Our Town Norfolk: Nebraska Life Magazine

NORFOLK, Neb. -- Production of Nebraska Life Magazine got started back in 1997 in Omaha. It wasn't long before the magazine's headquarters moved to Hartington, and then in 2005, a Norfolk native named Chris Amundson bought the magazine and moved the business to his hometown.

"Every day, we hear from appreciative readers that thank us for producing the magazine," said Alan Bartels.

Bartels has spent the majority of his life in the Cornhusker state, and is now the assistant editor of Nebraska Life Magazine.

"All the time, we hear from people how the magazine is a nice escape from the bad news that happens everyday that we hear about all around the world. Nebraska Life is just full of positive stories of Nebraska, and that's our philosophy," Bartels said.

After more than 20 years in the magazine business, Nebraska Life has nearly 40,000 subscribers, located in every state in America and in many countries around the world.

"As a life-long Nebraskan, I'm really proud to travel Nebraska," Bartels said. "I feel I represent the state when I'm out here wearing this shirt...it's my job, but it's also something that I love."

The 1989 graduate of Greeley, Nebraska High School has great memories from when he first started writing for Nebraska Life in 2007.

"My first story was very important, one of my favorites. It was my first feature in the magazine and my first photos, and it was about the Lakeland Sod High School up there in Brown County," he said. "This was the only the only sod high school ever built specifically for a high school."

"A lot of the people I run into know about the magazine, but they seem to be continually surprised about things that they haven't heard of before in Nebraska," said A.J. Daum.

Daum is the staff photographer for Nebraska Life Magazine.
"I find that my favorite part of the job is to go and meet the people of Nebraska," Daum said. "I get to do a lot of fun things, but my favorite is to go and hear from the people and hear how much they enjoy the magazine and what it means to them and to their families."

The colorful and glossy periodical continually reconfirms to its readers that there really is no place like Nebraska.

"We hear all the time how people throw the magazines into the car and use them as their guide on trips around Nebraska," Bartels said.

The magazine made a big deal out of celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2017.

"It's pretty important to us, you know, all of us who work here give our heart and soul to this magazine," Bartels said. "We love Nebraska, just like our readers do, so celebrating 20 years was a big milestone for us, but we know there's a lot more years and a lot more great stories to come."

Things went so smoothly with the magazine here in Nebraska that in 2012, Publishers Chris and Angela Amundson launched Colorado Life Magazine, and coming up later this year, Utah Life Magazine will be hitting the presses as well.