Provide quality products and unmatched service to our customers. We are committed to continually improving our products and services to keep current with the changes in our environment. We believe innovation and integrity form the foundation to building and maintaining customer relationships.
Provide stable and progressive employment for our employees. As a family-owned business, we understand and recognize the importance of family and promote the idea of a balanced work and personal life. From our very beginning, it has been the employees of NEBCO that have formed the solid foundation on which we have built.
Continually give back, in both financial and non-monetary ways to our community. Our success provides the opportunity to contribute to the well-being of Nebraska and to make “The Good Life” even better. We take pride in our history and our reputation as a leader in our industries and plan to continue the growth and diversification of our operations and businesses.
Innovation is a cornerstone of NEBCO that has been a part of our company from the beginning.
- NEBCO engineers pioneered Nebraska’s use of fly ash – a by-product of coal-fired power plants – as a raw material for concrete production and as a soil stabilization material. Prior to this reclamation, fly ash was disposed of in landfills.
- NEBCO engineered the use of powdered bulk material for dry, pre-mixed concrete products. Silos and bulk bags of Pro-Mix concrete allow mason contractors to be more productive.
- NEBCO was one of the first to introduce self-consolidating concrete to Nebraska contractors eliminating the need for large and expensive vibrating equipment.
- NEBCO was the first to manufacture concrete retaining walls in Nebraska, providing an unmatched beauty and functionality to Nebraska roadways, parks, and neighborhoods.
- NEBCO continually works with design engineers at the University of Nebraska and the Nebraska Department of Roads to develop efficient short and long span prestressed concrete bridge girders and other bridge related products.
Our Products & Services
Concrete & Construction Products
NEBCO provides various concrete and construction-related products and services throughout Nebraska and surrounding states through its various companies. With our wide range of products, services and locations, you will find what you need for your project. A brief list of our products includes:
- Ready Mixed Concrete
- Retaining Walls
- Hardscape Materials
- Landscaping Materials
- Bulk and Bagged Aggregates
- Standard and Architectural Block
- Sand & Gravel
- Steel & Rebar
- Precast/Prestressed Concrete
- Concrete Pipe
- Concrete and Asphalt Paving
- Traffic Control
- Railroad Switching/Repair
- Fly Ash
Making good use and re-use of the land has always been part of the heritage of NEBCO. Providing recreational facilities, such as a public golf course, baseball and softball fields, and lakeside developments, are examples of how NEBCO continues to build Nebraska.
Family-Owned & Operated for 3 Generations
George P. Abel, Sr.
George P. Abel, Sr. graduated from the University of Nebraska with a degree in civil engineering and a goal of starting his own business. In 1908, with the little bit of money he managed to save while supporting himself and his mother, he purchased small concrete mixing equipment and began what would become an enterprise of businesses known today as NEBCO, Inc.
The company started small with jobs such as concrete driveways and bridges. By 1911, the company had paved such streets in Lincoln as O Street and South Street. The first asphalt plant was purchased the following year and by 1916, as brick paving was flourishing in the city, Abel Construction purchased a brick company.
George P. Abel, Sr. died in January 1937, having achieved far beyond his original goal of going into business for himself. At the time of his death, Abel Construction had changed the face of Nebraska and laid the foundation for a family business that would continue to build Nebraska for generations to come.
George P. Abel, Jr.
George P. Abel, Jr. graduated from UNL with a degree in business administration in 1942. He was a member of the UNL track team for three years, played guard and halfback positions for the Cornhusker football team for four years and earned five major athletic letters. He played in the Rose Bowl on January 1, 1941 against Stanford. Following graduation, he served in the U.S. Army during World War II.
George took over the helm of the family business in 1945 and succeeded his mother as President of NEBCO in 1951. He held the position of President until 1985 when he was elected Chairman of the Board of NEBCO.
George took pride in his companies and the work that they did. He was often found not behind his desk, but visiting the sites and getting input from the workforce. George continued in his father’s footsteps of acquiring companies, such second generation companies include Concrete Industries, Kerford Limestone, and Western Sand & Gravel. His dedication to the company was evident. He remained an active member of the Board until his death in 1998.
James P. Abel
[Chairman / CEO]
James P. Abel began his career at NEBCO during his high school years, working summers in the company’s concrete pipe plant. In 1973, after earning a degree in business administration, Jim continued working in different areas of the company until his responsibilities grew into management. Jim succeeded his father as President of NEBCO in 1985.
Under the third generation of leadership, the company continued to grow its construction business through acquisitions across Nebraska. Along with the growth of the construction area of NEBCO, Jim has had a major focus in growing the company’s real estate and recreational areas. Jim’s vision has included Quarry Oaks Golf Club and Fallbrook, both developed on reclaimed/reused land. He was also instrumental in the addition of the Lincoln Saltdogs and Haymarket Park in Lincoln.
In 1998, Jim was named Chairman of the Board of NEBCO.
Building Nebraska Since 1908
1908 – The Origin of a Business
NEBCO, Inc. began as Abel Construction Company in 1908 which is the lineal descendant of a firm originally founded by George P. Abel, Sr., and Charles Roberts under the name Abel & Roberts Construction. With a savings of $100, George P. Abel, Sr. purchased six heavy shovels, two steel wheelbarrows and one hand concrete mixer.
1929 – Ready Mixed Concrete Company
To meet the increased demand for concrete paving, George P. Abel, Sr. founded the Ready Mixed Concrete Company in 1929. Today, ready mixed concrete is produced at eight plants in southeast and central Nebraska and supplied to job sites by a fleet of more than 65 transit mixer trucks. The photo above is of the Ready Mixed plant at 18th & Y St., Lincoln in 1944.
1929 – OL&B Railway Company
At the turn of the century, Lincoln was beginning to transform from a bustling small town into a prosperous prairie city. On March 4, 1903, the Omaha, Lincoln and Beatrice Railway Company (OL&B) was organized to connect the cities to carry passengers and freight. The venture eventually failed and NEBCO purchased the company in 1929 to haul freight.
1929 – General Steel Products Company
In 1929, General Steel Products Company was founded, with its first plant at 1934 Dudley Street in Lincoln where they also manufactured concrete pipe for storm and sanitary sewer systems, culverts and manholes. General Steel Products Company eventually operated under the name of Concrete Industries, Inc. in 1974.
1939 – NEBCO Farms & NEBCO Cattle Co.
NEBCO owns and cultivates Nebraska farmland in Lancaster, Seward, Saunders, Cass, Sarpy, Gage, Otoe and Morrill Counties. Chief products are corn, soybeans and milo. In 1939, Abel Investments purchased a dairy operation in Lancaster County, which was operated as Abel Dairy Farm. In 1964, Abel Investment Company sold the dairy herd and invested in beef cattle. Currently, NEBCO Cattle Company is located in Saunders Country.
1944 – Abel Foundation
The philosophy of the Abel family has always included the tradition of returning a measure of its success to the community through monetary contributions. In 1946, the Abel Foundation was incorporated by George P. Abel, Jr. as an orderly means of coordinating the family’s individual and corporate gifts.
1945 – George P. Abel, Jr.
George took over the helm of the family business in 1945 and succeeded his mother as president in 1951, a position he held until 1985 when he was elected Chairman of the Board of NEBCO. He also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Nebraska from 1960 until his death in 1998.
1946 – Reimers Kaufman Concrete Products Company
As the city of Lincoln continued to develop, NEBCO, formerly Abel Construction Company, kept pace with the demand for concrete products. In 1946, the company purchased Reimers Kaufman, well known in Nebraska since 1906 for production of concrete construction blocks.
1947 – Universal Surety Company
Universal Surety Company was founded in 1947 by George P. Abel, Jr. and his four sisters, Helen, Hazel, Alice and Ann. The company writes contract surety bonds which pledge the surety’s credit that a contractor will successfully complete projects and pay all bills.
1955 – Western Sand & Gravel Company
Beginning in the 1920’s, Abel Construction Company purchased a one-third interest in Schellberg Sand and Gravel near Fremont. The remaining stock was purchased in 1949, and in 1955, it was renamed Lincoln Sand and Gravel. Western Sand and Gravel, which operates mines in Ashland and Louisville, was acquired with the purchase of Western Brick & Supply in 1959. In 1973, all of the sand and gravel operations were combined into Western Sand & Gravel Company.
1955 – Nebraska Prestressed Concrete Company
In 1955, Nebraska Prestressed Concrete Company was founded at 6300 Cornhusker Highway, Lincoln to produce components required for building structures and bridges. In 1974, Nebraska Prestressed Concrete became Concrete Industries, Inc.
1958 – Inland Insurance Company
Inland Insurance Company was founded in 1958 to serve much the same function as Universal Surety Company. Over time, both companies expanded to write license and permit bonds, public, official and court bonds and miscellaneous bonds such as probate and guardianship bonds. Today, they concentrate their business in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Colorado.
1966 – Kerford Limestone
Kerford Limestone Company, located in Weeping Water, Nebraska, was founded in 1966 and today is one of Nebraska’s largest and most productive limestone mines. Limestone exists beneath most of Nebraska but is mined only in the eastern part of the state because of its high quality and shallow depths. Each year Kerford produces over 2 million tons of limestone that is used in asphalt, concrete, animal feed, and base materials.
1969 – Ideal Concrete Products Company
Founded in 1905, Ideal Cement Stone Company was located in a small shed about 10 blocks from Omaha’s growing business center. By 1950, Ideal had become one of the largest concrete block plants in the nation. Ideal was purchased by Abel Investment in 1969 and the name was changed to Ideal Concrete Products Company. It later became Concrete Industries of Omaha and continued to operate until 1988 when it merged with NEBCO’s newly purchased Watkins Concrete Block Company.
1974 – Concrete Industries, Inc.
Because of their complementary functions, General Steel Products Company and Inland Concrete Company (created in 1966 to help with the expansion of Nebraska Prestressed Concrete Company) eventually came to operate under the name of Concrete Industries, Inc. in 1974.
1981 – NEBCO Intermodal, Inc.
NEBCO Intermodal operates warehouses which store miscellaneous materials and animal feed commodities.
1985 – James P. Abel
In 1985, Jim Abel succeed his father, George Abel Jr., as President of NEBCO, Inc. Under Jim’s leadership, the organization has increased concrete and building material operations through acquisitions in various Nebraska communities.
1986 – U-Mix Products Company
To accommodate demand from the do-it-yourself construction market, U-Mix Products Company was founded in 1986. Located in Ashland, Nebraska, U-Mix annually packages and distributes more than 1,500,000 individual bags of construction materials including mortar mix, concrete, rip-rap, cement, sand and decorative aggregates.
1988 – Watkins Concrete Block Company
At the same time Ideal Cement Stone was expanding, another enterprise, Besser Manufacturing Concrete Block Company was doing business in Omaha. In 1934, J.B. Watkins, founder of J.B. Watkins Lumber Company in 1889 purchased Besser Manufacturing Company. J.B. Watkins’ son, Charles, changed the name to Watkins Concrete Block Company in 1941. NEBCO purchased Watkins in 1988.
1996 – Christensen Concrete and Kearney Crete & Block
NEBCO continued to exapnd its production resources with the purchase and operation of Christensen Concrete Products Company, Kearney Crete and Block Co., Inc. and Ready Mixed Concrete, Inc. of Kearney.
1996 – Quarry Oaks Golf Club
Quarry Oaks Golf Club lies between Lincoln and Omaha, just three miles south of Interstate 80 and Mahoney State Park. Quarry Oaks opened to the public in 1996 as Nebraska’s premier native natural golf course.
2001 – Lincoln Saltdogs & Haymarket Park
The Lincoln Saltdogs are a member of the Central Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. The Saltdogs play their home games at Haymarket Park in Lincoln, NE.
2007 – Overland Sand & Gravel Company
Overland Sand & Gravel Company was purchased by NEBCO, Inc. in 2007 and mines aggregates near Central City, Waco, Clarks and Silver Creek Nebraska. Concrete aggregate makes up 70 percent of the mined product. More than 60 additional products ranging from coarse rock material used in landscape decoration to fine-grained sands used for golf course greens and athletic field construction.
2012 – Apollo Steel Company
Apollo Steel Company was founded in 1973 by Judds Brothers Construction Co. and is located in Lincoln, Nebraska. NEBCO purchased Apollo Steel Company in 2012. Apollo is a steel fabrication and distribution company, serving eastern Nebraska and western Iowa. The company provides a wide array of steel products for a diverse customer base. Those products include commercial fabrication, columns, beams, lintels, plates, angles, pipe, tubing, bar joists and metal decking.
2015 – Beatrice Concrete Company
Beatrice Concrete Company was founded in 1944 and developed by Everett R. Jones and J.W. Lawler who remained partners until 1983. In 1983 the current owners incorporated Beatrice Concrete Company. Beatrice Concrete Company, Inc currently operates throughout southeastern Nebraska with ready mix plant facilities in Beatrice, Crete, Fairbury, and Palmyra. Beatrice Concrete Company also produces sand & gravel, and crushed rock at various mining locations.