New kid on the blog

April 10, 2012 —

Fritz - Two Mile Ranch As the new kid on the blog, I thought I would introduce myself. All of the below is what the PR gurus say I should put on my resume and my Linked-in profile:

I cook, I farm, I teach.

I split my time between two worlds. In one, I’m an assistant professor here in the Des Moines University health care administration program. I also teach food policy courses in our master of public health program. This year, I am serving a year-long term as president of the Iowa Food Systems Council board of directors.

In my other world, I’m a small rancher.

My home, Two Mile Ranch, is halfway between Des Moines and Kansas City. Two Mile Ranch features a game bird habitat where we raise and release pheasants and ethically grow pasture-raised ducks, turkeys and chickens that are antibiotic-free.

I’ve done a number of things that led me to DMU five years ago. During my career I’ve been a special assistant to the president of a four-year college, the program director of a paramedic training program, vice president of a multi-million-dollar advertising agency, and president of my own consulting firm. I was co-founder of a nonprofit organization that worked with two Nobel Prize-nominated charities along with a select group of NGOs that were making a significant difference in the lives of people who were in need or at risk.

Working in 12 countries I’ve produced documentaries and was an early pioneer in producing Internet-based multimedia storytelling projects in the early 1990s. I launched my first commercial website for a client in 1994.

Along the way, some folks have had some nice things to say about my work. I’ve been recognized for my website design and content four times by USA Today. Twice I was picked as one of the Top 100 Producers by AV Video/Multimedia Producer magazine. The journalists over at the National Press Photographers Association honored me with a special citation for my work on a documentary titled “Behind the Viewfinder.”

On campus, some great research colleagues have allowed me to work with them on the topics of learning styles, evidence-based practice, and the role gender plays in health care leadership. Last year, the MHA students voted me “Student Choice Faculty of the Year.”

Which is all very nice, but I thought you should also know what those same PR gurus strongly encouraged me to leave out:

In high school, I used to do an impression of Chuck Barris from “The Gong Show.”

I once dislocated my shoulder skiing while trying to impress a woman. (She was not amused or impressed.)

I joined the Grand River Volunteer Fire Department and my first call was to my own out-of-control grass fire.

I can sing the lyrics to the theme from “The Beverly Hillbillies” TV show to the tune of “Gilligan’s Island.”

And this one time, at band camp, I almost…


Fritz Nordengren says his blog posts are “lessons learned from 80 acres and a six-burner stove.” When he’s not on campus supervising the final academic project for DMU’s health care administration students, he’s working on his 80-acre poultry ranch in southern Iowa.

He raises and releases ringneck pheasants and ethically grows pasture-raised ducks, turkeys and chickens that are antibiotic-free. While he writes about food, food politics and food systems, he leaves the lecture and policy-wonkish rhetoric in the classroom and shares the personal and family impacts here.
  • Courtney

    Nice intro, Fritz! You’ve had such amazing experiences and have a lot of knowledge to offer. Lucky DMU students!

  • http://galaxyis.com/

    nice i love this post thank you fritz ^^

  • www.snelwerkvinden.com

    Great article you got me by farming ducks and other game, Oké I’m a chef and work only with fine and honest products, for the rest what you do, respect it;s alot you and you must be pride except for you skiing adventure. haha