Strategic Initiatives Assistant
Richard joined Practical Farmer of Iowa in 2018 to assist the Cover Crop team. He grew up in Newton, IA on a family farm along the South Skunk River: raising sheep and goats, baling hay, and helping with the corn and soybean acres. He enjoys learning about new technology and how it can help people and farms stay organized and be more productive.
While getting his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering at Iowa State he worked for the City of Ames for nine years as a driver for the CyRide bus system. In 2012 he moved back home to work on the family farm and learn about managing a large number of corn and soybean acres, which taught him the importance of sustainable practices in modern agriculture.
Richard lives in Huxley with his wife, Megan, who edits things, and their dog, Alvin, who is adorable.
On March 29th, 38 people braved the chilly weather to attend a field day hosted by Clark Thompson at the Royal Café in Story City, Iowa. Clark talked about his adoption of no-till and cover crops as well as his new bioreactor. After that, Doug Adams and Patrick Chase of the NRCS presented on soil health and ran a rainfall simulator for everyone. After these presentations, we went out to Clark’s farm to see his cover crops and his bioreactor.
Clark started his presentation by talking about his goals with farming: to be more efficient, to make decisions based on data and not on habits or what his neighbors are doing, and to follow what the data says. Data is very important to good decision making, and Clark uses his own data from scouting reports and many different soil tests to find multi-year trends. To attain the goal of efficiency, Clark practices no-till beans and strip-till corn. These practices minimize the number of trips across the field, thus optimizing equipment usage and minimizing equipment cost.