NAME: Kelly Tobin
FARM: Tobin Farms
LOCATION: New Market, Iowa
YEARS NO-TILLING: 37
ACRES: 740 + 7,000 managed
CROPS: Corn, Soybeans
IN A 1985 feature in the Des Moines Sunday Register, I was described as a veteran farmer celebrating my 54th birthday, which was a fair description.
I’d taken the helm of my family farm at 18, gone on to purchase my own farm and had four adult children who had all graduated from college. At the time I wasn’t farming, though, I was learning. At 54 years old, I was a student seeking a degree in farm operations and agribusiness at Iowa State University. Despite my experience I had a lot yet to learn about farming and business then, and at 85 years old I’m still learning today.
My path in life has been one that sits in sharp contrast to the arrow-straight paths today’s GPS-guided tractors can lay down in a field. My father passed away when I was just out of high school, leaving me to shoulder the work and responsibility of the family farm. Then, life was further interrupted when…