Impacts and Insights of Influential No-Tillers

Our editors hear amazing stories from no-tillers every day, but not every quote or anecdote makes it into print for one reason or another. Here, we chronicle a handful of tales from our encounters that have made a lasting impression.


No-Till Learning Never Stops

By John Dobberstein, Senior Editor

When I came to No-Till Farmer, I knew little about production agriculture other than what I gleaned during summer trips during the 1980s to my uncle’s small farm in western Michigan. I understood the sacrifices of the profession, however, as he would sometimes be missing from holiday events to take care of the farrowing hogs.

The only thing constant in life is change, and that certainly applies to farming since I became an editor here. Technology is progressing at a blinding pace, and even for a seasoned ag editor with lots of connections it’s very difficult to keep up with. 

Taking in the dazzling displays of equipment and technology at farm shows and writing about all the newfangled technology was a side benefit of my job. 

What I really enjoyed most was hearing the personal stories of courage and success shared by the no-tillers I interviewed over the last 11 years. Some are leaders in the field, others were hanging on by a thread. But almost everyone had knowledge or experience they could share.  

Here are some of the great stories I heard personally while on the road the last decade for No-Till Farmer

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COLD TURKEY. After watching a video featuring soil health expert Ray Archuleta, Essex, Mo., no-tiller Johnny Hunter quit tilling his ground cold turkey, got rid of the

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John dobberstein2

John Dobberstein

John Dobberstein is senior editor of No-Till Farmer magazine and the e-newsletter Dryland No-TillerHe previously covered agriculture for the Tulsa World and worked for daily newspapers in Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Joseph, Mich. He graduated with a B.A. in journalism and political science from Central Michigan University.

Julia gerlach web

Julia Gerlach

Julia Gerlach is Executive Editor of No-Till Farmer. She has a lengthy background in publishing and a longtime interest in gardening and mycology. She graduated with a B.A. in music and philosophy from Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wis.
Sarah hill web

Sarah Hill

Sarah Hill is associate editor for the ag division, contributing primarily to Precision Farming Dealer, Strip-Till Farmer, No-Till Farmer and Cover Crop Strategies. Hill has a farm background and graduated from the University of Missouri with a degree in Ag Journalism and a minor in Animal Science. She has previously served as managing editor of DairyBusiness and is a member of the National Agri-Marketing Association and American Ag Editors’ Association.

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