Pheasants Forever has expanded its precision agriculture initiative
in North Dakota with the recent hiring of Joey Rasco as a Precision Ag and Conservation Specialist. Rasco will provide ag profitability analyses for producers in the state’s northwest and north-central regions with the goal of integrating conservation practices on less profitable cropland acres while increasing farm profitability and creating wildlife habitat.
In his main role, Rasco will collaborate with farmers to provide conservation solutions to North Dakota farms by using precision agriculture technology – targeting return-on-investment (ROI) at a sub-field scale – to define areas where alternative crops and/or conservation practices are more profitable for producers than traditional row crops. This will help to diversify farm income, create more sustainable farm enterprises, and provide benefits to soil, water and wildlife over the long-term. Rasco will also work closely with ag retailers such as implement dealers, software companies, grain cooperatives, certified crop advisers, ag lenders, and others to help farmers be profitable and successful in their operations. By working directly with farmers and focusing on their ROI, Pheasants Forever will help lift, acre-by-acre, the long-held misconception that farm profitability and conservation are competitive.
“Having a background in both conservation and agriculture, I hope to provide growers in the state with the knowledge and resources they need to help them get the best return on investment from each acre,” stated Rasco. “Being able to help farmers improve their bottom line while simultaneously putting wildlife habitat on the ground is my definition of a dream career.”
Rasco was born and raised in east-central Missouri as part of a family who revered the outdoors. He earned a degree in Fisheries and Wildlife Management from the University of Missouri in 2016 before starting his career with the Missouri Department of Conservation. Most recently, Rasco was employed in agronomy sales with a large ag retailer in Missouri before accepting his current position with Pheasants Forever. In his free time, Rasco is an avid hunter, fisherman, and sports fan.
“Pheasants Forever in North Dakota is excited to expand our precision agriculture efforts to a brand-new locale, and we look forward to connecting with growers who have not had the opportunity to work with us in the past,” said Rachel Bush, North Dakota state coordinator for Pheasants Forever. “I know Joey will bring conservation solutions to growers that will work to boost profitability, increase sustainability, and in the process, create habitat for the wildlife we cherish.”
This position was made possible through a USDA-NRCS Conservation Collaboration Grant.
Rasco will be based in Minot, North Dakota. For more information regarding precision agriculture, contact Joey Rasco at JRasco@PheasantsForever.Org
or by phone at (636) 295-1398.
About Pheasants Forever
, including its quail conservation division, Quail Forever
, is the nation's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to upland habitat conservation. Pheasants Forever and Quail Forever have more than 138,000 members and 760 local chapters across the United States and Canada. Since creation in 1982, Pheasants Forever has spent over $900 million on 550,000 habitat projects benefiting 19 million acres nationwide. In fact, more than 200,000 of those acres are now permanently protected as public lands.