Celebrating Freedom and Public Service

By Dianna Troyer

District 1 Elko County Commissioner Wilde Brough was elected last fall. Photos by Carollee Jayne Portraits

Freedom and patriotism are personal family matters for newly elected Elko County Commissioner Wilde Brough.

“My dad fought in World War II for three years and survived several amphibious landings,” says the 67-year-old Clover Valley rancher.

He represents District 1 on the five-member commission. Wilde was elected last fall to a four-year term, replacing Demar Dahl, who had reached the term limit.

“When our family gets together, I like to tell our grandchildren about Dad and what he did,” Wilde says. “It’s a way to teach them about the sacrifices that were made to protect our freedom and what liberty means to us as citizens.”

During the Brough family reunion at his ranch on the Fourth of July, Wilde says he has a chance to remind his grandchildren of his dad’s service to his country. Along with that patriotic gratitude, the Broughs celebrate the nation’s birthday in other ways.

“We’re in the Fourth of July parade with all of my family on the wagon being pulled by Ben and Bart, my team of Percheron geldings,” he says. “At night, we do our own family fireworks show.”

Wilde says he has a deep appreciation of the sacrifices made by the Founding Fathers and of their vision to establish the United States of America.

In his living room, Wilde has a painting of George Washington kneeling in prayer at Valley Forge.

“His leadership abilities inspire me,” he says. “He accepted the responsibility of serving our country.”

Wilde says public service has always been a priority for him.

Before his election to the commission, the former teacher served on the Elko County School Board for two terms and was president of the Nevada Association of School Boards for two years.

Wilde’s family has a long history of public service —his father fought in World War II.

He says he ran for county commissioner after several people asked him to.

Wilde says when he began serving on the commission, he was impressed with how well it functions.

“Each member has a unique expertise,” he says. “I’m glad to be working with them.”

Wilde says his priorities as commissioner are to promote fiscal conservatism, government efficiency, and economic diversity.

“Our county economy is so reliant on gold mining and casino gambling,” he says. “I’d like to see other businesses come in.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, the pasture-to-plate movement gained traction and helped some ranchers who sold beef directly to consumers.

“Our family does that,” Wilde says. “We have cold storage on the ranch for our beef. It’s a lot of hard work but gratifying. Our daughter-in-law handles marketing.”

If the movement maintains its momentum, a meat processing plant might be a way to add diversity to the county economy, he says.

“We had one in the county at one time, but there are a lot of regulations to building and operating a plant,” Wilde says. The nearest new meat processing plant is being built in Jerome, Idaho, and would provide a closer place for ranchers to process their beef.

“Packers are making more money off a head of beef than the ranchers,” he says. “It needs to change. This plant would help with that.”

Currently, the Broughs process their beef 200 miles away near Logan, Utah. Wilde says as a commissioner, he encourages constituents to contact him with their concerns.

“I had the same attitude when I was on the school board,” he says. “I like to hear from people. I’m here to listen and see what I can do.”

Wilde Brough may be contacted at (775) 777-2590.