If you ask him, Kaden Purviance will tell you that it’s all about the lifestyle. Having grown up on a farm in Morrill, Neb., he knows—even at 19—that staying and working there is the right life for him. “I’m not a fan of big cities. I like where everyone knows each other and helps everybody out,” he says. “Plus, there’s nothing better than sitting on a tractor, off on your own, for hours on end.”
One day, Wayne Brozek from 21st Century Equipment stopped by the farm. Wayne is friendly with the family, as they have bought tractors from the dealership over the years. Wayne knew Kaden was a hard worker who had grown up around tractors, and had been fixing things his whole life, and so asked if that was something he could see himself doing for a living.
A Career Unfolds
That conversation turned into a next-step career choice for Kaden. After graduating from high school in May, he worked at the dealership until he started the John Deere Tech program at Southeast Community College in Milford, Neb. in October. He’ll be at school studying six months, and then working at the dealership for three, alternating his time between the two until he graduates as an ag tech in a little under two years’ time.
To help with his studies, Kaden received a scholarship from Equipment Dealers Foundation, and says, “I’m thankful for this scholarship and the chance to widen my knowledge on farming equipment and the opportunity to advance my skills.”
The program is definitely a change for Kaden. “It’s different—tough, good tough,” he says. But he is looking forward to getting his certification and working at the dealership. “It’s something I grew up with whole life, and I don’t want to do anything else,” he says.
It is also a dream realized, as Kaden overcomes a disability on a daily basis. An accident when he was just 8 caused a traumatic brain injury, and left him blind in one eye. Despite this, he says, “I’ve learned to work with my disability and am able to be successful in most everything I try.” He also feels an affinity toward 21st Century Equipment and those who work there. “I know everybody there. Scottsbluff is small town—I like that, and I like how they treat their employees,” he adds.
About the Scholarship
The EDF was established in 1988 to provide scholarship funding to help meet the industry’s needs for trained individuals. EDF also provides temporary assistance for dealerships and its employees affected by natural disasters. Learn more about EDF here.