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0609 PD: Progressive Dairyman co-founder passes away

Published on 09 April 2009

Dr. Bruce J Bradley, 65, loving husband, father and brilliant scientist, decided it was time to “pursue a more lofty work,” as he would say, after a courageous battle against a brain tumor.

He returned to his Heavenly Father on March 6, 2009, with love surrounding him from family. He’d been a resident and business owner in Jerome for nearly 30 years. As a service to clients of his business, North West Labs, he began Northwest News, a newsletter for dairy producers. The newsletter was the early beginnings of what would later become Progressive Dairyman.



Bruce was born on May 16, 1943, to Verl and Doris Gravatt Bradley in Springfield. He learned on the family farm that hard work and dedication brought rewards and success. He used these principles throughout his life and instilled this character in all of his children and grandchildren.

Bruce graduated from Aberdeen High School in 1961. He was an active member of Future Farmers of America where he received national recognition in welding.

After graduation, he attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, residing in Farmhouse Fraternity. At Idaho, he reestablished a relationship with his high school sweetheart, JoAnn Wahlen. They were married July 12, 1963, and sealed for eternity on July 14, 1965, in the Cardston Alberta Canada Temple. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in animal science in 1968 and received his master’s degree in dairy science, reproductive physiology in 1971. During this time, Bruce and JoAnn had the first four of their children and built their own home in Moscow. Bruce graduated from Washington State University with a Ph.D. in nutrition, biochemistry and microbiology in 1977.

Bruce and JoAnn have seven children and were actively involved in their lives. He would attend scouting events, hunting trips, sports competitions, and dance and piano recitals, often in the same week. He always strived for “Family First.”

Bruce seemed to have a positive influence on everyone he came in contact with. He was a Scoutmaster for more than 30 years and helped countless young men become Eagle Scouts and better members of their community. He was a good and fair businessman as well as a great friend and confidant to many.


Bruce was an avid hunter and later became a fan of 4-wheeling, forming his own 4-wheeling “gang” of best friends, family and most definitely his grandchildren. They were all his best 4-wheeling buddies. He was most happy when able to ride to the top of a mountain with friends and family and look out over the grandeur and feel closer to our Heavenly Father.

Bruce was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He held many positions and gave his best effort to all of them.

We can truly say that Bruce accomplished everything he set out to do in this life. He fulfilled even his last goal of seeing his own invention become a reality. He won the prestigious 2008 International Award for Innovation in Food Safety. His company, Microbial-Vac Systems, and his crew will greatly miss their “Dr. B.” He’ll forever be remembered as the heart of the company.

Bruce is survived by his wife of 45 years, JoAnn; sons B. Joel Bradley, Jared (Marla) Bradley, Matthew Bradley, Christopher Bradley and Andrew Bradley; and daughters, Megan (John) Supernaugh and Lindsey (Tim) Bradley.

He was blessed with eight granddaughters, Erin, Sara, Kristi, Kaila, Nicole, Kessika, Sydni and Aliza; and three grandsons, Connor, Caden and Brendan.

Surviving him are two brothers Robert (Kathie) Bradley, Barry (Judy) Bradley; and two sisters, Jean (Dwayne) Savage and Diane (Les) Stith as well as numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.


Bruce was preceded in death by his parents, sister Pauline, nephew Todd Stith and most recently, a beloved brother-in-law, Dean Conrad. We’re sure he had an incredible welcoming committee as he arrived in Heaven.

Funeral services were held March 12 in Jerome, Idaho. Graveside services were held March 13 at the Springfield-Sterling Cemetery in Springfield, Idaho. PD