The 2012 edition of the Indiana Farm Management Tour is slated for June 20 to June 21. Put it on your calendar now and hope weather allows you to attend. It will be held on three farms and one unusually multi-faceted business operation in Marshall County.
Alan Miller, head of the tour planning committee, recently accompanied us to a visit of the farms. They include a grain operation that relies heavily on specialty markets, a grain operation that is on the forefront of using technology to increase efficiency, a multi-generation large dairy operation that is growing by unique methods, and a fruit operation that is actually four businesses in one.
The tour is a driving tour, and you have the option of visiting from one to all four farms. If you have the time, these are all four operations that you won't want to miss. Even if you don't milk cows or grow fruit, you can learn lessons about management and long-term planning form these businesses.
The order of farms is not yet set. Details will be released soon. The Master Farmer awards dinner will again be included in the evening program for the farm management tour. It will be on Wednesday evening, June 20. It was included with the tour for the first time in 2011, and helped boost crowds both for the tour and for the awards ceremony. More than 200 people attended the Master Farmer ceremony last year.
The Master Farmer program is sponsored by Indiana Prairie Farmer and the Purdue University College of Agriculture. The exact time and location for that event have also not yet been determined. Tickets will be available so that people attending the farm management tour can also attend the awards ceremony. One of the features of the event is a panel of all of this year's awardees, led by an ag economist, and designed to highlight how they include management principles in making decisions in their operations.