There’s a kind of identity that’s inherent in the agricultural tradition. The straight plowed rows would still be familiar to the long-ago settlers who found their way to this place. It’s a way of life with its roots planted deep in the earth, not by chance, but by the dedicated work of many hands. And it’s a way of life that endures in Broken Bow and Custer County.
Today Custer County is the third largest beef cattle county in the nation and one of Nebraska’s top producers of corn. Automation and modern farming methods have long since arrived, and companies like Adams Land & Cattle, Sargent Irrigation, The Andersons and Thomas Livestock are known worldwide. Becton Dickinson, who chose Broken Bow over 50 years ago, continues to grow and thrive as a leader in global medical technology. A 50-turbine wind farm that can power 32,000 homes is already in operation in Broken Bow, and a second wind farm is expected to go into operation by the end of 2014, harnessing an age-old natural resource through the use of 21st-century technology.
Broken Bow has its own community college and its own modern, recently expanded hospital. The town has become a retail and services hub for the entire county. The One Box Pheasant Hunt, the natural beauty of the surrounding Sandhills and the needs of local corporations attract hundreds of visitors, and the new Cobblestone Hotel & Suites and One Box Convention Center are now there to welcome them. Healthy growth like that didn’t happen by chance. It happened because the same pioneer spirit that built Broken Bow made it happen.
This is a place where tradition has nothing to do with being resistant to change.
And everything to do with taking care of ourselves, our neighbors and our community. Long ago, we learned to depend on each other. Long ago, we learned that the best way to get a job done was to roll up our sleeves and do it together. In Broken Bow, small has its own strengths. And that, properly directed, those strengths are the very ones that can keep us vibrant and moving forward.
We’re a small town. We’ll always be a small town. And we wouldn’t have it any other way. But we also know that today is a different world from yesterday, and that tomorrow will be different from today. And that, if we don’t move with the times, the times will ultimately pass us by.
The roots are deep, and the roots are strong. But they don’t keep us earthbound. They keep us growing.
Broken Bow. Rooted. But not standing still.