"Growing Season" Highlights Farm Family on YouTube


Zach Bartak follows in the footsteps of generations who have worked the land, dating back -- in their case -- to 1760.

"Gives me a lot of pride that my boys want to come follow our footsteps," Bruce Bartak said. "We followed dad's footsteps, dad followed his grandpa, way of living we enjoy."

With a diverse crop and cattle operation, everyone in the Bartak family plays a role.

"Divide and conquer," Bruce said.

But the rig Zach drives isn't his grandfather's tractor.

"It's GPS guided, RTK, variable rate, so we've updated it as we've got different technology," he said.

Bruce said the boys have quickly picked up on all the modern tools, but he doesn't mind.

"Different way tractors are driving and combines are – makes it fun," he explained.

All that tech might not mean much to the YouTube generation, but that's just where people can go to learn about this Custer County farm family, thanks to a new web series produced by Hastings–based co–op CPI.

Bruce said, "I'm slowly getting used to having a camera in my face and it's been fun, actually way more fun."

"Think the kids are having fun with it," his brother Joel said.

CPI did a billion dollars in sales last year, yet those outside of agriculture may not see that, and probably don't see what real farmers do.

So the co–op partners with the Bartaks with a web series called "Growing Season".

"At first when they said YouTube, I thought low quality fly by night deal," Joel confessed.

Bruce echoed that, "I was a little worried at first how it would all work out. They're a fun bunch to work with."

Those fears have been laid to rest, as the crew documents what really happens.

"Pretty well got pictures of the way it is," Bruce said.

Joel added that the video quality exceeds his expectations, and agrees with his brother that it paints a true picture of what farmers and ranchers do.

But they admit, they don't completely understand the appeal of the program themselves.

Zach said of viewers, "They're going to take 20 minutes out of their day to watch our lives, which we don't think are very exciting, probably is more to them."

A new episode airs monthly, online at

For their efforts, the Bartaks are NTV's GROW Farm Family of the Month for May 2013. To nominate a farm family or farm youth of the month, email