Agriculture News

May 24, 2018

Farm Management Tour highlights progressive Indiana operations

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and Purdue Extension will host the 86th annual Farm Management Tour in Johnson and Shelby counties June 21-22.

The two-day farm tour will feature interactive interviews with producers at four progressive crop and livestock farms, as well as tours of their facilities. Participants will learn about innovative farm practices and leading technological advancements in agriculture. The tour is free and open to the public but registration is required by June 15 at or by calling 765-494-4310.

Each tour stop will include an interview session with the operators that provides an overview of the farm, followed by mini-tours focused on specific aspects of each farm’s operation.

The tour schedule:

June 21 – Johnson County

1:00 p.m. – Gill Farm, Franklin. Danny and Judy Gill have a long history of producing specialty crops – including seed corn and waxy corn – using irrigation. The Gills also produce beef and feeder cattle. The diversity of their operation enhances profitability and mitigates risk. At this tour stop, participants will learn more about managing crop fertility, waxy corn production and seed corn production.

3:30 p.m. – Norton Farms, Franklin. Norton Farms, operated by John and Peter Norton and Jenny Mowrey is a diversified operation that produces flowers, produce, corn, soybeans, seed soybeans, waxy corn and popcorn. The family also owns Crystal Springs Grain, a storage facility with an emphasis on waxy corn, operated by Brian Marten. Marten will lead the Crystal Springs tour discussion. The topics discussed at this tour stop will include flower and produce production and sales, seed soybean production and the grain storage facility.

June 22 – Shelby County

8:30 a.m. – Douglas Farms, Flat Rock. Douglas Farms is a fourth-generation operation that specializes in corn, soybeans and hog production. Several years ago, owner-operators Jim and Kay Douglas transitioned the farm from a traditional farrow-to-finish hog operation to an innovative pork partnership with Legan Livestock and Grain, forming D&L Pork, a hog-finishing operation. D&L Pork enabled the Douglas family to diversify their operation and provided an opportunity for the next generation of family members to join the farm. One of the highlights of this tour stop will be a discussion of succession planning and how Jim and Kay are transitioning the farm’s ownership and operation to son James Douglas and son-in-law Kyle Nigh.

11:30 a.m. – Fischer Food Grade, Inc. and Fischer, Inc., Shelbyville. This tour stop will start with lunch featuring the Agricultural Outlook with Purdue’s Dr. Chris Hurt, followed by Fischer family interview and farm tour. The Fischer operation dates back to 1933. Fischers were early innovators in hybrid corn production and used that experience to enter food-grade crop production. The operation has evolved into a grower and processor of GMO and non-GMO food-grade corn, non-GMO food-grade soybeans and soybean seed. This tour stop will focus on food-grade corn and soybean production and processing, and the family’s long-term emphasis on improving soil productivity.

The Indiana Prairie Farmer Master Farmer Banquet will be held June 21 at 6 p.m. in conjunction with the Farm Management Tour. The banquet will be at Beeson Hall, 396 Branigin Blvd., Franklin. The cost to attend the banquet is $25 per person for adults, $10 per person for children ages 3-12, and free for children 2 and younger. Participants must register separately for the Master Farmer Banquet by filling out the form at or calling 765-494-8593 by June 13. 

Writer: Rebecca Frazier,

Media contact: Janet Pool, 765-494-4310,

Source: James Mintert, 765-494-4310,

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-8415;
Darrin Pack, Manager/Media Relations and Public Information,  
Agriculture News Page

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