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Jack and Rita Maloney Farm on the Edge of SuburbiaJack and Rita Maloney Farm on the Edge of Suburbia

A growing suburban community doesn't stop 2014 Indiana Master Farmers Jack and Rita Maloney from caring about the land and conserving soil.

Tom Bechman 1

June 17, 2014

2 Min Read

One couple named as Master Farmers this week are Jack and Rita Maloney. They live at the edge of Brownsburg, a growing community, which puts them farming on the edge of suburbia. Jack says you get used to it, but it does take special care when you move equipment on the road.

"One thing it does is give us a lot of utility easements we pay attention to and work around," he says. "We have 14 easements on our farm for various utilities. We have to take them into account when we're doing something like tiling a field. It can affect how we lay out the tile pattern."

Related: Master Farmers Named For Class of 2014!


Although they live near a developing area, The Maloneys still practice soil conservation to save their soil resources and prevent water erosion on Little Ireland Farm. The farm is named after the Irish settlement where their farm is located. "It's 'farm' and not 'farms' because we only own the one farm," Rita adds.

Jack has no-tilled for many years. He's also been a leader in introducing cover crops into his system. His common cropping practice today is to seed cover crops in the fall, often aerially but sometimes by drilling after harvest, and to no-till into them in the spring.

Maloney has also cooperated with Bob Barr, a professor at IUPUI in Indianapolis who has been studying water quality on land leading into Eagle Creek Reservoir for eight years. Part of the land that Jack and Rita farms lies within the Eagle Creek Reservoir. The reservoir is located along I-74 just a few miles west of Indianapolis.

The Maloneys also rent 50 acres to a chemical company that does research on the farm. Jack says it gives him a chance to know what companies are working on and what farmers might be seeing down the road.

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About the Author(s)

Tom Bechman 1

Editor, Indiana Prairie Farm

Tom Bechman is an important cog in the Farm Progress machinery. In addition to serving as editor of Indiana Prairie Farmer, Tom is nationally known for his coverage of Midwest agronomy, conservation, no-till farming, farm management, farm safety, high-tech farming and personal property tax relief. His byline appears monthly in many of the 18 state and regional farm magazines published by Farm Progress.

"I consider it my responsibility and opportunity as a farm magazine editor to supply useful information that will help today's farm families survive and thrive," the veteran editor says.

Tom graduated from Whiteland (Ind.) High School, earned his B.S. in animal science and agricultural education from Purdue University in 1975 and an M.S. in dairy nutrition two years later. He first joined the magazine as a field editor in 1981 after four years as a vocational agriculture teacher.

Tom enjoys interacting with farm families, university specialists and industry leaders, gathering and sifting through loads of information available in agriculture today. "Whenever I find a new idea or a new thought that could either improve someone's life or their income, I consider it a personal challenge to discover how to present it in the most useful form, " he says.

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