“God Father of Soil Health” remembered

A long-time no-till farming leader has died.

Ohio farmer Dave Brandt of Fairfield County, 76, passed away from complications related to a car crash over the weekend.

Retired Ohio State University faculty member Randall Reeder says Brandt was an early adopter of conservation practices, using multiple species of cover crops to build soil health.  He used his experience to educate others. 

“His soil improved so much with more organic matter that he not only had a higher level of organic matter, higher percentage in the top few inches, but that organic matter increase also extended deeper into the ground,” Reeder shares.

Brandt began no-till farming in the early 1970s to reduce equipment and input costs as a young veteran farmer returning home from Vietnam. 

Brandt also created a cover crop seed business, Walnut Creek Seeds, LLC, co-founded the non-profit Soil Health Academy, and spent 14 years as the president of the Ohio No-Till Council along with many other accomplishments.

Reeder became close friends and colleagues with Brandt over the past 40 years and tells Brownfield his legacy will live on.

“Dave was not interested in selling more product to make more money,” he says.  “He wanted to make sure that the farmer got value and was really interested in the farmer being successful.”

Leading up to his death, Reeder says they were working together on an article on the need for more Conservation Agricultural Systems to prevent dust storms.

Photo courtesy of the Soil Health Academy.

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