Learn about innovative farm management strategies, new technologies for improving efficiency and productivity, ways to help ensure a successful transition of your operation to the next generation and more at the annual Purdue Farm Management Tour, July 8-9.
Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and Purdue Extension sponsor the tour, which includes stops at three crop and dairy farms in Posey and Vanderburgh counties. Farms are chosen based on successful business management practices or farm managers’ unique perspective on farm business management.
“The Purdue Farm Management Tour brings together some of Indiana’s best farm business managers, making it a fantastic opportunity for farmers to learn from others’ experiences and discover new principles to apply on their own farms in order to maximize innovation and success,” said James Mintert, director of Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.
Each tour includes an interview session where farm operators provide an overview of their farms. Host farmers will also share successful farm management tips, discuss how the management of their operations is changing in response to the agricultural economy and evolving family circumstances, and share reasons behind their recent innovations in production practices and adoption of new technology.
The tour is free and open to the public; however, registration is required by visiting purdue.ag/farmtour or calling 765-494-7004.
Tour Schedule – All times are listed in Central Daylight Time (CDT)
12:30 p.m., July 8 – Koester Brothers Farms: Koester Brothers Farms is a multigeneration Posey County crop and dairy farm started by Ralph and Loretta Koester in the early 1950s. The farm was formally incorporated in 1993 and is now led by four brothers (Ray, Duane, Dale and James) who are poised to transition the farm’s leadership to the family’s next generation. The farm’s dairy operation uses four robotic milkers, and the cropping operation consists of white and yellow corn, corn silage, haylage, both GMO and non-GMO soybeans and wheat. They also plant cover crops on a portion of their crop acreage each year. Koester Brothers Farms prides itself on the diversity of its enterprises to maximize profitability and hedge against risk.
8 a.m., July 9 — Kron Farms: Located in Vanderburgh County, Randy and Joyce Kron are first-generation farm operators, starting Kron Farms in 1983. They operate the farm with their son, Ben, who manages day-to-day operations, and longtime employee Steve Glacier. Randy Kron has long been active in ag and community organizations and has served as Indiana Farm Bureau president since 2016. Kron Farms raises yellow corn and soybeans and is focused on adopting new technology to increase productivity, reduce cost per bushel produced and improve operating margins. Ben has entered Kron Farms in the National Corn Growers Association Corn Yield Contest and, in 2020, was a contest winner in the Strip, Minimum, Mulch, Ridge-Till Irrigated class. Using knowledge gained via participation in the corn yield contest to improve profitability is one of Kron Farms’ goals.
1:30 p.m., July 9 – Seib Farms: Mark and Wayne Seib provide senior leadership to Seib Farms, a multigeneration Posey County crop farm started in 1898. Mark Seib has served in various ag leadership positions and is a member of the United Soybean Board’s Executive Committee. Seib Farms is in the process of implementing a comprehensive transition plan to the family’s next generation. The Seib family raises corn and soybeans and is a frequent user of on-farm research trials to make technology adoption decisions. Seib Farms has cooperated with a variety of agribusiness suppliers to conduct research on their farm for decades, which has allowed them to incorporate the knowledge gained directly into farm operation. Recently, Seib Farms started using cover crops to help sequester carbon on their farm.
Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Banquet
The Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Reception and Panel Discussion will be held July 8 at 3:30 p.m. in conjunction with the Farm Management Tour to honor the 2021 Master Farmers. This year’s award recipients will discuss keys to success during the course of their long farming careers. The reception will take place at the New Harmony Inn Resort & Conference Center, 504 North Street, New Harmony, Indiana. The Master Farmer Program is a long-standing tradition that honors individuals who have contributed heavily to Hoosier agriculture and demonstrated success in farming efficiency, stewardship of natural resources and community service. There is no cost to attend and all are welcome.