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Nebraska District Office

Country Tire has been a treasured part of the small town community in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa for more than 25 years, from a friend to farmers needing fast service in their fields to moms looking for a new set of radials for the family car.  But after a summer of Missouri River flooding followed by a year of brutal drought, this family-owned company teetered on the brink of ruin.

Watch our video to this story here.

She still bikes from her small house a few blocks away to her cute crammed shop in Lincoln’s bustling downtown, and bounds out from behind the counter with a smile to greet her regular customers coming from the university a short walk away.

They've grown over six generations from a row crop farm in far northeast Nebraska into a modern example of green, sustainable agriculture, tripling revenues since 2000 under the leadership of family patriarch Doug Garwood (pictured). And now, Cardinal Farms, a family-owned agricultural firm in Dakota City, has been named the Cornhusker State's Small Business of the Year for 2014 by the Small Business Administration.

When she was a young girl, Tracie Malesa often played a game in her family’s electrical contracting business.  She and her sister often would imitate her grandparents by holding imaginary business meetings of their own, pretending to schedule service calls and typing up little invoices, just to have fun.


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