- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - Dave Gilsdorf has been getting to the root of problems in Platte County for the past four decades as weed superintendent.

He has headed up the department for 41 years and was recently recognized for his service at the 67th annual conference of the Nebraska Weed Control Association. The primary role of his office is taking care of all the weed issues along county roads and state highways in Platte County.

“We oversee the whole county. Whatever needs to be taken care of we do,” Gilsdorf told the Columbus Telegram (https://bit.ly/1cX3KK9).

His job also entails overseeing weed control issues, plant identification, monitoring commercial and enforcing spraying operations done by the district, enforcing state weed laws and submitting annual reports to the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.

The 66-year-old said what has kept him on the job for so many years is working with the public.

“I just more of less like helping people and seeing them get their problems taken care of,” he said.

He is the only full-time worker in the office with a part-time secretary. In the summer, part-time help is usually hired. The weed control office moved from Columbus to Platte Center in 1973 to be located in a more centralized area of the county.

Spring through fall is the busiest time for the weed control office. Winter is typically spent maintaining equipment and going to school to get certified.

Along with ridding the roadways of weeds, part of the job is spent spraying pastures of landowners who don’t care for the fields themselves.

“We try to get them to take care of it themselves. If they don’t, then we have to, but we don’t have the time to do everyone’s pasture in the county,” Gilsdorf said.

For some people, weed control isn’t at the forefront. Or at least that is the way it was when Gilsdorf started on the job.

“You are dealing with people whose last thing on their mind is weeds. Forty years ago they worried about crops, not the 30 acres they have by the creek,” Gilsdorf said.

Throughout the majority of the year, it is common for Gilsdorf to spray 100 miles of land in a day.

“You never run out of weeds,” he said.


Information from: Columbus Telegram, https://www.columbustelegram.com

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