|Ohio Farm News
By Steve Bartels
Most young people realize their food doesn’t just magically appear on the shelves of their local supermarket. But, how many of them actually know where it comes from and how it is grown? How many of them, or their parents, can say they have actually visited a commercial farm where their food is produced?
Well here is your chance to visit a farm and it is absolutely free. The Butler County Welcome to the Farm Tour Committee, a collaboration of many farm-related organizations, would like to invite you to be our guest at six farms that will be open Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15 from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. each day.
The tour is self-driven, so you can spend as much time at each stop as your schedule allows. Brochures with the farm descriptions and a map are available online at butler.osu.edu
You can also call us at OSU Extension here in Butler County at 513-887-3722, or the Butler Soil and Water Conservation Office at 513-887-3720, in the Middletown area call 513-424-5351 ext. 3720 for your copy.
What do farms grow? Well most people might answer corn or wheat or cows and sheep.
What about sod? Is sod grown on a farm? Well, of course, the answer is yes and one of the best is a family-owned farm that goes by the name of Green Prairie Sod, 6893 Jones Road, Stop #1 on your tour map. Owned and operated by the Ittel Family - John, Phyllis and son Jeff - the farm has been in the business of growing sod since 1981.
You will learn about the business on a tour of the farm. You will see sod harvested with a machine that cost $180,000. It cuts, rolls, and places the sod on a pallet. You will see other equipment used in the business such as 20-foot wide mowers and tractors with large flotation tires that make it possible to work on the land without damaging the grass.
Stop #2 on your map, 7685 Contreras Road, could be one of the stops you may want to visit toward the end of your day. That is because it is the Study Dairy Farm and even though they will start milking for you earlier than normal, they won’t begin until 2:30 p.m. and will continue until 5:30 p.m. Tom and Sandy have owned and operated this farm since 1987.
They milk 60 cows each day as well as taking care of an additional 49 heifers and calves. The Study Family has installed several conservation practices over the years to conserve their soil and to help ensure the water leaving their farm is as pure as possible. The Butler Soil and Water Conservation district personnel will explain how they work to protect our environment.
You will be able to enjoy six horses, two foals, and two goats on the tour. What is a foal anyway? How many gallons of milk does a cow produce each day? These and many more of your questions will be answered on the six-farm tour.
This farm news was published in the Sept. 27, 2006 issue of Farm World, serving Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan and Tennessee.