Richard & Elaine Bode of North Platte, Nebraska

bodeIn April of 1978, Richard and Elaine Bode began their farming operation located three miles south and three miles west of Hershey, in partnership with Elaine’s parents, Orval and Frieda Einspahr. Orval and Frieda retired in 1984. Elaine’s grandparents, Fred and Ruby Hackbarth, had originally owned the land. Rick farmed with his family and worked as a well driller for Staska Well Drilling Co. at Albion, Nebraska, before he and Elaine moved to the Hershey area.

Irrigated and dryland corn, wheat, and irrigated soybeans are the crops that are grown. Minimum and no-till farming practices have replaced conventional farming practices to maintain cover, conserve moisture, and to prevent soil erosion. Two years ago, the Bodes’ discontinued the use of a wheat, ecofallow corn, and summer fallow rotation, and began to use a continuous crop rotation of wheat and short-season corn.

Approximately 23,000 feet of terraces have been installed to treat the highly erodible land. The Bodes planted 1,900 red cedar, juniper, cottonwood, honeylocust, and Austrian pine trees to provide windbreak protection.

Rick and Elaine have three children: Jason of Long Island, NY; Jennifer of Hershey; and Josh, a sophomore at UNL. Rick and Elaine are active in school, church, and community programs.

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