Indiana farm tour to highlight exceptional management

May 13, 2014  


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – This year's Farm Management Tour, organized by the Purdue University Department of Agricultural Economics, will showcase five successful Indiana farms in Spencer and Dubois counties June 16-17.

The tour, in its 82nd year, encourages a high level of management knowledge and skill among Indiana farmers. It is open to anyone interested in farm management and family farm businesses. A variety of farm-related topics will be highlighted in interviews with the host farmers and mini-tours at three of the southern Indiana farms.

"The farmers will share their keys to successful farm management and explain how the management of their operations is changing in response to the vibrant agricultural economy and the changing circumstances of their families," said Alan Miller, Purdue Extension farm business specialist and coordinator of the tour. "This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn from the experiences of some of the best farm business managers in Indiana." 

The tour schedule:

* 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 at http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag/progevents/tour.html. 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. 

Writer: Emma Hopkins, 765-494-8402, hopkine@purdue.edu 

Source: Alan Miller, 765-494-4203, millerwa@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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