No-Till Pioneer Leaves The North Dakota Fields

Ron and Jan Swindler of Mott, N.D., went from a pair of the most advanced no-till producers in the world to well-established landlords in September as Ron auctioned his equipment and opened a new chapter in his career.


End of an Era: Family, friends and neighbors gathered for an equipment auction as Ron and Jan Swindler brought their pioneering North Dakota no-till farm operation to an end.

Ron has been considered the "Pioneer of No-till" in North Dakota, having started in 1976. No-Till Farmer often wrote about Ron's successes at a time when one professor at North Dakota State University proclaimed that no-tilling would never work in the area. Plow and pack seemed the best option to some when Ron started no-tilling.

He did it well enough to bring in most of the early no-till farmers in the southwestern part of the state, receive awards from the Manitoba- North Dakota Zero Till association and become recognized nationally for his achievements in the conservation movement.

Ron and Jan's youngest daughter Cameo works for the Natural Resource Conservation Service and coordinates the conservation programs for the Hettinger County area. Cameo knows the importance of conservation. As a small girl, she never saw bare soil or tillage, only stubble in the gigantic wheat fields of the west. She has known her dad as a no-till farmer who seeded up to 10,000 acres annually across the rolling landscape of North Dakota.

Tough Circumstances

Ron's son-in-law, Rick Poehls, chose not to continue farming after the…

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