David Brandt, known for having been the subject of the viral “Honest Work” internet meme, is confirmed to have died in an automobile crash. He was 76-years-old.
Brandt was hospitalized over the weekend after being involved in an automobile accident in Urbana, Illinois and later died due to the result of suffering several serious injuries. Of course, for those familiar with Brandt and the memes surrounding him, then they know that he left behind quite the legacy.
The aforementioned “Honest Work” meme first began circulating in 2012. “It ain’t much,” the meme often reads, “but it’s honest work.” The image, and its accompanying statement, originated at a Natural Resources Conservation Service event on Brandt’s own farm in Carroll, Ohio.
Naturally, David Brandt was rather fond of the meme and the impact it had on his work. In fact, he continued to use use the meme as a symbol for the work he and his family performed with their farm. The farm, which has consistently belonged to his family, is said to consist of 736 acres of no-till row crops and cover crops. As of this writing, the farm involves three different generations of his family.
Furthermore, Brandt’s work extended far past memes and his own farm. He often traveled the country to perform in different seminars and reports where he discussed agriculture and his family’s business. As such, the meme is just the tip of the iceberg for what he’s accomplished over his lifetime. It certainly goes to show what honest work can do.
His company Walnut Creek Seeds was owned and operated by Brandt alongside his son, daughter-in-law, and grandson. As such, his legacy will continue to live on and it’s quite impressive to see what kind of career he’s led. Perhaps saying it “ain’t much” is an understatement.
David Brandt’s obituary can be read below:
Ohio agriculture has never before known a global cultural phenomenon quite like David Brandt, of Fairfield County, who passed away at the age of 76 from complications resulting from an automobile accident.
He was known around the world as the face of a meme associated with honest work. In agricultural circles, Brandt will be remembered as a global leader in no-till, cover crops, soil health, nutrient dense crops, and direct marketing. Agriculturalists from around the world visited his Fairfield County farm each year to see his soils first-hand and learn from his many years of experience. He also traveled the world speaking about his farm. Brandt was a Vietnam veteran who returned home to farm in the late 1960s, but soon after his return, Brandt’s father died in a farming accident. He and his wife, Kendra (who passed away in 2020), were forced to sell the farm and start over with very little equipment. No-till was a way to reduce costs. Since then, Brandt’s use of no-till and cover crops has increased soil organic matter and decreased input costs dramatically. He has served as a conservation mentor to many. He farmed and operated Walnut Creek Seeds, with his son, daughter-in-law and grandson.