James R. Volk was born in Battle Creek, Nebraska. He graduated from Battle Creek High school in 1950. From that time, he became owner/operator of the Glendale Farms of Battle Creek, Nebraska. The farm specializes in purebred SPF swine and Simmental cattle. Along with these two livestock enterprises, a substantial portion of their income comes from grain production. Jim and his wife, Stella, have raised 4 children. They are J.D., Jan, Tom and Sue.
During the next 40 years (1950-1990) Jim Volk changed and expanded his farming operation. He started by increasing his swine herd during the 1950's, and selling his dairy herd. During the 1960's Jim added stock cattle and Yorkshire hogs to his operation. At that time you could travel south of Battle Creek and see all his A sheds on the fields near the highway. The 1970's and 80's brought many changes. Jim bought several farms near home and started a second swine herd. He also started his Simmental herd in 1975 and has used some of the best bulls in the U.S. within his herd. Many buildings were built, and today there are no A sheds in the pasture. Currently, Jim has 850 acres of which 800 is tillable, plus two swine herds and a 60 cow Simmental herd.
Jim has been a strong leader in Nebraska in utilizing on-farm performance testing records. Mr. Volk started weighing and probing pigs for backfat in 1954 and has continued this practice through today. He also has used the Simmental data since he started his Simmental herd and data is collected on all animals produced on his farm. From 1983-1988, Jim served on the American Yorkshire Club Board of Directors and was very instrumental in helping that organization develop a performance program for Yorkshire swine.
In this area of youth development, James Volk has been very influential in the Madison County Area and in the state in general. He has sponsored many FFA banquets and awards; he has helped 4-H by being a volunteer leader and by sponsoring awards; he has also hosted numerous judging teams on his farm for work-outs.
Jim has encouraged others to pursue animal production as a career and in his own family he has been very successful. A son, Jim, and a nephew, Rex, are both a part of the farm operation and his daughter Jan, is also involved in a swine operation that she started.
James Volk has been, and is still, one of the best leaders in Nebraska animal agriculture. His foresight and intelligent approach has helped many organizations. He was one of the organizers of the Nebraska Swine Council and the second president of the Nebraska Pork Producers. During this period, Jim spent a lot of time working with other states in establishing a National organization. He has also served the swine industry in many areas shown in this nomination. More recently he has helped the cattle industry and the farm records organization of Nebraska.
Jim has given freely of his time to assist governmental and university personnel in many areas. He has helped with animal health programs, area extension programs, farm representatives and general consultant in various areas.