Ohio Farmer David Brandt’s Car Crash Leads to Death
Prominent Ohio farmer David Brandt’s crash led to his death at the age of 76. He passed away after he was injured in a vehicle crash in Illinois on May 21, 2023.
Born in Urbana, Illinois, U.S., Brandt grew up in a family of farmers and worked on his grandfather’s farm from a young age.
In high school, Brandt managed a “farrow-to-finish” pig operation. He was drafted into the Vietnam War two weeks after marrying his wife, Kendra.
From 1968 until 1969, he served with the Marines, for which he was given three Purple Hearts. After returning home from the Vietnam War, he began working as a tenant farmer in 1969.
He and his wife, Kendra, began no-till farming in 1971 in order to cut costs as they began farming on a smaller scale and budget.
He received $3000 from a program that sought to encourage farmers to try no-till techniques. At the time, their farm focused on soybeans, corn, and wheat, but they also raised pigs and Charolais cows.
From 1981 until 1984, he worked for the USDA‘s Natural Resources Conservation Service as a local agriculturalist.
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Details of David Brandt’s crash were reported after his death on May 21, 2023. He was hospitalized at the Carle Foundation Hospital, where he died.
On May 18, 2023, David traveled to Champaign, Illinois, to pick up some red corn for his farm. While driving back to Ohio, he was involved in a car accident in Urbana, Illinois.
Brandt served as president of the Soil Health Academy from 2017 until 2021. He served as the president of the Ohio No-Till Council for 14 years.
He worked with other farmers and organizations to provide training on his conservation techniques. Brandt hosted research projects on his farmland, including some run by Ohio State University.
In addition to working on the farm, he spoke at various engagements, including a NATO conference, about sustainable agriculture.
In 2015 Brandt was invited by Stéphane Le Foll, then the French Minister of Agriculture and Food, to travel to France to work with no-till farmers thereafter Stéphane Le Foll toured Brandt’s farm.
In 2012, then-chief of the USDA-NRCS Dave White dubbed David “the Obi-Wan Kenobi of healthy soil”.
In March 2016, Brandt was named a Master Farmer by Ohio Farmer Magazine. In 2022, No-till on the Plains created the No-till David Brandt Soil Legacy Award, to be given to “spotlight producers that had committed their lifework to improving soil health”.
In 2012, his photo was taken during a Natural Resources Conservation Service event. The photo was posted online by the USDA in 2014.
It first began circling as a meme in 2018. The image shows David standing in a field, with the tagline “It ain’t much, but it’s honest work”.
David said he enjoyed being a meme, and he frequently used the catchphrase, although he did say that his high school English teacher wouldn’t have approved of his usage of “ain’t”.
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