Long-time Purdue University agricultural economist Howard Doster passed away on February 13, 2020, at his home in Waynesville, Ohio. The 86-year-old Ohio State University graduate was a friend who believed passionately in both the environmental and economic benefits of no-tilling for Midwestern growers.
Besides having done numerous interviews over the years with Howard and attending a number of his Top Farmer Workshops, I had him speak on three different no-till equipment and cropping strategy topics during the very first National No-Tillage Conference back in 1993. I still remember his talk at that event on the value of boosting yields by no-tilling soybeans at the same calendar time as no-tilling corn.
We remained friends for years and often met up at the National No-Tillage Conference, where you could always count on Howard to have a new idea to help American farmers become more efficient.
As family members pointed out in Howard's obituary, helping farmers was his passion, specifically helping family-owned farms maximize their yields and profits.
A year ago in January of 2019, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Howard for a fun-filled conversation with him about the growth of no-till over the past 5 decades, which we shared in the April 2019 episode of my "No-Till Farmer Influencers & Innovators" podcast.
Howard lived life to the fullest, as you'll hear while listening to this episode. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Howard that captures his early recollections of no-till and the enthusiasm he had for life.