George Brandsberg was born and raised in South Dakota. He loves stories about the Old West—including some about his grandfather, who was a buffalo hunter and provided meat for miners in the Black Hills Gold Rush of the 1870s.
Brandsberg has written four books and scores of articles for newspapers and magazines. He has managed information technology projects such as creating an 80,000-page web site and producing CD-ROMs containing hundreds of research and historical documents.
Since retiring from Kansas State University in 2000, he has edited nine books, seven of them for The Master Teacher, Inc., on topics such as English as a Second Language and Character Development. The other two focused on sanitation and food safety and how to take care of a family member suffering from dementia.
Besides writing, photography, and spending time with his family, he likes to travel and work on do-it yourself projects. AFOOT is his first novel.
Honors and Awards George Brandsberg Received
When I was a child, my mother encouraged me to join the local 4-H Club, of which she was the leader. She also thought it would be a good idea to join Cub Scouts and eventually Boy Scouts to benefit from their programs. Having interested parents makes a world of difference for young people.
By the time I was done with 4-H, I had a drawer full of red, white and blue ribbons and even a few purple ones wont at 4-H events, including county fairs.. I was, for a fact, a winner.
In Scouting I started as a Cub, earning all the pins and badges and advancing to Boy Scouts where I became a Tenderfoot, a Second Class, a First Class and a Star Scout before I gave up Scouting. I made it to just two steps below Eagle Scout, the great pinnacle of accomplishment. Those two organizations gave me a ton of experience and a mountain of great memories.
Ingersoll Grade School
I went to a county school called Ingersoll School about three miles down a two-lane gravel road from our farm. It was a “Big School,” with a Lower Room (Grades 1-4) and an Upper Room (Grades 5 through 8). One of the activities there was going to meetings of the Young Citizen League (YCL) where we learned about the Roberts Rules of Order–how to conduct an orderly meeting and other things like becoming a patrit and a good character. I just learned that YCL existed only in South Dakota and North Dakota. It was something that gave us a sense of importance.
Belle Fourche High School
My high school was in a town seven miles from our place and it had hundreds a students. It scared the dickens out of the country kids. But we all–well, mostly all– became friends once we got to know each other. As a freshman, I went out for field and track. I ran a slow half-mile and leaped 16’4” in the broad jump. That was enough for me to earn a “B” team letter. By now I was big enough to have to help milk our cows, so my career as a jock ended.
For three years I sang in the boys’ glee club and the mixed chorus. The director, Mr. Olmstead. sure knew how to make us perform beautifully. I also wrote a column for our school newspaper. It was called Hoofprints because our mascots were the Belle Fourche Broncs.
While in high school, George completed a correspondence course offered by the Northwestern School of Taxidermy in Omaha. He also completed a correspondence course offered by the Newspaper Institute of America of New York City.
University of South Dakota
I went to the University of South Dakota, ‘way down in the southeast corner of the state, nearly 400miles away. I majored in philosophy because that’ what interested me. I was also liked Spanish and French, history and journalism. One semester I won the Lillie Hollingsworth Scholarship, which paid my tuition of $49 for that term.
My senior year I received the Robert de la Fontaine Medal for being the outstanding French Language student at USD.
I wrote for The Volante, the college newspaper and wrote a column that was supposed to be funny. I don’t remember that it won any awards.
I won a seat in the Student Senate for three years. My senior year I was also appointed to the Student Publications Board.
Out of college I worked for the Huron (SD) Daily Plainsman for a few months and the Omaha (NE) Daily Journal-Stockman for five years. The Stockman was located in the Stockyards and each issue usually consisted of six or eight pages of livestock and grain market news and wire service news stories
Iowa State University
While working in Omaha, I gathered information to write a book called The Two Sides in NFO’s Battle, a history of the early days of a farm movement that had a plan to stabilize farm commodity prices. It was controversial and some violent incidents occurred. Iowa State University Press published the book in 1964. ISU also offered me a teaching assistant ship in journalism, so my wife and I left Omaha and moved to Ames, Iowa. I received my M.S. Degree in 1967.
While enrolled at ISU, I joined an honorary society.
After leaving Iowa State, we moved to St. Paul, MN, where I worked for Webb Publishing Company for year before moving back to Ames, IA, when I joined the Information Service of the Iowa Cooperative Extension Service as an assistant editor assigned to writing news articles and editing Extension publications.
At Iowa State I joined an honorary society after completing my graduate studies. Name of society?
I left Iowa State to join an advertising agency in Omaha in 1970. After a year there, I joined Creative Services, Inc., in Des Moines, IA. CSI functioned as a public relations firm for major agribusiness corporations. I worked on a variety of accounts. After five years at CSI, I accepted a position in the Communications Department at Kansas State and remained there until my retirement as a professor emeritus in 2000.
The year 1992 was ,my big year of international travel. In March, I spent three weeks in Paraguay, providing training on the use of a program called PageMaker used for formatting publications. I taught a staff of male office workers in Spanish. After two weeks as a trainer I traveled to the Chaco, Paraguay’s “Outback” which was developed by Mennonite missionaries.
In July, 1992, I went to sabbatical to the Philippines as visiting editor at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) for six-months. I did routine communications work at IRRI. A colleague from the University of the Philippines at Los Banos suggested I propose giving a paper at the Southeast Asian Press Symposium in Beijing in November. The paper I proposed was a description of how Land Grant Universities in the U.S. use news media to deliver results of practical agricultural research to farm audiences. The paper was accepted and I presented it.
On the last night before the symposium ended, a official of the Symposium called me at midnight as asked if I would be willing to make a few remarks during the closing ceremony of meeting. I was one of only two Caucasian persons participants there and said “yes.”
For a few minutes I addressed about 500 persons in the Great Hall of the People, suggesting this symposium might serve as a beginning for open communications and freedom of the press between China and the rest of the world. I have often wondered what the interpreter said I said in that brief talk!
Following is a display of some honors and rewards I have received
|Certificate of Recognition by Kansas Association
of County Agricultural Agents
|Various award pins
|Agricultural Communicators in Education
"Services for Magazine"
|Agricultural Communicators in Education
"News Release for Dailies"
|Golden Arc Award - 1st Place
CD-Rom presentations & media materials
|National Agri-Marketing Association - First Award
External House Organ, Class 18A