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By Josh Gerwin
As interviewed by Martha Mintz
NAME: Josh, Justin and Jeremy Gerwin
FARM: Gerwin Farms LLC
LOCATION: Gibsonburg, Ohio
YEARS NO-TILLING: 8
CROPS: Corn, soybeans, wheat
As an NRCS District Conservationist for Ottawa and Lucas counties right on Lake Erie in Ohio, it just makes good sense that my brothers, Justin and Jeremy, and I would use no-till farming and other conservation practices.
Not only is it important to set a good example by using the practices I try to encourage other farmers to use — a ‘practice what you preach’ situation — but I’m also in the unique position to get to see others making the practice work and learn from them.
While working for the NRCS in Tiffin, Ohio, I had the very good fortune to learn a lot from the people I worked with, namely Lynn Eberhard, a soil and water technician who has been no-tilling for 30 years.
His farm was south of my current location and had a lot more rolling ground as compared to our flat fields, so he no-tilled to help prevent soil erosion. But what I noticed was his crops were really just as nice as the neighbors who were working the ground a lot. It let me know that it could be done.
My father and uncle farm together and have also no-tilled for some time. They mostly no-till soybeans into wheat stubble, and then conventionally plant corn, a common practice for our region.