The 2014 Purdue Farm Management Tour has been announced, and this June attendees will be heading to southwest Indiana. Alan Miller is a Purdue Extension farm business specialist and coordinator of the tour. He tells HAT the tour June 16 and 17 will be in Dubois and Spencer County.
“We’ve been looking to go there for awhile, Dubois in particular. On any list of important ag counties in the state it’s going to be right up there near the top. We’re also interested because this is an area where livestock production is still really prominent in terms of the overall value of agriculture in the area.”
Miller says the tour will feature crop farms, but it only makes sense to focus on turkeys too.
“Dubois County is the number one turkey producing county in the state so we definitely wanted to get a peek inside the turkey production industry. Other things, we’ve got some really good crop farms so we’ll have all the usual attention to technology changes taking place on the farm.”
What is it that farmers are gleaning from the tour when they attend?
“One of things is that when farmers are talking about their own business they have instant credibility with their peers,” Miller explained. “They I think like to hear about what other farm business operators are trying to do themselves and where they’re trying to take their operation.”
* June 16, 1-2:30 p.m. CDT: Interview with owners of Fischer Farms Natural Foods LLC at the Spencer County 4-H Fairgrounds, 1101 E County Road 800 N., Chrisney. The Fischers produce and direct-market natural beef from their 250-head cow herd and another 350 calves that five other cattle producers grow for them. The beef finished on their farm is custom-processed at a family-owned meat processor in Celestine and direct-marketed to more than 70 restaurants and 10-plus retail stores.
* June 16, 3-5 p.m. CDT: Vogel Seed Farms Inc., 4560 N. County Road 200 W., Rockport. Vogel has three main enterprises: 3,550 acres of corn and soybean, a Pioneer seed dealership and 110 beef cows. The crop operation features an RTK satellite guidance system, variable rate technology, dual fertilizer planters and about 300,000 bushels of grain storage. The seed business features bulk soybean handling and Pioneer Premium Precision seed treatment. The farm supplies seed and treatments to 40-50 customers in addition to itself. The Angus cow operation features rotational grazing, embryo flushing and artificial insemination.
* June 17, 7-8:45 a.m. CDT: Whitsitt Farm Inc., 6626 W. 350 S., Huntingburg. Whitsitt is a diversified farm with row crops, hay, cattle and a test plot of Miscanthus. Discussion will include how the family takes advantage of market opportunities for value-added crops, including food-grade white corn and popcorn, and keeps the conservation-oriented farm at the forefront of precision agriculture and accounting technologies to improve efficiency of inputs, soil quality and profitability.
* June 17, 9:15-11 a.m. CDT: Giles Farms Inc., 374 W. State Route 62, Gentryville. Giles has about 775 acres of crops and manages another 90 acres of wetland. The goal of the operators, who have a conservation ethic, is to improve the soil and the farm before it transitions to future generations. Topics will include a discussion of conservation efforts, corn and soybean field trials and the Wetland Reserve Program.
* June 17, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. CDT: Lunch at the Spencer County Fairgrounds. As part of the program, the owners of Vollmers Turkey Farms will share their experiences with investing in and managing a turkey grow-out operation. Larry Vollmer and his son, Scott, each have one brooder house and two grow-out houses. In addition, Purdue Extension agricultural economist Chris Hurt will give his annual Agricultural Outlook.
The annual Master Farmer Banquet will be at 5:30 p.m. CDT June 16 at the Spencer County 4-H Fairgrounds. Tickets are $25 and must be ordered in advance by calling 765-494-8593. (There is no online registration for the banquet.) Attendees must have a ticket, and no tickets will be available on the day of the event.
More information, such as on lodging and registration, is available online. There is no fee to attend the tours and June 17 lunch, but registration by June 6 is required to participate in the lunch. Registration can be made online or by calling 765-494-4310.
Source: Purdue Ag Communications