Exmark has had a longstanding tradition of supporting area communities.
The Toro owned company has a standard of good corporate stewardship and provides grants and does fund drives for many non-profits.
Exmark Manufacturing was incorporated in in 1982 and began with seven employees in a garage. They quickly expanded and moved to the Gage County Industrial Park in 1983.
“We support our employees and try to give to anything they are involved in. It benefits everyone,” said Patty Kaufman, Exmark Controller and Community Giving Team member. “Giving back is deeply embedded in the company and we want to touch everyone in the community in some way.”
Many of the company’s employees have been with Exmark for several years. Kaufman, an employee of 22 years, said it was a great company to work for with good benefits and an employee-oriented culture.
Kaufman said Exmark does fund drives throughout the year and there is always the opportunity to do payroll deductions. Toro matches employee gifts 100%.
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One of the annual projects is the Big Rock grant. Applications are usually due at the end of March. Typically, these projects have been beautification or improvements to parks in area communities. The grant is usually for $25,000, which has helped with a spin zone in the Diller Park and the Fairbury school playground.
Exmark gifted the YMCA $100,000 toward their capital building campaign. They were also able to provide $40,000 to Keep Beatrice Beautiful for the Riverfront project.
In late January, Exmark presented a check of $70,000 to Gage County United Way toward its annual budget.
The Gage County United Way was chosen to do a virtual presentation to Exmark during their Day of Giving.
“It was kind of a big deal because there were organizations throughout the world that were invited to be a part of the presentations and the Gage County United Way was chosen. Jon Deines did an awesome job,” Kaufman said.
The Volunteer Grant is an opportunity for twelve or more employees to come together to work on a project and the company will provide $5,000 for supplies. In the past they’ve chosen landscaping at the 4-H Building and at the Carnegie Building.
Exmark has also helped with Habitat for Humanity building projects, Relay for Life, the Backpack Program and recently provided $2,000 for all-season flags to the American Legion Post #27.
Two or more mowers are given every year to schools, municipalities or parks.
Employees are allowed to work 20 hours of on-work time for community non-profits or they can apply for the Dollars for Doers program. If the employee logs 30 or more hours per year with an organization, Exmark will donate $300 to the non-profit.
Kaufman said they also acknowledge Community Champions like food pantries, shop with a cop programs or lunch with law enforcement.
“One of my favorite projects has been providing gift cards to all of the area senior citizen living centers. We’ve done that for five or six years and it’s been so nice to focus on the senior population,” Kaufman said. “These projects in our communities are near and dear to our hearts.”