The Indiana Farm Management Tour this year will visit five farms in Clinton County in central Indiana. The tour is slated for June 26 and 27.
The Master Farmer ceremony will be held as the evening program on the first night of the tour. Five new honorees will be inducted into the Master Farmer program, which is co-sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture.
Alan Miller, an Extension ag economist in charge of the tour, says one of the stops will be at Need Farms north of Frankfort. The farm is operated by Jeff Need and his uncle, Kent. Other family members that assist include Kent's brothers Dave and Jim.
Miller was asked what it takes to be selected as a farm management tour stop. First, he notes, the committee picks a general location, usually it's a two or three county area. This is the second year in a row where all stops have been in one county. Last year the tour visited farms and agri-businesses in Marshall County.
"We try to find a variety of farms each year," he says. "We've been looking for quite a while for a farm where one of the main persons in the operation worked full-time off the farm. Since Jeff is a full-time firefighter for the West Lafayette fire department, plus a farmer, we will get to see how he and his uncle, Kent manage around Jeff's other responsibilities. In addition, his work hours are unusual, adding to the challenge of making things work.
"We also wanted a farm which wasn't a mega-farm. The Need Farm met that criterion. They also grow cover crops and work closely with the local soil and water conservation district. There is a lot to do and see and talk about at their farm. We thought it was a natural fit."