Marce Bruhn of Nevada has kept records for the Dairy Records Management System for more than 30 years. The record system is jointly managed by Iowa State University and North Carolina State University, and manages data for more than 13,000 dairy producers and 2,000,000 cows.
“I am very much a rules person,” Bruhn said. “Follow the rules, do it right, get accurate data.”
Tonight, Bruhn is an Iowa State employee who will receive a Merit Award for her excellent service while working for the university.
She says her sister-in-law, a former dairy producer in Illinois, knew about Bruhn before she became her sister-in-law and it’s one of Bruhn’s favorite stories.
“When I first met my (now) sister-in-law in 2006, she said ‘you’re DHIA’s (Dairy Herd Improvement Association) Marce? I have a note on my desk from 1989 that says if you have a problem with your cows, call Marce!’” Bruhn said.
Processing dairy records management reports and getting accurate data to the producers is very important to Bruhn.
“We have everything from small family farms to big corporate farms looking for information,” Bruhn said. “When I sit here, they’re just numbers, but for the producers at the other end — it’s their livelihood.”
Bruhn is proud to be a part of the transition of changing systems to process data. The department is converting the entire system from a mainframe computer platform to a server-based system.
Part of processing the data is to solve problems when numbers don’t match up between technicians and producers.
“After 30 years, I understand how the industry has evolved and this gives me a unique insight into looking for corrections,” Bruhn said. “There’s a difference between knowing the technical way to do things and having the instinct to understand how things are.”
Bruhn’s dedication to helping others goes beyond her work. She works to raise funds for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She is a team captain of a BikeMS Team in memory of her mom and rides the C.H. Robinson BikeMS Ride in Ankeny every year.
“My mother passed away from complications of MS several years ago and I have been fighting to help find a cure ever since,” Bruhn said.
Bruhn values the relationships and friendships she’s made with coworkers, technicians and producers. She is honored to be receiving the award.
“Someone, my boss in particular, recognizes that my experience counts for something and my dedication is important,” Bruhn said.
Iowa State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences will present awards to faculty and staff tonight, March 8, at its Spring-Semester Convocation and Awards program in the Memorial Union.