As planters continue to roll across Nebraska, it is difficult for our Nebraska Farmer family to think of working through this growing season and summer magazine schedule without a very important colleague and team member.
It is with sad and heavy hearts that Nebraska Farmer and Farm Progress mourn the passing of a man who has worked with Nebraska Farmer in advertising for the past 40 years.
Terry James Butzirus, 65, advertising and sales manager with Nebraska Farmer and Farm Progress, died April 22 at his home in Lincoln, Neb., surrounded by his family. He had been fighting a recent diagnosis of a chronic lung condition.
While many farmers may not know Terry personally, our advertisers all know him well. He was a guy who worked extremely hard to build up Nebraska Farmer and Husker Harvest Days, but in a way that was behind the scenes most of the time. But no one can mistake his crucial role in bolstering our successes and growth over the years.
Terry (left) was born March 25, 1956, in Hastings, Neb., to Ernest Theodore Frederick and Vicki (Moschel) Butzirus. He graduated from Hastings High School in 1974 and received his climatology degree from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1978.
Over the course of the next 40 years, Butzirus was part of the Nebraska Farmer family, building advertising sales and helping to build Husker Harvest Days at Grand Island into the farm showcase it is today.
In addition to his distinguished track record at Nebraska Farmer, Terry also founded and coached the Net Works Tigers and the Lincoln Sox baseball teams from 1994 to 1999. He loved playing cards and golf, and he was a man of few words but with a big heart.
During this extremely difficult time, our condolences go out to Terry’s family members, including his wife of 36 years, Pat; his sons, Atlee and Stuart; and his daughters, Heather and Heidi; as well as granddaughters Corie, Hailey, Ruby, Dot and Bella. Terry’s funeral was last week at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Lincoln.
On a personal note, I first got to really know Terry 11 years ago when I was hired as field editor. He drove former editor Don McCabe and me to St. Charles, Ill., for a Farm Progress meeting. Over the years at Husker Harvest Days, Terry would often pull me aside and tell me, “There is this independent vendor that I think you should talk with. He’s got some neat ideas and may know of some farmers you could interview.”
Almost always, Terry was right. He cared deeply about the people he worked with and worked for, and it seems to me that he not only knew people, but he also understood them. That’s what made him so good at his job.
Also, I always wondered why Terry seemed to know what the weather was going to do at Husker Harvest Days even before the weatherman knew. Now, as I’ve learned of his climatology background, it all makes sense. In any case, we will miss our team member and friend, and there is a big hole in our hearts because of his passing.