COLUMBUS — The Ohio Department of Natural Resources honored Bill Richards, a farmer from Circleville, with the 2013 ODNR Hall of Fame award, the department’s highest honor.
ODNR Director James Zehringer presented the award to Richards at the annual meeting for the Ohio Federation of Soil and Water Conservation Districts in Columbus.
Throughout his life, Richards has educated farmers around the nation and the world about the importance of managing their land while still protecting the environment.
For more than 40 years, this no-till farming pioneer and his family have used no-till production on their Circleville farm.
Richards also served as the chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Soil Conservation Service from 1990 to 1993.
“Bill Richards has been a champion of using the most innovative science and technology that allows farmers to have productive farming practices that do not harm the environment,” said Zehringer.
“As an agricultural and conservation pioneer, he continues to educate others about the importance of soil conservation and preserving resources through natural resource management efforts.”
“It is the moral duty of the farmer today to use the very best technology available to enhance the farm’s productivity and to protect the environment,” said Richards.
“It’s the right thing to do, and I am very humbled that my life’s work has been recognized with this award.”
Richards also received the Ohio Agricultural Hall of Fame award in 1994, and a few years ago he was awarded with the No-Till Farmer of the Year award.
The ODNR Hall of Fame awards program was established in 1966, and it is a top honor for individuals who have made significant contributions to preserving and protecting the state’s water, soil, woodlands, wildlife and mineral resources.