Dick Thompson

Leaders in Alternative and Sustainable Agriculture: Oral History Interview Series

Dick Thompson
Boone, Iowa

Interview by Jane Gates with Dick Thompson with an introduction by Jayne MacLean.
Beltsville, Md. : National Agricultural Library, 1991.


Dick Thompson is a farmer who advocates and practices sustainable agriculture techniques, sharing his knowledge through lectures, workshops and field days. He is a nationally known expert on ridge tillage.

Access the video in segments from the video menu below or you may watch each segment consecutively to view the full interview. The title for each segment provides a brief description of the topics discussed.

The segments in the Questions section are drawn from the full interview. They duplicate video segments from the menu. These are not verbatim questions asked by the interviewer, but rather topics addressed by Mr. Thompson during the course of his interview. We hope that this will be an informative and interesting way to view the conversation.

Video lengths in minutes are approximate.  

Video Menu

1. Introduction, background, transition to low-input practices and early influences [12 minutes]

2. Field Days, on farm research and ridge tilling [8 minutes]

3. Animal farming, soil fertility and Practical Farmers of Iowa 11 minutes]

4. Cover crops, rotations and pest control [9 minutes]

5. Animal breeds and tips for transitioning to sustainable farming [10 minutes]

6. The future of sustainable agriculture [9 minutes]

Watch All Five Parts In Succession


1. How did your field days begin and what are they like now? [5 minutes]

2. How does your farm currently function? [4 minutes]

3. How did the Practical Farmers of Iowa get started? [4 minute]

4. What is your advice for beginning or transitioning farmers? [3 minutes]

National Agricultural Library Cataloging Record

Author: Jane Potter Gates, Dick Thompson, National Agricultural Library (U.S.); Washington, D.C. : U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
Title: Oral history interview with Dick Thompson [videorecording]
Publisher: Beltsville, Md.: U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library, 1991.
Series: AFSIC oral history interview series
Subjects: Thompson, Dick; Sustainable agriculture - Study and teaching; Organic farming - United States - Study and teaching
Description: Original format: 1 videocassette (60 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
Note(s): VHS. Interview was conducted on February 1991.
NAL Call Number: Videocassette no. 1008

The National Agricultural Library does not verify the accuracy of the accounts described herein by participants in an Oral History Project. These oral histories are expressions of the views, memories and opinions of the interviewee. They do not represent the policy, views or official history of the United States Department of Agriculture or the National Agricultural Library.