Ag PhD Insider Magazine

Ag PhD Insider magazine is a NEW bi-monthly publication continuing Ag PhD’s mission of providing valuable information to improve your production and bottom line. With regular features on farmers pushing the envelope of innovation, as well as informational columns covering agronomic best practices, the latest equipment technologies, and cutting edge research, Ag PhD Insider provides you with a wide range of the information you need to make the best possible farm investment decisions.

Go to AGPHDINSIDER.COM for more information.

Note: If you currently receive the Ag PhD Newsletter, that will be discontinued and replaced with this more expansive and more informational publication, so

Subscribe Now to Receive the Ag PhD Insider!


Host of SHARKFARMER Radio.

Rob Sharkey is a purebred farmer dedicated to championing farmers and their stories. A 5th generation farmer from Bradford, Illinois, Rob learned the ins and outs of farming from his dad and took to it like a shark to water.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do is farm,” says Rob.  “It’s what I was meant to do.”

But as is common with many farm operations, the future of the Sharkey farm wasn’t always certain. After Rob returned home from college to farm in the 90s, his farm was invested heavily in hogs. Then, the hog market fell through.

In spite of an empty checking account and bankers and naysayers urging him to call it quits, Rob persevered. He fought through the crisis and diversified, pulling the operation forward on the strength of his determination and passion for farming.

“I love farming, and didn’t want to quit,” says Rob. “My family has farmed for 150 years, and I was not going to let it all end with me.”

Now, Sharkey is a successful crop farmer of 2000 acres, as well as a whitetail deer outfitter. With his wife, Emily, he is working to continue the Sharkey Farm legacy into the 6th generation by instilling his love of farming into his four children.

It is stories like his that the Shark Farmer wants to share. Farming is tough, and it takes tough people to farm. That’s what Shark Farmer Radio is all about – not being shy about highlighting the struggles and successes of farmers and elevating those stories for everyone to hear. There are thousands of stories out there of tough farmers who have not gotten the recognition they deserve. Shark Farmer Radio is here to change that.

Hosted by Rob Sharkey

30-Minute Program Airing Weekdays Following Ag PhD Radio on Rural Radio SiriusXM 147.

Upcoming Events


January 20, 2020.

Ag PhD will be conducting another Collegiate Agronomy Workshop!  If you are studying to learn more about agronomy or agribusiness, are interested in working on your family’s operation in the future, or simply have a desire to learn more about crop health, you are welcome to attend!

Some topics we’ll discuss will include:

  • How to Read a Soil Test
  • Weed, Insect, & Disease Control in Corn
  • Corn Traits & Seed Treatments, Hybrid Selection
  • Weed, Insect, & Disease Control in Soybeans
  • Soybean Traits & Seed Treatments, Variety Selection
  • Tiling Basics
  • Pesticide Safety, Food Safety, & Water Quality

Plus, as a highlight of the day, 40 current college students in attendance will go home with an Ag PhD Scholarship!

Here are the requirements to winning one of the forty $500 college scholarships:

  • Must be a current college student, attending college (or Vo-Tech) in the spring semester of 2020
  • Must pre-register prior to the workshop
  • Must arrive, check in by 10 am the day of the workshop, AND SHOW CURRENT COLLEGE ID
  • Must take the test at 1:40 pm and score at least an 80% (open book/open notes allowed)
  • Must be present at the time we give away the scholarships

Anyone may attend the FREE workshop, but only current college students are eligible for scholarships.

Location and Registration

Click the event link below for more information and directions.

January 20, 2020 – Baltic, SD – Morton Center 

Register Here! 


March 3-5, 2020.

Ag PhD will again be hosting a three-day seminar by agronomic expert Neal Kinsey! 


Neal Kinsey’s workshops normally cost $1550 to attend.  We have reduced rates for early registration, so reserve your space now for the best price! 


  1. 3 days of Neal Kinsey training, normally priced at over $1000
  2. 7 meals (2 breakfasts, 2 suppers, 3 lunches)
  3. Snacks & drinks throughout the conference
  4. Handouts
  5. Each farm receives a copy of Neal Kinsey’s “Hands-On Agronomy” book
  6. Each farm receives a 1-year subscription to the Ag PhD Insider Magazine
  7. Your agronomy and soils questions answered by Neal or Hefty agronomists during the conference.  We encourage you to send at least a couple soil samples in to Neal’s lab prior to October 1, 2019, as well as your current soil lab, so you have your results you can ask specific questions about during this event.
  8. The opportunity to visit with other farmers about soils and more.  There will be breakout groups each evening, if you choose to participate, so you can get matched up with others who have similar issues or soil conditions.

If you attended Neal’s workshop in 2019, this will cover additional material. 

Location and Registration

Click the event link below for more information and directions.

March 3-5, 2020 – Baltic, SD – Morton Center 

Register Here! 

Ag PhD Field Day 2020

July 30, 2020.

The goal of the Ag PhD Field Day on our farm is for you to learn as much as you can in one day about new and current technologies so you can increase your profits and yields on your farm. We will have lots of field plots and demos, educational sessions, corn & soybean yield champs from across the country speaking to you about their strategies, and some hands-on activities that will hopefully make this day a great learning experience for you.

Location and Registration

Click the event link below for more information and directions.

July 30, 2020 – Baltic, SD – Ag PhD Field Day Site

Register Here! 

About Us

Ag PhD: Information for Agriculture

Hosted by Darren and Brian Hefty, Ag PhD is Information for Agriculture. Around the country and around the world, agriculture producers Watch and Listen to Ag PhD.

For the latest information on how to take your operation from Good to Great, tune into Ag PhD on Television, Radio, or watch and listen on your computer RIGHT HERE. With information ranging from how to maximize your fertilizer program & tiling to stopping those yield-robbing insects and crop diseases and more. Plus, you’ll enjoy our weekly segments, including Farm Basics, Iron Talk, and the Weed of the Week.

Agriculture is the most important industry in the world, and we bring you the information you need to best manage your business.

Watch Ag PhD TV!

Catch the Latest Episodes

Ag PhD On Demand


Listen to Ag PhD Radio!

Hear Us on SiriusXM 147

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The Latest Info For Your Farm

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Soil Sampling is now easier than ever!

Ag PhD Soils is your complete system for nutrient management. Take a look at the key features:

  • Order Supplies from your Ag PhD Soil Test Headquarters.
  • Create field boundaries on your mobile device or on the web with the mapping tool
  • High contrast views for better visibility in the sunlight
  • Print shipping sheets from your web account
  • Works on both your Apple or Android smartphones and tablets
  • Receive lab results FAST! (3-5 days)
  • Build your own recommendations, prescriptions and controller files
  • Track and view your history on your Web Headquarters
  • Don’t have a cell signal? No problem. Sample without a cellular connection with Ag PhD Soil Test

Tablet - Ag PhD Soil Test App