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Working smarter not harder was the leading reason my husband, Daryl, initially made the switch to no-till about 18 years ago. With a wife and three young children whom he dearly loved, Daryl wanted to have more family time. As such, the concept of just making one trip to plant instead of multiple soil preparation passes had its appeal. He purchased a no-till drill and put it to use immediately.
Those extra hours with the family thanks to no-till practices were a blessing, as we came to realize when a pickup truck wreck took Daryl and brother-in-law Kevin (farm partner) in 2010, the day after harvest was completed.
My sister-in-law Sheila and I had only kept the records and been “gofers” (go for parts, bring lunch, etc.) for the farm up to that point. But suddenly, I found myself responsible for managing the entire farm. It was a traumatic time for our whole family.
Our children wanted to stay in the same houses that we lived in and quite frankly so did I. We knew if we sold the land, then our children would have a very difficult time getting back into farming. So, we did everything we could to keep that option open. And we’re glad we did. My nephew, Aaron, just graduated from high school as valedictorian and is headed to Fort Hays State University to pursue a degree in agronomy. His brother, Ryan, is a natural mechanic and is just entering high school. Weekends and summers, they’re…