Mike Beard is an Indiana farmer in Clinton County with an operation that includes corn, soybeans, hogs, and a manure application business. He was part of last week’s Indiana Farm Management Tour that made its way through the county and Beard told HAT hosting the tour was well worth his time.
“It’s always a good investment of your time when you’re able to communicate to other farmers and to the media and others who come to these events just how important agriculture is to Indiana and to the nation as a whole.”
The tour gives visiting farmers a closer look at other operations, sometimes in a very different part of the state from home, along with tips and ideas presented by the host. Beard offered all of that but he also wanted to stress that farmers should get involved. As a statewide pork and soybean leader he knows the benefits.
“The greatest way that I’ve benefited is the people I’ve met and the relationships that I’ve been able to forge with other people in other parts of the state or other parts of the nation,” he explained. “There are just some truly brilliant people out there. I’m in awe when I have discussions with many of them about our industry and the future of our industry. I can’t emphasize enough that if you have the time to be a part of a state or national organization how much of a return that would be for you.”
He also emphasized the importance of getting involved locally through Farm Bureau, zoning, soil and water and extension boards. And Beard loves to explain what he does to consumers and encouraged other producers to do the same every chance they get.
“When I talk to a consumer I like to have my family around and say I feed this food to my family and my family drinks this water. My family is just as important to me as yours is to you and I wouldn’t do anything to harm them. So Mr. Consumer, know that the product that I’m making available for your table is as safe and as wholesome as it can be.”