Business Buzz

Chad Frey
Steve Nikkel

Nikkel named Social Security Claims Strategist

Social Security Claims Strategist is the new designation for Citizens Financial Services investment executive Steve Nikkel.

The certification followed a lengthy course Nikkel completed a few weeks ago, which focused on classroom experience and lectures by Social Security experts. At completion of the classwork, Nikkel then had to successfully pass a test that included several hundred questions.

Nikkel said the designation will be important as he helps clients navigate retirement plans.

“Getting close to the age of making a decision in regards to when might be the best time to begin drawing my own Social Security benefits definitely influenced me to dig deeper,” Nikkel said. “I wanted to better understand the Social Security benefit and how to go about creating maximum benefit possible. It is a recurring conversation that my clients and I have in regards to income planning, so I felt that this knowledge would be valuable.

Nikkel has been part of Citizens Financial Services for more than 22 years and offices in its south Newton bank. He also works with clients in Hesston, Moundridge and Goessel areas.

Securities and insurance products are offered through Cetera Investment Services LLC, member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory Services are offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera is not affiliated with the financial institution where investment services are offered.

AGCO launches virtual showroom

DULUTH, Ga. — AGCO Corporation, a designer, manufacturer and distributor of agricultural machinery with facilities in Hesston, announced the launch of a virtual product showroom for consumers in North America.

The showroom, available at, allows users to learn more about products of the company’s brands, including Massey Ferguson, Fendt, Challenger, Gleaner, RoGator/TerraGator, GSI and others.

“An online AGCO showroom has been planned for some time, but the coronavirus prompted us to push up our timeline because many in-person events have been canceled this year,” said Lauren Dejmal, manager of event marketing. “Now that it’s available, people who would have attended those events, as well as anyone else, can explore countless AGCO products from the comfort, safety and convenience of their homes and mobile devices.”

The online showroom leverages the layout of AGCO’s Intivity Center facility, the company’s Jackson, Minn., assembly plant and corporate museum, which provides guided tours and learning opportunities to the public in times not impacted by the virus. Virtual visitors can use intuitive gestures to explore the facility, see 360-degree views of equipment, watch product videos, download brochures, submit requests and even visit the company merchandise store.

“The best thing about this format is not being limited by space, location, travel concerns or even the weather,” said Aaron Belanger, farm show manager. “Logistical concerns simply don’t exist here: this virtual showroom will hold every product we manufacture and allow anyone to explore them at any time, on any day.”

Dejmal said the current virtual showroom is only in its first iteration.

“We have many more capabilities planned and we’ll continue adding more brands, more products and more features to the experience,” Dejmal said. “We’ve really only scratched the surface, so we encourage viewers to check back frequently and discover the newest features and enjoy what’s still to come.”

To see AGCO’s virtual showroom, go to

State ahead of tax collections estimate

TOPEKA — Closing out the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2021, Gov. Laura Kelly on Oct. 1 announced that the state of Kansas is $108.4 million ahead of its estimate, with $2.3 billion in total tax collections for the fiscal year.

That is $515.7 million, or 29.7%, more than the same time last fiscal year quarter.

The increase is due in part to the change in the filing deadline for income taxes and the increased revenue seen in compensating use tax collections.

"While there is optimism with these projections, we must remain committed to fiscal steadiness, public health, and support our core services like education, infrastructure, and economic development which will enable Kansas to remain on the path to recovery,” Kelly said.

September's total tax collections were $728.9 million; a $72.8 million increase over the estimate. That is a 2%, or $15.2 million, decrease from the same month of the last fiscal year.

Individual income tax and corporate income tax collections performed better than expected. The state saw a $23.6 million, or 7%, increase in individual income tax collections with $358.6 collected. This increase could be due, in part, to estimated tax payments and economic optimism. Corporate income tax collections were $89.7 million, an increase of $29.7 million, or 49.5%, more than the estimate.

Retail sales tax collections were 1.2%, or $2.4 million, less than the estimate, with $195.6 collected. The decline in retail sales tax collections could be due to some temporary change in consumer habits as the school year started. However, compensating use tax collections continue the trajectory of growth as those collections were $11.6 million, or 34.1%, more than estimated with $45.6 collected. This trend is the effect of changing consumer purchasing habits and increased registrations of out-of-state retailers to collect and remit taxes to the state.