Farm research pioneer passes away at 81

Farm research pioneer passes away at 81

Photo coutresy: Jerry DeWitt

Click to listen to Ken’s Agribusiness Report remembering the life of Dick Thompson.

Dick Thompson from Boone passed away this week at age 81.

Thompson was a co-founder of the Practical Farmers of Iowa, characterized by his peers as a believer in on-farm research as well as sharing his information. Thompson and his wife were said to have hosted over 40,000 visitors to his farm, and conducted more than 50 research project on their farm since 1987.

One of the Thompsons’ most well-known studies compared labor and management returns for their five-year corn-soybeans-corn-oats-hay rotation, which they showed to be more profitable from 1988 to 2012 in Boone County than a corn-soybean rotation. Click here to see Thompson’s research results at practicalfarmers.org.

Dick Thompson is also remembered by co-founder of Pracical Farmers, Larry Kallem, who says Thompson paved the way for the Leopold Center at Iowa State University.

The Thompson family says a memorial fund will be established to remember Dick and his work in agriculture.