Bruce is retired from Weitz Construction Co. Connie is a housewife and together Bruce and Connie care for their grandchildren when needed during the work week. Bruce and Connie have 3 children, Amber, Jared and Derek. Amber is an accountant. Amber and her spouse Kendel have two boys, Cooper and Gabe. Jared is working construction full-time. Jared and Cheyenne have two boys, Oliver and Cleo. Derek is working at the USDA-ARS as a Agricultural Research Technician. Derek and his spouse Sadie have two girls, Maely and Ainsley.
You can never go back and capture that knowledge that is usually passed on from one generation to the next. When it’s gone, you have to find your own way. After 20 years off the farm, Bruce realized immediately that he lacked the necessary knowledge to manage and run a successful operation. This led him to seek out other ways to educate himself about cattle and grazing. He looked towards the Chips (Cow Heard Improvement Program) sponsored by ISU. He attended numerous pasture walks and grazing seminars. These programs showed him new and more innovative ways to pasture graze his livestock. In 1997, Bruce started rotational grazing.
Bruce has worked extensively with the NRCS & FSA Office and many other programs to try and accomplish a more sustainable way of life. He also used the CRP, EQIP & CSP Programs. Bruce really likes the CSP Program because it actually pays you for practices and conservation efforts you have already implemented on your farm.
Our farm has extra challenges as the creek that flows through our farm, flows directly into the 10,000 acre Chichaqua Bottoms Polk County Conservation Park & Wildlife Area. Bruce used the CRP Program to fence the cattle out of the creek that flows through our farm. This has had a positive impact on the water quality of the creek. There is much less soil erosion, nutrient runoff, and animal waste in the water stream.