During his nearly 50 years in the field, Steve Godeken accumulated a lot of stuff.
Tractors. Combines. Planters. Cultivators. Grain carts. Trucks. Everything you need to run a successful farming operation.
“I guess I’m somewhat of a collector, because I didn’t get rid of very much,” he said with a smile.
That’s about to change.
Now retired, Godeken and his wife Kathy are selling all of this equipment through an online auction, with the proceeds benefiting University of Nebraska at Kearney students. The roughly 200 auction items represent a lifetime of farming – and then some.
“It probably goes back further than that. Some stuff was there when we got married,” Godeken explained. “There’s an old Case tractor I remember as a kid that we used to pump water.”
Godeken was raised on a farm near Harlan County Reservoir that’s been in his family for 100 years. He and Kathy, his high school sweetheart, both attended Kearney State College (now UNK), graduating in 1973 with teaching degrees. They got married that same year and have lived together on the family farm since then.
Godeken taught math and physics at Alma Public Schools for nine years before focusing solely on farming, and Kathy retired after a 41-year career in education, most of which was spent teaching third grade in Alma.
Their daughter Kimberly, a former Loper cheerleader, and several siblings also graduated from Kearney State/UNK.
“We’ve been pretty fortunate to do what we’ve done, and Kearney State was a big part of that,” Godeken said.
That’s why the couple decided to use their “retirement auction” to support their alma mater. They plan to donate the proceeds to the University of Nebraska Foundation to provide scholarships for current and future UNK students.
“Countless UNK students will benefit from the Godekens’ creative charitable gift. They are a tremendous example of alumni who are making a difference in the lives of others and we could not be more appreciative,” said Lucas Dart, vice president of UNK alumni relations and development for the University of Nebraska Foundation.
Conducted by Midwest Equipment Auctions of Holbrook, the online sale started Thursday and continues into next week. It features a couple antique tractors – that 1938 Case and a 1957 International 450 – along with plenty of newer equipment. There are four combines, including Case IH 2388, 2188 and 1680 models, three additional tractors – an International 1086, 1989 Case IH 7140 and 2010 New Holland T8030 – and a 1994 Tyler Patriot sprayer.
Interested buyers can view the entire auction listing and place bids at soldbymidwest.com. The auction company estimates the sale could bring in $500,000 or more.
“Hopefully it will help some kids,” Godeken said.