Calmer Corn Heads' CEO Marion Calmer also operates one of the largest independent farmer-run, non-funded research centers in the nation.

In the late 1980s, after purchasing his first farm, he felt that running trials on his own soil was the only way he could be certain that changes would be profitable, and allow him to pay his debt. "It led to a business approach to farming that was based on fact, not assumptions," he says.

In 26 years, Calmer estimates that he's done 5,000 side-by-side farm-sized replicated plots.

"I have never taken a dime to do ag research," says Calmer. "Money has a funny way of making you do and say things that you shouldn't."

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