• Bob Vlach, Woodford Sun Staff

Annual farm tour set for next Monday

A SCHOOL BUS WAS BARELY VISIBLE while traveling past tall corn stalks at the Richardson Farm - one of five stops during last year's 50th annual Woodford County Farm Tour. This year's farm tour travels to Thistle's End Farm and Sycamore Farm next Monday, July 25. (File photo by Bob Vlach)

The 51st annual Woodford County Farm Tour will travel to Thistle's End Farm on McCowans Ferry Road and Sycamore Farm on Military Pike during a day-long celebration of agriculture next Monday, July 25. Woodford County agricultural Extension agent Adam Probst described the farm tour as an opportunity to tell the story of agricultural, and allow non-farming families to see what really happens on farmland in the county. "Hopefully, we can at least teach them something about agriculture and about the community," said Probst. He said people who have lived in Woodford County for 20 years are sometimes even surprised by what they see, learn and experience on the annual farm tour. This year's tour participants will learn about the sheep and small-scale pig production happening on Thistle's End Farm, which has diversified its operation to also include vegetables and fresh-cut flowers. This stop will expose farmers and non-farmers alike to nontraditional agricultural opportunities, according to Probst. He views the tour's second stop - Sycamore Farm - as an opportunity for local farmers to see how Louie Hagan has begun using alternative methods for tobacco management in order to reduce cost and the need for "timely labor." Also, an on-farm trial will educate them about options related to applying more nitrogen on soybean crops in order to increase yield. "We're hoping to try to target more producers . (with) things they can take back to the farm," said Probst. He said most farmers do not view raising crops as only being about earning money. They are also looking for opportunities to improve this country's food supply while also protecting their long-term investment - the land. The farm tour begins with "Bear's Breakfast" in the basement of the Agriculture Resource Building on Beasley Drive at 7 a.m., before tour participants board buses at 8 a.m. to begin their day of fellowship and education. The farm tour draws to a close with lunch at Sycamore Farm beginning at about 12:30 p.m., with buses expected to return to the Agriculture Resource Building at around 2:30. Anyone planning to participate in this year's Woodford County farm tour is being asked to call 873-4941 or 873-4601 so organizers know how many buses and food they will need. Last year's lunch crowd of 485 was the largest ever. The record-setting group celebrated the Woodford County Farm Tour's 50th anniversary. With more than 350 children in Woodford County expected to start next school year without school supplies, anyone who eats breakfast or lunch is being asked by the Woodford County Homemakers to donate five-subject spiral notebooks (wide rule), colored pencils, 24-count Crayola crayons, No. 2 pencils, blunt-end scissors and glue sticks, or give cash donations as their "admission."

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