Cade Broek’s love for the family’s dealership, Van’s Implement in Hull, Iowa, goes way back to when he and his cousins were little and would “hang out there, getting in the way.” But that time “just hanging out” also became a time to watch everything that was happening, from the mechanics who were working in the shop, to getting a good feel for the business side of things.
“My grandfather, Bruce, owned and operated Van’s until he passed away three years ago,” says Cade. “I respected him and looked up to him so much, and want to follow in his footsteps.” And that’s exactly what Cade is doing now. He’s currently a sophomore at Dordt College in Sioux Center, Iowa, getting a four-year degree in Ag Business.
While he spent this summer working on small engines and equipment at the dealership alongside the other mechanics, this fall brings on a course load of work at school, including accounting and other core courses he needs to complete his degree. He says the scholarship he received from the Equipment Dealers Foundation and matched by the dealership will help him immensely toward his educational goals. “It will allow me to get the best education I can,” he says. “I’ve been committed to my studies, my community and my job. I believe if you work hard at everything it will pay off.”
Carrying on the Legacy
Post college, Cade is looking forward to working at the dealership alongside his grandmother and uncles who now own and run the dealership, and his mother, who also works on the business side of the dealership. And it’s not just about being around family. This career choice dovetails with his interests. “I’m big outdoors guy, and I’ve been around agricultural my whole life—I enjoy everything about it,” he says. “Plus, it’s a great chance to keep rural America strong by working with those who believe in a strong work ethic and strong values.”
And his career choice also remains highly personal. The ties to his grandfather and the community where he grew up remain strong. He reflects on the fact that his grandfather’s customers were also his friends. “When tough times came for them or for him, they were there for each other,” he says. “I want a career where I can make a difference like that and leave a legacy like my grandpa.”
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.