Please share a little about yourself.
My name is Chad Bruss and I reside in Markesan. I grew up on my family’s dairy farm. In 2018, I earned my bachelor’s degree in animal science with a minor in agribusiness from UW-Platteville. I returned home to our family’s farm where we milk 150 cows.
When you were growing up what did you want to be?
I enjoyed growing up on our dairy farm and that’s what drove me to continue my education at UW-Platteville before deciding to come back to the farm. It was a way of life growing up, and I wouldn’t want it any other way; an office job would not be for me.
As a dairy farmer, what are some of the challenges you face and successes you are most proud of?
The constant battle with the weather is always a struggle that you have to work with. I find ways to take advantage of the good days and mitigate any potential challenges it might try to throw our way. After coming home to the farm after college, the goal was to focus on improving genetics and increasing milk production. We are proud of the improvements we have seen.
Please share your experience participating in the YFA Discussion Meet.
My first experience with participating in the Discussion Meet was in college when I got involved in Collegiate Farm Bureau at UW-Platteville. Now, after graduating from the Wisconsin Farm Bureau Leadership Institute, it was a great opportunity to put those skills to use.
What is one agricultural experience that has defined you?
Coming home and working with family makes you learn a lot about yourself. You don’t realize how much your family can really mean to you while you are growing up until you get off the farm and work with people who have a different background and work ethic than what you grew up with. While it can be trying and difficult at times, everyone’s goals are the same at the end of the day.
What is one Farm Bureau experience of which you are most proud?
My first experience planning a large event in college, ‘Brag About Ag Event,’ was a learning experience. From organizing the location, what speakers to have and serving food to an unknown number of people took a lot of planning. To have the event be a success was a moment of which I was extremely proud.
What is something that many Farm Bureau members do not know about you?
After the hypnotist show at last year’s YFA conference, I’m not sure what they don’t know about me. I was born without a thyroid, which is not common.
Is there anything else you want to add?
Being out of college only four years, Farm Bureau has already given me a lot of opportunities to meet new people and to go places I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to go if it weren’t for this organization. I’ve learned the more involved you get and the more you take advantage of what it has to offer, the more you will get out of it.
Column originally appeared in the April | May 2023 Rural Route.
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