Best of the Southwest

Congressman Blunt's Agriculture Tour features diverse agricultural operations in southwest Missouri.

Published on: Jun 4, 2010
Seventh District Congressman Roy Blunt's 14th annual Southwest Missouri Agriculture Tour will focus on farming operations that are the backbone of the regional agriculture sector - dairy, beef cattle, poultry, horses, row cropping, forages, forestry management and specialty operations. The tour is set for June 21-22.

"As with past tours, the 2010 tour will highlight the diversity and fabric of the rural economy," Blunt says. Tour participants will see the technologies and management practices in use today that have kept southwest Missouri's billion-dollar agriculture economy strong despite challenges from the national economy."

U.S. Congressman Roy Blunt visits with FFA members at a previous Southwest Missouri Agriculture Tour.

This year's tour will begin in western Greene County at Clearwater Angus Farm, a seventh generation operation run by the Pipkin family. The tour moves to the Miller area for a demonstration and tour of the Kingsley Brothers Farm and Plane Cents Aviation, which operates five crop dusting airplanes. Nearby is the Shining Cross Farms where the McCann family has a cow-calf operation. The tour moves west to the Rockers Family Goat Farm near Carthage. The farm is a 4-H project-based operation that continues a 100-year tradition for the Dixie Rockers family.

After lunch in Joplin, the buses turn south to the 2,000-acre Cedardell Arabian Horse Farm in northern McDonald County followed by a visit to a poultry farm west of Longview that uses the newest technologies to keep 238,000 birds in eight houses cool in summer and warm in winter. The first day of the tour concludes with stops at the 40-acre Oak Ridge Koi Farm east of Neosho and a primer from the National Weather Service in Springfield about the daily importance of weather to agriculture.

Day two begins at the Dotson Family Dairy west of Marionville and moves to the Nancy Halcomb property on the Lawrence-Christian County line. Halcomb's ten acres, like many forested areas after the 2007 ice storm, is overgrown with Japanese honeysuckle. A control program guided by USDA is aimed at Japanese honeysuckle and making Halcomb's woodland accessible again. The tour concludes at the Springfield-Greene County Park Board's Rutledge-Wilson Community Farm Park.

This year's Ag Tour will wrap up at the Oasis Convention Center with a luncheon for the 158 site hosts whose farms, agribusinesses and food processors have allowed participants over the last 14 years to view how they operate, innovate and manage their enterprise.

FYI

Contact Sharon Nahon at Congressman Blunt's office in Springfield at 417-889-1800.