No-Till Pioneer Passes On

Back in 1962, Harry Young Jr., began experimenting with no-till on 7/t0s acre on his Herndon, Ky., farm. It led him to eventually no-till 1,800 acres of crops each year from only 1,200 acres with doublecropping. Teaming up with University of Kentucky agronomist Shirley Phillips, Young quickly demonstrated the many benefits of no-till.

Ag Communicators Pioneer.

By the mid-1960s, Milwaukee based farm writer Gaylin Morgan was spending considerable time on the Young farm reporting on this new-fangled no-till movement. Morgan also did considerable writing and public relations work to further the acceptance of no-till for pioneering companies such as Chevron Chemical Company, Allis-Chalmers, Dupont and other ag suppliers.

Passing away in late January after a 4-year bout with cancer, Morgan (everyone called him by his last name) dreamed up the concept that became No-Till Farmer. When I came to Milwaukee in mid-1972 to launch this publication, Morgan became my good friend and mentor when it came to learning all there was to know about no-tillage. He encouraged my wife and I to buy this publication in 1981.

He was an important part of the team that put together the first farmer-friendly text written on no-tillage. Co-authored in 1973 by Young and Phillips, No-Tillage Farming was edited by Morgan and remains the most impressive and practical text ever written on the topic.

An Iowa State university ag journalism major, Morgan was known for his gentle nature, creative ideas and wry wit. Survived by his wife, Carol, a son, two daughters and…

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Lessiter_frank

Frank Lessiter

Frank Lessiter has served as editor of No-Till Farmer since the publication was launched in November of 1972. Raised on a six-generation Michigan Centennial Farm, he has spent his entire career in agricultural journalism. Lessiter is a dairy science graduate from Michigan State University.

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