Adam Vetter considers himself a relatively new member of the Red Cloud Community Foundation Fund, and he’s still amazed at the work the fund has achieved in the Webster County town. He cites The Valley Child Development Center as a prominent example of the feats a motivated fund can achieve.
“The childcare center was basically completed by the time I joined the foundation, but 10 to 15 years ago that seemed like an insurmountable thing to accomplish,” he said. “Within a few short years, they created one of the highest quality childcare centers in the state, if not the nation.”
His daughter, along with 40 other children in the community enjoy the benefits of the center every summer. Vetter and others see that project as an example of Red Cloud’s staggering potential. It’s what inspired him to become active in the fund.
“Seeing what they can accomplish there, I know there’s bigger and better projects on the horizon as well,” he said. “It will be exciting to be a part of that in Red Cloud.”
Vetter grew up in Franklin, the seat of neighboring Franklin County. He studied agribusiness at UNL, where he participated in the Agricultural Banking and Finance Program. The partnership between UNL and the Nebraska Bankers Association is aimed at preparing students for careers in agricultural lending while encouraging them to work in rural Nebraska towns once they graduate. That work led Vetter to Red Cloud.
“The whole goal of that program is to get talent back to small-town Nebraska banks,” he said. “I was able to locate a small community bank close to home that had a position I was interested in. That was a huge draw for me. I’ve always been community minded. I always wanted to get back to a small town, and I found one right in my wheelhouse.”
He quickly fell for Red Cloud’s charms and energy. The business community is active and welcoming, while attractions like the Red Cloud Opera House give the town its own unique character. He’s an outspoken proponent of the town’s amenities.
“There’s plenty to do in small-town Nebraska, you just have to get out there and be involved,” Vetter said. “I think the biggest fear of young people moving back is there’s not going to be anything fun for them to do. That’s definitely not the case. We’ve got a golf course, we’ve got the sand volleyball league, we’ve got the fair, we’ve got all these different activities young people can be involved in. There’s plenty of stuff, both indoors and outdoors, for young people in these communities. There should be no fear, regardless if you’re 25 or 75, to move back to small-town Nebraska, because if you’re willing to be involved there’s no feeling of boredom in these small towns.”
Other young people are seeing the potential of the community, as well, and they’re taking active roles in stewarding Red Cloud’s future.
“I think we’ve got a lot of extremely intelligent, motivated young people trying to make the next generation of Red Cloud better than the current generation,” Vetter said. “We’ve got a core group of young, motivated professionals wanting to make the community better.”
Together, the people of Red Cloud can make a great community even greater. There’s a general feeling of communal support over individual gain that motivates everyone in town. It’s an atmosphere Vetter has no plans of leaving.
“I’ve been in Red Cloud five years, and I’m planning on staying a lot longer,” he said. “I’ve enjoyed all the people I’ve gotten to know, both my age and older folks in the community. It’s been real exciting to be a part of this community. I enjoy being involved and chipping in where I can to make the community better for everyone. I think that’s why we’re all here. There are no short-sighted thoughts of ‘I want to do this to better myself.’ It’s ‘I want to do this to better everybody.’”