Year Inducted: 
2012

Harry Young Jr.Harry Young Jr. is considered a pioneer of the no-till movement, having planted the first commercial plot in 1962 when he used a home-rigged Allis Chalmers planter to plant 0.7 acres of the family farm now operated by his son, John, and his grandson, Alexander. That field has been continuously no-tilled for 50 years. Today, approximately 90 million acres in the United States is under no-till production.

The main reason Young started no-tilling was to eliminate soil erosion.  Other benefits realized were labor savings, less horse power requirements and diesel fuel savings. 

Being on the forefront of this new technique on his own farm wasn’t enough for Young. He spent many hours helping spread the word about the advantages of no-till agriculture and in helping others learn the techniques to make it successful for their farming operations.

Young co-authored two textbooks on no-till agriculture; had three films produced about his farming techniques; traveled around the world to discuss the farming practice and hosted thousands of national and international visitors at his Christian County farm.

Young also saw the merits of no-tilling corn plus wheat with double-cropped soybeans--a common practice in today’s farm fields.

Young received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Kentucky in 1941 and an honorary doctorate degree in 1976 from the College of Agriculture. He worked for eight years as a field agent for farm management for the UK Cooperative Extension Service prior to returning to the farm full-time in 1954.

He received many awards and honors for his work including the Thomas Poe Cooper Award for Distinguished Farm Leadership, Kentucky Farm Bureau Distinguished Service to Agriculture award, National No-till Farmer of the Year, Progressive Farmer magazine’s Man of the Year in Kentucky Agriculture and Man of the Year in Southern Agriculture, and Man of the Year in Kentucky Agriculture by the Farm Press and Radio Association.