Purdue Farm Management Tour to visit Huntington and Wabash county farms

May 22nd, 2019

Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly

Innovative management strategies, new technologies for improving efficiency and productivity, and ways to help ensure a successful transition of the family farm to the next generation will be discussed at the 87th Annual Purdue Farm Management Tour, June 27-28.

Purdue’s Center for Commercial Agriculture and Purdue Extension sponsor the tour, which includes stops at four farms in Huntington and Wabash counties. Farms are chosen based on their successful business management practices or unique perspective on farm business management, according to a statement.

“This two-day event is a great opportunity for farmers to learn directly from the experiences of Indiana’s best farm business managers and apply those principles to their own farms,” James Mintert, director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture, said in the statement.

Each tour includes an interview session where farm operators provide an overview of the farm, followed by three mini-tour sessions focusing on specific aspects of the farm’s operation. During the mini-sessions, host farmers share successful farm management tips and explain how the management of their operations is changing in response to the agricultural economy and evolving family circumstances. They also share reasons behind recent innovations in production practices and the adoption of new technology.

To attend

The tour is free and open to the public but registration is required by June 15 at purdue.edu/farmtour or by calling 765-494-7004.

Tour schedule

12:30 p.m., June 27 – Huntington County: Anson Farms near Andrews was started by John Anson’s grandfather Mark, who was named an Indiana Master Farmer in 1968. John and his wife Jodi now operate the farm, having completed a management transition from John’s father, Aaron. In addition to raising commercial corn and soybeans and selling corn and soybean seed, the Ansons have a boar stud operation they operate under contract and have also begun marketing corn directly to a local dairy farm.

3 p.m., June 27 — Dennis Grain and Farms: Located in northeast Huntington county, the farm grows corn, soybeans, wheat, and double-crop sunflowers. Dennis Grain & Farms is a family operation with brothers Mark, Jack and Bob Dennis, along with their son’s and several employees. In addition to their crop farming operation, the Dennis family also operates a commercial grain elevator. Dennis Farms relies on grain marketing and agronomic consultants to help them effectively manage their growing operation, which in 2019 is transitioning from 30-inch to 20-inch row corn production.

8 a.m., June 28 – Wabash County: Bowman Agri Corp. and Bowman Farms includes a corn-soybean farming operation and a commercial grain elevator operated by brothers Dan and Kevin Bowman along with Kevin’s two sons, Kyle and Evan. The Bowmans explain that one of the keys to success on their soil types was to focus on improving drainage, leading them to invest in state-of-the-art drainage equipment to install their own drainage tile. The farm also relies on various precision ag technologies to improve their farm’s productivity and profitability.

11:30 a.m., June 28 — McKillip Farms near Wabash: The tour will start with lunch, followed by McKillip farm family interview and mini-tours. Todd and Troy McKillip are the fourth generation of the McKillip family to farm near Wabash and have recently completed a transition of the business from the third generation to ensure the business’ ongoing success. Their grandfather was an early adopter of hybrid corn and entered the hybrid seed corn business with a 3-acre plot in 1935. Although focused on corn and soybean seed production and marketing, the McKillips believe in diversification and recently entered tomato production.

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