HUNTINGTON, Ind. — From new technology to specialty crop production, a variety of topics were discussed at this year’s Indiana Farm Management Tour in Huntington County.
The tours have been a tradition since the early 1930s.
Host farmers share keys to successful farm management and give tours of their operations.
Visitors are encouraged to ask questions and learn from the best in agriculture.
This year, there were four stops on the tour. Here is an overview of each farm:
Bowman Agri Corp.
Bowman Farms and Bowman Agri-Corp. are comprised of a corn-soybean farming operation and commercial grain elevator managed by brothers Dan and Kevin Bowman, along with Kevin’s two sons, Kyle and Evan.
The Bowmans have farmed in Wabash County for five generations, dating back into the 1800s.
Over the years, the Bowmans exited livestock production and focused their attention on crop production.
The Bowman family obtained a grain dealer’s license in 1980 to fill a local need for a commercial elevator, which also created an opportunity to expand their farm’s storage facilities.
Early on the Bowmans concluded 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.
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.
Todd and Troy’s grandfather was an early adopter of hybrid corn and entered the hybrid seed corn business with a three-acre plot in 1935.
Still operating as an independent seed company, McKillip Seeds joined the AgVenture group, the nation’s largest network of independent regional seed companies, in 2006.
Although focused on corn and soybean seed production and marketing, the McKillips always have believed diversification is important and, as a result, they’ve recently entered tomato production, raising tomatoes under contract with Red Gold.
Anson Farms, located 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 also have a boar stud operation, which provides boar power under contract to a large Michigan hog operation.
Recently, the Ansons have begun to market some of their corn directly to a nearby dairy farm operated by neighbor Johan de Groot.
Dennis Grain & Farms
Dennis Grain & Farms, located in northeast Huntington County, focuses on corn, soybeans, wheat and double-crop sunflowers.
It’s a family operation with brothers Marc, Jack and Bob Dennis, along with their sons and several employees, providing their operation’s labor and management.
In addition to their crop farming operation, the Dennis family also operates a commercial grain elevator, which serves as a buying station for Pioneer’s Plenish soybeans.
Dennis Farms relies on grain marketing and agronomic consultants to effectively manage their growing operation.