JOEâ??S LEGACY. Joe Hottel (left) built an incredible no-tilling operation that his family could be proud of but, when his untimely death came 2 years ago, his wife Elaine was left with the burden of trying to figure out how Joe would have wanted his farm to be run.

You’re Never Properly Prepared

Unexpected tragedies can send the life work of a no-tiller into shambles.

No-Tillers are accustomed to hearing words such as cover crops, planters, drills, nitrogen and residue. But, they also should have the words living trust, will and power of attorney in their vocabulary.

All of the countless and backbreaking hours spent in the field trying to ensure a profitable no-tilling operation for you and your family could be lost if you are not prepared for the most unexpected circumstances.

This isn’t a topic to be thought about when work slows down or when it crosses your mind the next time, it needs to be done today, according to Elaine Hottel. She should know, because everyday she is forced to deal with the loss of her husband, Joe, and what he wanted to become of his Burkittsville, Md., no-tilling operation when he died.

Elaine didn’t have all the answers before Joe fell ill and she doesn’t have them now, but what she does have is first-hand experience about the best ways to go about getting your life in order before it’s too late.

She told a captive audience at January’s National No-Tillage Conference her heart-breaking story and how no-tillers need to immediately put their assets in order.

Humble Beginnings.

Like most no-tillers, Joe Hottel started from very small, humble beginnings and turned hard work into a sizeable and efficient no-tilling operation that he and his family could be proud of.

“Joe was the most hardworking, humble man that you’d ever want to meet,” Elaine proudly says.

He bought his first piece of…

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