David Brandt’s son, Jay Brandt, right, holds a certificate, and grandsons Chris and Isaac (from left), attended the Farm Science Review ceremony honoring David Brandt.

“Roots, not iron” is a key topic Dec. 6

By Randall Reeder, P.E., Extension Agricultural Engineer (retired), Ohio State University

The Ohio No-till Conference, Dec. 6 at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City, will feature Blake Vince of Ontario, Canada, on the topic, “Roots, Not Iron.” He grows corn, soybeans, and wheat (with cover crops) and speaks internationally on regenerative farming practices.

Audience questions will be answered by an all-star panel including Fred Yoder, Bill Richards, and Cody Beacom. Other scheduled speakers include Chad Penn, Alyssa Essman, Amanda Douridas and Terry Mescher. More presenters and details will be announced later.

Honoring David Brandt

The Ohio No-till Council presented a special tribute to David Brandt at Farm Science Review on Thursday, Sept. 21, following the Conservation Farm Family Awards.

The Brandt family, son Jay and grandsons Isaac and Chris, began the program, thanking everyone who has shared condolences since David died May 16 as a result of a truck wreck. The Director of the Ohio Dept. of Agriculture, Brian Baldridge, signed a special “Certificate of Commendation” presented to the Brandt family. Other speakers included Nathan Brause, President of the Ohio No-till Council, Kevin Elder, John Wilson, and Fred Yoder.

Bill Richards, Chief of SCS/NRCS, 1989-93, could not attend but sent a message, “We need 3,000 David Brandts, one in every county, to show and teach continuous no-till and cover crops.” Randall Reeder shared a few quotes from leading farmers who were influenced by Brandt. These included: Loran Steinlage, Iowa; Jimmy Emmons, Oklahoma; Steve Groff, Pennsylvania; and Keith Dennis of Perry County. David Brandt was honored briefly at all four Ohio no-till field events in August. He will be honored again during the Ohio No-till Conference on Dec. 6.

Education and conservation agriculture can prevent dust storms

David Brandt is one of five authors of a scientific article about the deadly dust storm along I-55 in Illinois on May 1. “Plowing: Dust Storms, Conservation Agriculture, and need for a Soil Health Act” is in the September issue of the Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. The lead author is Don Reicosky, retired USDA/ARS soil scientist in Minnesota who is an Ohio native. Other authors are Randall Reeder, Rattan Lal and David R. Montgomery. The article is available free at: www.jswconline.org/content/78/5/105A.

A key point by David Brandt in the article is the value of farmer-to-farmer education. Farmers would rather listen and learn from a successful farmer than a university professor. The dust storm that killed eight people and wrecked more than 75 vehicles was the result of freshly tilled ground that was drier than usual and 50 mile per hour winds blowing across the highway. Continuous no-till and cover crops would have prevented or minimized the dust storm.

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