Jeff RiceUtica, KY

jeff-riceJeff Rice

Utica, Kentucky

Rice Agri-Marketing LLC

Daviess County Conservation District

Jeff graduated from Western Kentucky University in 1983 and worked as a manager and certified crop advisor for USS Agri Chem, 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. He currently serves as the chairman of the Daviess County CD and Kentucky’s alternate 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.

Jeff 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 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 Rice’s also use cover crops, grass waterways, filter strips, water drop structures, and a series of other conservation practices. As a result, Jeff 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 Jeff, 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.

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