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Soaking Up Regenerative Ag Knowledge Builds Stable Foundation

Having returned to farming after a career in construction, Chris Schmidt was open to every idea his son brought home from college.

I’m not afraid to listen to my kid. My dad, Dale, was a little more skeptical, but then again, skeptical is understandable — especially when it was his living that was on the line when my son, Brad, and I wanted to do a little experimenting. 

I had left the family farm and pursued a career in construction. I purchased a small farm near the family farm in 2010 to give my kids the rural experience. While the kids were young, I focused on raising sheep and kids and helped my dad on the farm when I wasn’t building. 

When Brad went to South Dakota State University to work on a degree in agronomy, he would come home from on breaks with some interesting ideas about farming. Ideas like no-till and cover crops. When he asked what we thought about cover crops, my response was, “What the heck are cover crops?” In our area, at least at the time, if you didn’t till it and kill it, you weren’t farming. 

Despite not knowing about cover crops, it fit with ideals I’d formed in construction. I used materials that were sustainable and fast to regenerate, like Southern yellow pine. I wanted to investigate more.

Check The Specs...

NAME: Chris Schmidt

LOCATION: Garvin, Minn.

ACRES: 160

YEARS NO-TILLING: 13

CROPS: Corn, soybeans, wheat, alfalfa, cover crops

ANNUAL PRECIPITATION: 28 inches

PRIMARY SOIL TYPE: Heavy clay loam

LIVESTOCK: Hair sheep, hogs, chickens, turkeys and cattle

Together Brad and I convinced my dad to…

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Martha mintz new

Martha Mintz

Since 2011, Martha has authored the highly popular “What I’ve Learned About No-Till” series that has appeared in every issue of No-Till Farmer since August of 2002.


Growing up on a cattle ranch in southeastern Montana, Martha is a talented ag writer and photographer who lives with her family in Billings, Montana.

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