Farming with a PhD


Farming with a PhD

Dr. Nick Harre, Photo Credit: Illinois Soybean Association

A fifth-generation farmer says his PhD is not going to waste working on his family farm.

Nick Harre tells Brownfield while in school, it wasn’t feasible for him to return to work on the farm so he continued his education obtaining a Masters Degree in Plant, Soil and Ag Systems from Southern Illinois University and Doctorate in Botany and Plant Pathology from Purdue University. But when the farm expanded, Harre says he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come home.

“My friends often joke with me about being a doctor farmer and how crazy they think that is, but anybody that has grown up on a farm I think can understand where I am coming from. It is something that is in your blood and something you always love doing.”

Harre says he is using his advanced degree to further expand their 350 head, 2500 acre grain and dairy operation in Nashville, IL. He says contrary to some public opinions about farmers, “Farming is a difficult business. If you’re not on top of your game, then you won’t be around long. A lot of brains go into running a profitable farming enterprise. Plus, I enjoy helping other farmers too when they pick my brain about research I am involved with. It is a rewarding experience all around.”

Harre continues to serve as visiting research scientist for Purdue University researching herbicide resistant weeds. He is also the District 17 Director for the Illinois Soybean Board.