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Indiana farm tour highlights challenges for development
By NANCY VORIS
Indiana Correspondent

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Can agriculture thrive in some of Indiana’s fastest-growing communities?

The 2006 Indiana Farm Management Tour takes a look at four farms in Hamilton and Madison counties on June 28-29. All have dealt with limiting factors and hot issues around the state, and have adopted new methods or made changes to their operations.

Sponsored by Purdue University and the Indiana Farm Management Assoc., the tour is free and open to the public.

This year’s tour stops are:

June 28
•12:30 p.m., Smith Family Farm, 7137 W. County Road 675 South, Pendleton. Located on the edge of suburbia, this stop focuses on developing and marketing an agritourism enterprise, dairy replacement heifers as a specialized livestock enterprise and pumpkin cropping. A family interview takes place at 1 p.m. with farm mini-tours beginning at 1:45 p.m.

•3 p.m., Flanders A-Maizing Grain Inc., 14827 Strawtown Ave., Noblesville. Situated in fast-growing Hamilton County, the Flanders stop highlights on-farm quality assurance, choosing the right business entity for your farm, equipment management and lifestyle choices as key strategic concerns for business owners. Farm mini-tours begin at 3:40 p.m.

•7 p.m. Hamilton County 4-H Center, 2003 E. Pleasant St., Noblesville. The evening program provides an opportunity to visit with Heartland Growers, a family-owned wholesale greenhouse from Westfield specializing in geraniums in the spring and poinsettias in the fall.

June 29
•8 a.m. Shuter Sunset Farms Inc., 7400 N. County Road 400 West, Frankton. Farm mini-tours begin at 8:15 a.m. and include discussions on strip tillage, beef production, financing swine production with Farm Service Agency’s loan programs, precision farming technologies and combine leasing.

•10:45 a.m. Rulon Enterprises, 10701 E. 281st St., Arcadia. This stop examines the economics of no-till, smart drainage and preparing the next generation to be successful. Mini-tours kickoff the Rulon stop.

•Noon, lunch at Rulon Enterprises. Lunch is $10 for adults and $4 for children ages 3 to 12. Credit cards will not be accepted. Chris Hurt, Purdue Extension marketing specialist, will present a market outlook update on grains, soybeans and livestock.

•3 p.m., post-event tour of Beck’s Hybrids, 6767 E. 276th St., Atlanta. Miller and Steve Gauck, director of the Indiana Farm Management Assoc., will lead this tour of a seed company.

Preregistration for the June 29 lunch and Beck’s Hybrids tour is required by June 21.

To preregister, call the toll-free Purdue extension hotline at 888-398-4636 or the Purdue Extension offices in Hamilton or Madison counties at 317-776-0854 and 765-641-9514, respectively.

For more information about the farm management tour, including a tour map and lodging options, visit http://www.agecon.purdue.edu/extension/programs/farmtour2006/index.htm

Information also is available by contacting Miller at 765-494-4203 or by e-mail at millerwa@purdue.edu

This farm news was published in the June 14, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.

6/14/2006