"My Dad was one of the first after World War II to introduce some of what we call chemicals into agriculture pesticides, herbicides, insecticides, broad base fertilizer use, nitrogen especially on small grains."
[Question:] "For around this area."
"In this area, yeah."
[Question:] "And why did he do that?"
"That's what they taught him at his short courses that he went to at university on the GI bill following the war. And looked at that, all the stuff he was supposed to do. But at the same time, when he started farming again, his dad bought for him a subscription to Organic Farming and Gardening that Rodale was just starting to put out, as well as a subscription to the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Quarterly which I don't ever remember a time when they weren't around the house I'm probably the only junior high kid in the whole central US that read the Biodynamic Farming and Gardening Quarterly on a regular basis, you know. So that was just part of my background. And then by the time they had moved here, although he was still using some of those materials and stuff, he was starting to shift his whole thinking about starting to convert some of the farm then to looking at using some of those organic management practices
"Dad's probably a little better observer of what's going on around him than most people. And he noticed in the early years when he was using the fertilizers and the herbicides and stuff that He noticed the impact on wildlife populations, on the birds, shifts in the insect populations. He noticed sensitivities of crop plants to that that he had more physical, structural problems where herbicides were used as opposed to where they weren't. And so, those things. And he thought, you know, 'If I'm getting all of this, they're telling me all this stuff only affects the target. But I'm seeing that it doesn't. And that can't be the right way to go forward. It's just going to continue to get you in trouble and there has to be a different way to do it.' And that's when he started seriously looking at these other things and started trying to develop them. So most of the years I remember growing up, Dad was focusing pretty much on organic management techniques on the farm and actually quit. After being the first to introduce [he was] the first to quit."
[Question:] "OK, interesting. Wow."
"Public rumors around the community both times was that he was crazy. But anyway."
[Question:] "Tell me more about that."
"[Laughs.] Well, I mean, anytime you do something different than what is the mainstream or that everybody considers the right thing to do, that kind of goes along with it. And I had to grow up with that. And so, that has a big impact."