Ten farm tours and workshops across the state will offer new and aspiring farmers the opportunity to learn from experts and network with fellow farmers at a variety of agricultural operations.
The events are organized by Purdue University's Indiana Beginning Farmers program with Purdue Extension and the Local Growers Guild as sponsors. The series begins in May and runs through mid-October.
"We hope that aspiring and current farmers will find the tours to be a source of useful information and an opportunity to meet and interact with other people who are passionate about farming," said Kevin Gibson, professor of botany and plant pathology and one of the leaders of Purdue's Beginning Farmer team.
• May 8: Nightfall Farm (Crothersville) uses rotational grazing to raise animals on pasture. Learn about regenerative agriculture and their experiences developing a meat Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
• May 23: Seven Sons Farm (Roanoke) produces grass-fed beef, pork and eggs. The tour will include information on grazing systems.
• June 3: The Farm Connection (Clay City) creates artisanal cheeses from their pasture-raised animals, as well as a variety of other products. The event will include information on cheese-making and developing business plans.
• June 15: Clay Bottom Farm (Goshen) uses intensive growing methods to support a CSA program on less than an acre of land. Learn about their "lean farm" approach to support a CSA, supply restaurants and sell at farmers' markets.
• June 24: Silverthorn Farm (Rossville) uses organic practices to produce a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. The tour will include a session on working with restaurants.
• Aug. 26: Goat Milk Stuff (Scottsburg) is a dairy goat farm producing soaps, candies and cheeses. The tour will include information on agricultural tourism and value-added products.
• Sept. 11: Little Prairie Farm (Brookston) and the Purdue Student Farm (West Lafayette) will offer two tours of small-acreage vegetable farms to learn about farming practices and tools for smaller-scale operations.
• Sept. 27: Full Hand Farm (Noblesville) is a diverse vegetable farm. The tour will include information on the use of high tunnels in vegetable production.
• Oct. 2: Aficionado Farms (Elberfeld) produces organically grown produce, herbs and flowers. Learn about their farm and Farm to School programs.
• Oct. 14: Blue Yonder Organic Farm (North Salem) is a veteran-owned and operated farm producing pastured poultry, sheep and other products. Learn about poultry production and organic certification.
The workshop/tour events are free, but registration is required and space is limited. To sign up, go to http://bit.ly/2odMUmA.
For more information about the Beginning Farmer and Rancher program or the farm tour schedule, contact Gibson at 765/496-2161 or firstname.lastname@example.org.