UNDER COVER. Aerial application has worked for establishing a cover crop on Andrew Bernzott’s Connersville, Ind., farm, but he wants to increase consistency by switching to a Phoenix Harrow with a Gandy airseeder.  Andrew Bernzott

‘Startup’ No-Tiller Applies Tried & True Farming Know-How to New Operation

A young grower started his own operation strong by leasing long-term no-till acres & gleaning critical knowledge from past employers.

“Farmhand” was always a passing title for me — valuable, but not my overall end goal. My time spent as a farmhand provided many learning and advancement opportunities — including starting my own farm in Connersville, Ind., which stitched together the one-generation gap in my family’s farming heritage. 

Technically, I’m a first-generation farmer. My grandfather farmed, but my mother and her siblings chose other career paths. I spent a lot of time helping with chores when I was younger, but my grandfather retired before I was old enough to truly work with him. Still, I had the farming bug.

In high school, I worked for his tenant and a family friend for years before I went to Purdue to earn a degree in ag economics. After college, I worked as an operations manager for a large farm in Crawfordsville, Ind.  After parting ways, I was introduced to the Rulon family of Rulon Enterprises in central Indiana, who has been no-tilling a multi-thousand acreage since 1911. It was the start of my solo farming career. 

We met through a mutual business associate at The Executive Program for Agricultural Producers (TEPAP) offered by Texas A&M. When I arrived back in Indiana, Ken Rulon reached out to see if I was interested in the opportunity he could provide. I decided to make the trip to Arcadia to see what the Rulons had to offer.  


NAME BRAND. Avoiding generic herbicides results in excellent and consistent cover crop and weed control for Bernzott. Andrew Bernzott

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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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