OMAHA (DTN) -- Bryce Anderson, who has been the DTN ag newsroom's chief weather guru almost since the company began, will retire at the beginning of June.
When Bryce Anderson started work at DTN, he was no stranger to me. I had been watching him on the local television station for years, as farm director and weatherman. And he was no stranger to DTN or agriculture.
Bryce covered the start-up of DTN, those who founded it and often turned to analysts here to flesh out his farm director reporting. In particular, I remember he hosted a segment called Farm Family of the Week that sometimes featured folks from my hometown. (Shoutout to the Scholtings!)
Bryce became a full-fledged DTN employee in late 1991, at a time when our news and weather was delivered by satellite to monochrome (green on black or orange on black) screens. He started writing weather forecasts and commentary but was also a grains analyst when needed. There were several times during Bryce's tenure at DTN when he became a market analyst for extended periods. And, of course, ag weather itself includes a lot of market analysis: How is this weather likely to affect crops and therefore the markets?
When DTN developers came up with a color satellite unit, Bryce was part of a group of newsroom employees, including current DTN Multimedia Editor Nick Scalise and former newsroom employee Jeff LaGrone, who designed our talk show DTN on Air. Every Wednesday, someone knowledgeable from agriculture, Extension, markets or weather would join Bryce in the DTN studio for an hour-long chat about an ag-related topic. Once a year we allowed the topic be sports -- a college football preview, I believe. Bryce is a big Husker fan.
One of my favorite DTN On Air memories was going to dinner before a show with Bryce, a DTN analyst, that night's guest and a couple others. At a Kobe Steakhouse, former DTN analyst, now a contributing analyst, Alan Brugler ordered calamari. The guest that night leaned over to me and whispered, "What's calamari?" "Octopus," I replied. The guest sat up and said loudly, "Give me chicken."
As DTN grew and advanced, as senior ag meteorologist, Bryce did his part to keep readers informed and entertained. He dipped back into his past work experience in radio and television to post audio market updates and weather forecasts. When DTN moved onto the internet, Bryce began writing and recording video news pieces, market update videos and weather forecast videos. It is rare to find a journalist proficient in text, video and audio -- but Bryce does all three admiringly well.
Bryce connects with farmers. He grew up on a farm in central Nebraska near Holdrege, and he helped manage the farm when his parents grew unable to. He and his siblings sold that farmland to a relative about 15 years ago.
From meetings of DTN's Customer Advisory Board (CAB) to speeches at ag group meetings, co-op meetings and DTN's yearly Ag Summit, Bryce knows a lot of our customers and knows what their concerns are. Bryce sold the first DTN Ag Weather Station in August of 2013 to customer Mark Nowak from Minnesota, who still uses info from that station.
Bryce is fun to work with. He has a sharp wit and likes puns -- maybe a little too much for my taste! He called DTN Livestock Analyst John Harrington "Sir John of Loin," which I loved as John really was livestock royalty.
Many DTN customers and readers know Bryce's distinctive voice was not just for newscasts. He's long been a member of barber shop choruses and lent his voice to many solo efforts. DTN Ag Summit attendees also are well accustomed to being entertained by his pipes at more than a few Chicago dueling piano establishments.
Long-time DTN employee Patti Dunaway remembers her wedding 27 years ago when there was a last-minute issue with their soloist. Bryce stepped in and sang at the wedding. A lot of the guests were farmers, Patti said, so having Bryce sing added to the cool factor.
I (and many other DTN employees) learned a lot from Bryce. He really fleshed out my education on growing degree days, ag regions of the country such as Western and Eastern Corn Belt, market fundamentals, and of course, weather. I also learned a lot about persevering through life's rough spots from Bryce and his family.
Bryce is retiring to spend more time with his wife, Eleanor, and kids and grandkids. But DTN customers won't have to do completely without him. He will be writing occasional blogs and articles and will provide weather info to other DTN reporters. We wish him well in his "semi" retirement.
Here's what Bryce had to say about his career at DTN:
"The past 45-plus years, including almost 30 at DTN, have given me a front-row seat at the theater of ag weather, and I feel very fortunate and thankful. Weather is the one factor that hits all angles of the ag business, which means that no two days were exactly the same. That variety has been terrific," he said. "I've also had the opportunity to meet and work with and learn from many truly bright and talented people. I hope that my contributions have been interesting and especially useful in helping our customers make a profit."
DTN Editor-in-Chief Greg Horstmeier commented, "It's a testament to the depth and the breadth of Bryce's abilities that there's simply no one person who can replace him. It will take several.
"His knowledge of both weather and commodity markets, his instincts around little details that have the potential to be big market movers, his understanding of crops and crop production and how farmers think, he's really a one-of-a-kind talent.
"That's why we're not letting him trot off too far," Horstmeier promised. "DTN customers will still see his contributions off and on in the future. As dedicated as he is to farmers' success, we didn't have to twist his arm too hard to do that."
Bryce can be reached at Bryce.firstname.lastname@example.org
Cheri Zagurski can be reached at email@example.com
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