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The AGgregator

From the Field: Central Indiana Ag Tour

Members of the agricultural media got the chance to go behind the scenes of several central Indiana operations during the 2014 Ag Media Summit Ag Tour on Saturday.

The tour began at the Indianapolis Power and Light Company where attendees got a firsthand look at how gypsum is extracted for farmers to use as a soil amendment. Corn, soybeans, peanuts and potatoes can benefit from gypsum application, netting out in higher crop yields for farmers.

The group continued on to tour several multi-generational row crop operations including Hession Farms and Little Ireland Farm in Brownsburg, Ind. Corn is Indiana’s leading agricultural product – the state is home to more than 5.8 million acres of cornfields. Indiana also ranks fifth nationally in pork production, marketing almost 8 million hogs each year.

The dairy industry was featured at Kelsay Farms, a sixth-generation operation that has recently added agritourism to the mix. The farm has been in operation since 1837 when it was land-granted to the family by President Martin Van Buren. The agritourism venture attracts 20,000 visitors annually – many of whom have never had any other experience with farms or food production.

The final stop on the tour was at Buck Creek Winery, an operation started by ex-Sheriff turned vintner Jeff Durm. Durm began growing grapes in 1991, starting with 1,500 vines that were primarily sold to wineries and members of the public. In 2006, the Durm family broke ground on Buck Creek Winery which now boasts a selection of 35 wines.

The ag tour kicked off three days of education and networking in Indianapolis. Farm Credit will have a booth at the InfoExpo (#32) which opens today at 4:00 pm EST. There will be local and national finance experts on hand for interviews as well as giveaways. Stop by and say hi!