You may still have crops to plant and other field work to do, but if you can see the light at the end of the tunnel, start thinking about a two-day get-away from your farm to learn how others do things on their farms and in their businesses. The Indiana Farm Management Tour will be June 20 and June 21 in Marshall County. It's sponsored by the Indiana Farm Management Association and the Purdue University Department of Ag Economics.
If you took a look at Indiana Prairie Farmer in May, you noted that Brad and Kyle Stackhouse farm together, yet separate. It looks like one operation, but in reality this father-and-son maintain separate entities, and even use separate banks. They make their own marketing decisions, and have final say as to what happens on their ground. It's an interesting concept that you can ask more about if you visit their farm, which will be the first stop on Thursday morning at 8:00 a.m. EDT. The tour stop will include a general interview about their overall farming practices, and three or more mini-tours about interesting methods or technologies that they use on the farm.
Growing food grade corn is one of their specialties. If you're thinking about getting into that market, this would be a good stop to visit to pick up tips to know what it takes to make it work successfully.
You may have also noted in the last edition of the magazine that another stop will be a unique dairy operation. It's Homestead and Legacy Diaries, two separate entities. Floyd Houin, his family and extended relatives operate this dairy, which features three separate, 1,000 cow milking operations. Cows rotate through the facilities depending upon stag e in lactation, so they can get care form crews specialized in working with animals at certain stages.
Even if you don't milk cows, you can learn from the management style and computer technology used to monitor animals and make decisions in this operation. It's a unique view at how one generation is making room for the next by allowing them to get their own start.
The Houin dairy stop leads off the tour at 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The tour concludes Thursday with a noon meal. To register for the tour and be included in the meal, visit: www.agecon.purdue.edu/commercialag/progevents/tour.html. Or call 765-494-4310. Deadline for pre-registration is June 14.