Retired High Plains Farm Equipment Dealer Donates to Alma Mater


Jeff Bieber, a 1971 Kansas Wesleyan University graduate, has spent much of his working life owning and operating John Deere farm equipment dealerships. Last week, he gave back to his alma mater, Kansas Wesleyan University, with a $3 million donation — the second-largest in its history.

Some $500,000 will help fuel the Community Resilience Hub, KWU’s climate change program, while $1 million will support the music program. The balance will fund a third project, which will be announced in the coming months.

Bieber double majored in English and economics at KWU before investing in his parents’ John Deere dealership – Kay Jan Inc. – with his late wife, Martha. Kay Jan, headquartered in Fort Morgan, Colo., merged with 21st Century Equipment, Bridgeport, Neb., in 2011. Bieber had served as director of post-merger operations, which now includes 16 21st Century Equipment dealerships in Eastern Colorado, Western Nebraska and Wyoming.

For the past 8 years, Bieber has served on the KWU Board of Directors and chaired it from 2019-21. He previously made a donation to KWU’s Nursing Education Center in memory of his late wife. in 2015. She was a graduate of Marymount College. A small memorial gift was also left there for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Concordia, Kan., following his death at age 65.

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