H Club. By the time Heidi and Jessica were old enough to belong to 4-H, a whole group of neighborhood girls and boys were tackling projects, special 4-H competitions and doing community service projects. By the time she left the leader ranks Linda had served as club leader for 35 years.
Heidi graduated from Lexington High School in 1993 and Jessica followed in 1998. Both went to UNL where Heidi graduated in 1998 with a degree in fashion design and merchandising. Jessica received a degree in sociology and psychology in 2002.
The busy year continued as Heidi married Edwin Markie that November. As Edwin is making the military his career, they have been on the move with his various postings. They have two daughters, Ellery and Adelyn.
In 2006 Jessica married Michael Bliven and they are now the parents of Terrence and Freya.
The grandchildren, who affectionately call Terry and Linda “Pa” and “Ma,” visit the farm often and Pa and Ma in turn make many trips to see them.
Over the years Terry and Linda have contributed countless hours of volunteer time to their community and church. In addition to her years as a 4-H leader, Linda was active in the Platte Homemakers Extension Club and at First Presbyterian Church.
Terry has served on the District 15 school board, the Dawson County Cattlemen’s Board, and was a founding member of the Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles. In addition, he helped with the local Honor Guard at military funerals until his cancer diagnosis in August 2017.
His battle with esophageal cancer has been filled with ups and downs, but recent scans show he is on the mend. The Laubys note they couldn’t have gotten through last summer and fall without lots of other support. “You don’t become successful over the years without help from family, friends and neighbors,” said Terry. “It’s been amazing.”
Terry’s brother Ed Lauby, cousin Tom Lauby and part-time employee Tyler Rodman have been among the feedlot team to keep things running smoothly.
They have also received tremendous support from long-time customers. Recently Janet and Arnold VanderEide, customers and friends from Illinois, stopped by the feedlot to check up not only on their cattle on feed, but the Laubys, too.
“I love those relationships we’ve built over the years,” said Linda.
She summed up both her and Terry’s feelings about the business they’ve built together. “I love it on the farm. Farming is in my heart.”
The Cozad Community Board of Education met for a regular meeting on Monday, February 19th.
Board members approved the hiring of Kylie Corkern as middle school art teacher for the 2018-2019 school year. She will replace Trey Botts in this position. Botts will be taking the high school art position vacated by the retirement at the end of this school year by Kent Ross.
The board approved the resignation of Elementary Counselor Jordan Lewis effective at the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
Lacy Huertas was hired as an elementary Title para.
Board members approved the 2018-2019 Educational Service Unit 10 contract for school age and below age five special education services.
The bid of $54,950.00 from Weathercraft for a 17,960 square foot section of the high school roof was accepted. Work will begin once nicer weather is here to stay.
Discussion, consideration and approval was granted on nine policies including Operation of School Business Office, Electronic Records Management Policy, Records Management and Disposition, Booster Clubs and Parent-Teacher Organizations, Returned Checks, Accounting, Handbooks, Resolution of Conflicts between Parents over School Issues and the Distribution of Flyers Advertising Non-School Organization Activities.
Superintendent Joel Applegate presented an HVAC update from Ed Kucirek. The original blueprints revealed that steam heat is used in areas and an engineer came to inspect these areas. The cost of replacing the boilers will now be higher and board members will discuss this at their board retreat on March 13th.
Board members entered executive session to discuss Superintendent Applegate’s contract for 2018-2019. The contract will be voted on at the next regular board meeting scheduled for Monday, March 19th beginning at 7:30 p.m.
It was a full house Friday night at Kirk’s Nebraskaland Restaurant for the annual Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce awards banquet. Both chamber and farmer-rancher awards were presented to groups and individuals at the event, which sold out two weeks ago.
The evening began with a social hour followed by a buffet dinner. As the awards portion began, out-going Chamber president Erin Heineman passed the gavel to 2018 president Darin Buescher and Buescher in turn presented the Past President Award to Heineman.
Chamber executive director Christy Werger presented five special awards to individuals for extraordinary service to the chamber during 2017 including Buescher, Cynthia Boyd, Tish Doughty, Natalie Rickel and Jennifer Shubert.
Receiving the LeRoy Jordening Memorial Ambassador of the Year Award was Cynthia Boyd. It is presented to a Chamber Ambassador who goes above and beyond the call of duty during the year and is voted on by fellow Ambassadors.
The Business of the Year Award was presented to Downey Drilling of Lexington. The firm also received the Agri-Service Award. The firm moved to Lexington in 2005 and now employs 30 people. They provide well drilling and water services not only in the central Nebraska area, but have satellite stores in Alliance and Garden City, Kan. In September they opened a new facility on the east edge of Lexington to house all their services under one roof. Owner Tom Downey noted in his thanks to the chamber for the awards that “we live in the breadbasket of not only the country, but the world,” and that their mission is to keep the water flowing for farmers and ranchers.
Barb Bierman Batie was presented the Jim Kelly Memorial Award for outstanding promotion of Lexington and the surrounding area. She was recognized in particular for her work the last three years as a Nebraska Sesquicentennial Commissioner, traveling throughout the state promoting not only Sesquicentennial events but her community as well.
The 2018 Presidential Award went to the Lexington Volunteer Fire Department in recognition of 125 years as an all-volunteer department. The current roster is 39 members strong with many members also certified as Emergency Medical Technicians or EMTs.
Receiving the Friend of Tourism Award went to the Dawson County Fair Board for their efforts in bring a host of activities annually to the Dawson County Fairgrounds including the Plum Creek Rodeo, the Dawson County Fair, horse shows, flea markets, entertainment and more.
Named the 2018 Farm Family of the Year was the Terry and Linda Lauby family of Lexington. See their story elsewhere in the Trib. Also recognized during the Farmer-Rancher portion of the awards ceremony was the Ag Employee of the Year Bill Seberger. Seberger has worked for Reynolds, Inc. since 1998. He and his wife, Pam, have three daughters and a growing group of grandchildren.
Closing out the program was State Senator Matt Williams of Gothenburg, who presented a motivational talk on character traits that spark success in a community. He congratulated Lexington and the chamber on their constant efforts to keep the town moving forward. “This community is successful because it has stepped up to accept the responsibility to be the power of change,” he said.