This former school teacher took his love of farming, the outdoors and education and found a way to incorporate them all into his life.
Bruce grew up on a grain and livestock farm in north central Iowa near the towns of Allison and Greene, spending his spare time in middle school and high school working with livestock and corn/soybean production. detasseling seed corn as well as .
After graduating high school, Bruce says that his mom had an influence on his decision to go to college. “My mom was a college graduate (teacher) and I thought a college education would open more doors for me in my future,” Bruce explains. He went on to earn an Associate’s degree from Ellsworth Junior College and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Biology from the University of Northern Iowa.
Bruce spent his summers detasseling seed corn, and is proud to say he and his wife met in a corn field! "I was driving the bus of detasslers and she was the crew leader - the rest is history."
Bruce taught high school for many years, in both Council Bluffs and Clarion-Goldfield, keeping an environmental component in all of his education. He has been involved with IOWATER monitoring as well as volunteer work with many conservation projects in the Wright County area. After retiring from teaching, he took a job with the United States Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service out of Clarion, Iowa.
“My role in my present job is still in education—this time meeting and communicating with farmers and landowners on the possible conservation farming practices that are available through the NRCS. I encourage the conservation practices of strip tillage or no tillage, cover crops, bioreactors, nutrient management, hoop buildings for livestock, and other conservation farming practices.” Bruce adds.
His work spans Hamilton and Wright Counties, with his time split between the Mississippi River Basin Initiative (MRBI) and the Lyons Creek watershed project.
Bruce also has many hobbies that reflect his love for the environment around him. He enjoys helping his neighbor on his farm, managing a 13-acre conservation reserve program (CRP) parcel and flying around in his 1972 Cessna 150 airplane. Bruce adds, “I enjoy taking aerial photographs of the ever-changing landscape and activities that are going on in this landscape. I enjoy giving airplane rides to farmers who want to look at their crops or others who enjoy flying”.
He also loves canoeing in rivers, lakes and streams. “Canoeing allows one to enjoy the river in a more personal way.”