Diversification in a farming operation will be a focal point of the 2018 Purdue Farm Management Tour in Johnson and Shelby Counties this month. This is the 85th tour and Jim Mintert from the Purdue Center for Commercial agriculture says it should be helpful for other operators to see the innovative operations on this tour that are improving their bottom lines through diversification.
“One of the challenges facing everybody in Indiana agriculture is tight margins, and we’re looking for ways to improve those margins,” he explained. “One of the ways is to think about diversifying and try to engage in production of a specialty crop that potentially offers the opportunity to earn a higher margin with maybe a little higher level of management. So, that will be one of the focuses of several of the tour stops, and I think it will be very interesting and very helpful for people to hear what those folks have to say.”
The farms on the tour are located in a part of the state that has some diverse ground too.
“Part of that region is some prairie soils, but a lot of it of course is not, with a little bit of rolling nature to it. We’ve got some wooded areas, and we’ve got some particularly when you get into Shelby County some opportunities for livestock production. We’ll be featuring that on the Douglas farm. They’ve been a long-time pork producer that have made some significant evolutions in terms of how they produce pork and in particular the partnership that they have with the Legan family.”
The tour starts Thursday afternoon, June 21 with stops at the Danny & Judy Gill Farm and then Norton Farms, both near Franklin in Johnson County. That night the 2018 Master Farmer Awards Dinner is also in Franklin at 6:30 p.m. at the Beeson Hall Special Event Facility.
Then Friday, June 22, Douglas Farms near Flat Rock will host the tour in the morning, followed by a stop at Fischers Food Grade & Fischer Inc. near Shelbyville. Complimentary lunch will be served there and Dr. Chris Hurt will provide his updated agricultural outlook. The Farm Management Tour is free, but you are asked to pre-register to ensure an accurate meal count. Register at this link.
For the Master Farmer dinner, advance registration is required and the cost to attend is $25. Pre-register no later than June 13 to attend. The registration information for the Master Farmer dinner is here.