Farmers who have taken trips on barges during special open houses on the Ohio River say it really opens their eyes about what's involved with shipping U.S. grain overseas. You'll get a chance to get your eyes opened too if you haven't yet been on a barge tour. The popular event is being repeated for the third straight year. In fact, due to demand, there are actually two tours scheduled this year, one on each of two dates. The tours are free.
The event is coordinated by the Indiana Corn Growers Association and the Indiana Soybean Alliance. Registration is open now for both dates. The first tour will be Monday, August 16, at the Ports of Jeffersonville. Check in will be from 9 until 10:15 a.m. EDT. The port is located at 5100 Port Road in Jeffersonville.
The second tour will be Friday, August 20 at the Ports of Indiana at Mount Vernon. Check in there is 8 to 8:45 CDT. It's located at 2751 Bluff Road, Mount Vernon.
Lunch will be provided for participants on both tours.
These tours provide farmers a chance to tour the Ohio River and its ports, and helps track how grain moves after harvest, ISA officials notes. The goal is to shed light on the importance of waterway transportation to Indiana's overall economy.
Mike Beard, on ISA's committee that sponsors the tour, a Frankfort, Ind, farmer and Master Farmer recipient from past years, says it's a fun and interesting way to speak with local exports in grain marketing and grain transportation in a unique setting.
Pre-registration is required. Participants are advised that boarding a barge can be a rigorous activity. You must be 16 or older to go on the tour. No open toe shoes or heels are permitted. Each tour will be an all-day event.
Several businesses related to the grain industry are actually sponsoring the tours. You can register now at either of these sites: www.incorn.org/barge or www.indianasoyban.com/barge. Space is limited, so pick your date and commit early.