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Plan to attend Purdue farm tour, Master Farmer programPlan to attend Purdue farm tour, Master Farmer program

This year’s one-day event will showcase south-central Indiana.

Tom J. Bechman

May 8, 2023

2 Min Read
Monte Henderson’s farm shop
GATHER AND LEARN: Farmers and their families packed Monte Henderson’s farm shop near Tipton, Ind., in summer 2022 to kick off the Purdue Farm Management Tour. This year’s one-day tour on July 11 will be in Washington and Jackson counties. Tom J. Bechman

“Two outstanding farms will host visitors wanting to learn about farm and crop management on July 11 for the Purdue Farm Management Tour.” That’s how Jim Mintert describes the annual tour for 2023. Mintert is an Extension agricultural economist and director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture.

He adds that the tour will visit the Hackman and Rowland farms in Washington and Jackson counties in south-central Indiana. More details will be coming soon to the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture website.

This year’s tour will be one day only, July 11. Tours have typically been two days in recent years. Except for in 2020, due to COVID-19, the tour has been held every year since the early 1930s.

“Host farmers share keys to successful farm management and explain how the management of their operations is changing in response to the ever-changing agricultural economy and the evolving circumstances of their families,” Mintert says. “They also share reasons behind recent innovation​s in production practices and adoption of new technology. This is an opportunity to ask questions and learn from the experiences of Indiana’s best farm business managers.”

Master Farmer program

Since 2009, the evening program for the Purdue Farm Management Tour has been the Indiana Master Farmer awards reception. Indiana Prairie Farmer and Purdue College of Agriculture co-sponsor the Master Farmer program. The program began in the mid-’20s, was halted during the Great Depression in the mid-’30s and was resumed by Prairie Farmer in Indiana in 1968.

​The 2023 Master Farmer and Honorary Master Farmer award winners will be announced on beginning on June 26, and in the July edition of Indiana Prairie Farmer magazine. The official awards program and presentation of awards to the winners will be the last stop of the tour, at the Cornerstone Hall banquet facility near Salem, Ind., at 4 p.m.

The Purdue Farm Management Tour is free, Mintert notes. There is also no charge for the Master Farmer awards reception, but reservations are requested. Visit the website to make reservations.

Four Master Farmers and two Honorary Master Farmers will be named in 2023. They will join last year’s class, named during the 2022 Purdue Farm Management Tour in Tipton and Clinton counties. The 2022 Master Farmer awards program was held at Beck’s.

The 2022 inductees were Rob and Karen Dove, Elnora; David Hardin, Avon; Tom and Carol Nugent, Elnora; Mark and Sheryl Seib, Poseyville; and Greg and Deb Smoker, Wanatah. The 2022 Honorary Master Farmers were Gary Steinhardt, soil scientist and Purdue Extension agronomy specialist, and Bob Cherry, Greenfield, a state legislator retired from agribusiness.

The closing panel discussion with the Master Farmers following the awards program is a highlight of the tour. Mintert leads the discussion, asking probing questions to the newly named Master Farmers.

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