Iowa Farm Broadcaster Boasts Unique Passion for History

Dustin Hoffman is a farm broadcaster at Iowa Agribusiness Radio Network with a unique passion for U.S. Civil War history. 
His love for history started when he was in grade school, when his dad bid on an unlikely pile of items.
“At the end of an auction, they threw a bunch of items in a pile and whoever gave them 10 bucks would get it,” Hoffmann said. “My dad immediately bid on it and won it. Just about everything went into the garbage pit, except for the 1863 Springfield musket.”
His father cleaned up the gun, and it stood in their living room for many years.
“That was my entrance into the history of the Civil War, and it just grew from there,” Hoffmann noted.
The Civil War that greatly affected the United States in the 1860s can still be seen through people who keep the history alive, like Hoffmann.
“Now I collect several historical artifacts, and I’ve been to battle sites across the country,” Hoffmann added. Some of the history is close to home, quite literally for Hoffman.
“The Dakota War that happened in 1862 started just 3 miles north from my farm,” Hoffmann said.
Out of all the battlefields Hoffmann has visited, Gettysburg is his favorite.
“There is just something about Gettysburg that, when you are there, it’s almost like it’s talking to you. It’s just a surreal experience,” Hoffmann said.
One event that took place at Gettysburg is known as the defense of Little Round Top. Union forces fended off an attack from advancing Confederate troops, and some historians credit it as a monumental moment in the overall three-day battle.
“Little Round Top is my favorite place on earth,” Hoffmann said. “During the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in 2013 I got to go out there and cover the ceremony and the celebrations for my radio station.”
Experiencing Civil War history firsthand is a passion that was instilled in Hoffmann at a young age, and that passion will not fade anytime soon.
“One morning, I got the chance to go into Gettysburg before it opened to set up. I got there right before dawn, and there was nobody up there. The sun was coming up, the fog was lifting, and the mist was coming off the battlefield . . .I will never forget how it looked, and that hooked me,” Hoffman concluded.