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While taking a 15-year hiatus from farming, Elwood, Ind., no-tiller Rick Williams had every intention of eventually returning to the family farm he grew up on, contingent on completing a promise he made to his father, Jerry, of getting an education first.
“After getting my degree, I went on to work as a mechanical engineer at Fort Wayne Metals and owned my own business at one point,” Williams says. “I got to do some other things, but, at the end of the day, I knew what I was passionate about.”
In 2007, Williams purchased 50 acres of land near his original family farm. With the help of his dad and uncles, he became reacquainted with the demands and lifestyle of full-time farming.
The Williams family had been conventionally tilling for decades, and while his own farm started off that way, as an extension of that tradition, Williams had always considered a shift in tillage practices, at least for his own acres. Believing that no-till would reduce erosion, improve soil health and bring the greatest yield potential when returns on investment for seed and fertilizer are considered, he wasted little time making the switch.