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Jeff RiceUtica, KY

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jeff-riceJeff Rice

Utica, Kentucky

Rice Agri-Marketing LLC

Daviess County Conservation District

Jeff Rice graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1983 and worked as a manager and certified crop advisor for USS Agrichem, ICI Americas and Miles Farm Supply. In 2010, Jeff started Rice Agri-Marketing, which serves Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee growers. The family business sells corn, beans, wheat, canola and cover crop seed, offers processor marketing and production/genetics research plots and recommendations. Rice currently serves as the chairman of the Daviess County Conservation District and as Kentucky’s board member for NACD. He is a past president of the Kentucky Association of Conservation Districts and was named the Kentucky Conservation Person of Year in 2012.

cover-jeff-rice

An example of Rice Agri-Marketing’s cover crop demonstration plots.

Rice bought his first farm in 1987 and realized very quickly that without good conservation practices, “land, water and other natural resources would be lost for future generations.” Jeff and his wife Tammy raised three children on 459 acres of mostly row crops, including corn, soybeans, wheat and canola. They’ve been using 100 percent no-till since the start.

The Rices also use cover crops, grass waterways, filter strips, water drop structures and a series of other conservation practices. As a result, Rice says he’s seen higher organic matter content in his soils, better drainage, higher yields and greater profits. As added bonuses, he says using the practices have saved him time, cut costs, enhanced wildlife habitat on his operation, and improved the farm’s long-term sustainability. “Conservation is not easy,” he says. “It takes a lot of planning, determination, hard work and faith.”

According to Rice, the biggest barrier to the adoption of conservation practices is the fear of change and added costs. Education and on-farm research helps alleviate peoples’ doubts about conservation practices and helps to educate them on how to best sustain profitability, production and our natural resources in the future.

Updated August 2018.

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