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His mission: Learn what makes plants tick

Jon Peacock
STUDENT OF CROPS: Jon Peacock has been an Extension educator, company agronomist, seed dealer and farmer. No matter which hat he wears, he always looks beneath the surface to see what makes plants tick.
Jon Peacock has devoted his career to helping farmers understand the physiology of their crops and how to make it work for them.

Jon Peacock has worn several different hats in his career. But he has never wavered on what he’s about. His goal has always been better understanding how plants work so he can help others manage their crops more efficiently.

Today, Peacock, Winchester, farms and operates a DuPont Pioneer seed dealership with his son Shane, son-in-law Kevin Kouns and Brian Raszkowski. Peacock is also an Indiana Certified Crop Adviser. In fact, he was named the 2016 Indiana CCA of the year by the Indiana CCA Association.

“I’ve always been interested in crop physiology, even back when I was a student at Purdue University,” Peacock says. And although he was a Hoosier farm boy and Purdue graduate, his career started in Ohio.

“My uncle told me about a program where I could train to be an Extension educator on the job,” he says. “It was a great way to learn about crops and people.”

In late 1988, Peacock became an Extension educator in Van Wert County, Ohio, which borders Allen County in northeast Indiana. From the mid-1980s until the early 2000s, Van Wert County was home to Farm Focus, a premier regional farm show. The brainchild of Extension educator George Ropp, it moved around the county, featuring hundreds of acres of field-size research and a farm show. The event was usually held in August.

“It was an incredible opportunity to do replicated research and compare various cropping practices,” Peacock says. “It was a great learning experience.”

After Ropp retired, Peacock guided the program through 1992.

Next steps
“I had told myself I would only leave that role for one position — as an agronomist for Pioneer in my home area,” Peacock explains. He accepted such a position in 1992. He moved back to Indiana and worked the next seven years as a Pioneer agronomist.

“I not only learned a lot about plants and crops, but about people and the seed industry,” he says. “It was fulfilling because it was a chance to provide information so people could make better decisions.”

When his brother needed to leave the family farm operation in 1999, Peacock joined his dad, Donald, so the farm could continue. He traded in his agronomist hat for a farmer’s hat, but has stayed involved in the seed business by operating a Pioneer seed dealership. It continues today.

 

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