If you haven't been to the Master Farmer awards ceremony for a while, now you have a reason to come. You can attend the Indiana Farm Management tour at the same time. Likewise, if you haven't checked out the farm management tour in a while, you can come to the Master Farmer banquet and catch it before or after the banquet, or both.
Next Tuesday, June 28, the tour opens with a free lunch at noon at the Del Unger farms near Carlisle. It's a large grain operation devoted to raising continuous corn, and doing it at high yield levels. Their goal is to produce as much corn as possible, not shave as many inputs as they could.
You'll also want to learn about their spraying program. While not a partner in the farm, their older daughter, now married, does all the spraying and most of the fertilizer applications. She is paid by the hour.
From there the tour will move to Melon Acres, right on US 41, just into Knox County from the northern edge. This is a very large, family-run melon and vegetable operations. They're now into growing vegetables in high-tunnels as well, as the farm expands to begin the process of bringing more of the children, now reaching adulthood, into the family business.
Tuesday evening at the Southwest Purdue Ag Center is all about the Master Farmer ceremony and discussion program. A meal is available for $20 to begin the evening. It begins at 6 pm. EDT. The event will be held in the new John Deere teaching and training facility.
The winners will be announced, and recognized. Then the highlight of the evening will be a panel discussion, headed up by Bruce Erickson, a member of the Purdue Ag Econ team. Known for his practical reasoning and probing questions, Erisckson will attempt to draw out of the Master Farmer panelists what it takes to build successful farming operations, serve the community, and still be a family man at the same time.
Wednesday shifts to Tom Boyds at Washington and Boyd Grain. It's located just north and east of Washington. The Boyds run a large grain operation, farm, plus operate a very large trucking business. Then the tour heads south into southern Knox County, and stops at the Dennis Carnahan and Sons farm. Dennis, his older brother and his son operate the grain operation.
Finally, the tour winds up back near Edwardsport at Don Villwock's places. Lunch will be provided.
See you next week! See your county ag educator for details.