BROKEN BOW—He graduated from Broken Bow in 1967 but never planned on returning. Now more than 47 years later Jerry Adams has nothing but admiration for his hometown.
In mid-July co-owner of Adams Land and Cattle Jerry Adams was honored to receive the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Broken Bow Alumni Association. Jerry said he was told by Alberta Crawley and told KCNI/KBBN he was very honored to receive this award and to have been nominated by his children Amy Staples, Melissa Lynd, and Scott Adams.
Jerry is one of the four sons of Russell and Angenette Adams and he said five generations have gone through Broken Bow Public Schools, with a few of his grandchildren (he has nine total) now attending. He and his wife Linda are grateful to be able to call Broken Bow home to both their family and business.
“I’m really glad I didn’t figure this cattle business out because that allowed Linda and I to raise a family, our three children here in this great community and they got a great education—outstanding education from Broken Bow High School.”
KCNI/KBBN sat down with Jerry as he summarized the message he shared with the audience during the All-Alumni Luncheon on July 13. In his speech Adams broke down the journey that has led him to where he is now.
Adams studied at UNL after high school and then took a job in Omaha. His three brothers were planning to return to Broken Bow someday but Jerry decided to return first and help his dad with a small cattle operation for a few years.
However, around the time of the Nixon Price Freeze Jerry said he and his dad lost $250/head of cattle that nearly bankrupted his dad. They recovered and Jerry decided to stay in Broken Bow until he really figured out the cattle businesses. He joked in his speech that he apparently has not figured it out yet because he’s still here!
“After I made this big mistake I made a commitment to myself that I’m going to stay here until I figure this cattle businesses out. I guess I’m still here so I guess I haven’t figured the cattle business out,” Jerry said.
Jerry wanted to convey to the alumni audience that no matter what your original plans may be, they change as life unfolds and that is okay. He described the next part of the journey as “the great outcome” following the “almost disaster” which led to him and Linda staying in Broken Bow to raise their children in a thriving community.
The rest of Jerry’s alumni speech exuded endless pride for Broken Bow and Governor Pete Rickett’s continuous mention of Broken Bow and Custer County as the “Gold Standard” of greater Nebraska.
Jerry attributes the governor’s high praise to the continuous efforts of the Custer Economic Development Corporation, Custer County Foundation, thriving businesses, entrepreneurs, the opportunities available for families, young leaders with a vision, and successful recruiting that all make Jerry’s hometown a great place to live, have a family, and work.
“The way I can make Broken Bow home for both my family and for my business and that’s really been important to me,” Adams said. “I just hope everybody around Broken Bow and Custer County steps back and thinks how lucky we are and how great Broken Bow and Custer County is,” Jerry added.