1) Can you tell us about your life, your childhood, your family, your adolescence and the moments that have influenced your life and your personality most of all?
I grew up on the farm. I went to college in Indiana and that was a large influence. I have always enjoyed farming and I think it is enjoyable to try new things. I feel farming has lost some creativity in the day to day unless you try new things and adopt to changes.
2) What education have you received? Why have you chosen this particular area? Have you ever regretted your choice?
I have a degree in farm management. I don’t know if I have any regrets but wish I had studied more non farming Ieither after college or during college. I feel I worked to much in my 20’s trying to build my business. I like the farm degree because it gave me many of the tools that I needed.
3) How have your working life and career developed? What have influenced it most of all?
I work with my family and primarily my father, and that has been the best and worst part of my career. It is very difficult to build your own name when you work in a family business. For me conservation and healthy soils has allowed me to do that. I think that observing the farm and trying to observe with an open mind to make changes based on what is not what I think should be there has influenced our practices. Working for people that I like and want me too succeed.
4) What do you think about the current Conservation Agriculture trends in the world?
I think that the trend is good but needs to move much faster to adoption.
5) Would you advise farmers to adopt CA practices? What major benefits and drawbacks are associated with it?
I think it adds a lot of fun to farming. The change is challenging in a good way. It also leads to fulfillment as you are helping those that will come after you by building the soil and also making the world better.
6) What role should the government play to stimulate the farmers to adopt Conservation Agriculture practices?
I think subsidies will need to be linked to conservation. I have no idea of the role of the government in farming in Russia.
7) How do you see the future of Conservation Agriculture?
I see more adoption as we figure it out so that we do not sacrifice yield as we learn to adopt the practices. If we sacrifice to much yield we runtime risk of hungry people.
8) What would you advise the farmers in Russia?
Listen to nature and what your farm is telling you to try in small spaces to see if something crazy might work.
9) What are your plans for the future in terms of your work and expectations?
I am content at the moment. I would like to sell more directly to consumers at some point. An example would be to sell flour in place of wheat. I currenty have 2 children and my focus is helping them to grow so I may not start a new business for several years. I hope to visit the farmers in Russia!