December 07, 2023

Learn keys to success at Farm Management Tour

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The Indiana Farm Management Tour is coming to Tipton and Clinton counties July 19-20.

Guests can learn about farm and crop management techniques at the free event, held in conjunction with the Master Farmer Reception. Register at

Tour stops include:

• M & K Henderson Family Farm / Henderson Ag Advantage, 4467 N 200 W, Sharpsville, Indiana, 12:30 p.m. July 19: Monty and Austin Henderson are the fourth and fifth generations of their family to farm in Tipton County.

In addition to farming, Monty currently serves as state director of the Indiana Small Business Development Center Agribusiness Initiative focused on aiding the development and growth of farms and agribusinesses across the state.

After graduating from Purdue University and gaining some industry experience, Austin leveraged his position as an independent Pioneer seed dealer to develop a new venture focused on helping his seed customers reduce their production costs by obtaining volume discounts.

Austin’s enterprise, Henderson Ag Advantage, has expanded beyond providing customers seed to include a variety of other crop inputs, all focused on reducing production costs, which pairs well with Austin’s role on the farm.

The M&K Henderson Family Farm operation emphasizes improving soil health using a combination of no-till, strip-till and cover crops.

Over the years, the Henderson family also has focused on improving drainage and improving yields by pattern tiling.

Integrating a returning family member into the operation is always a challenge and at this tour stop you’ll learn more about how the Henderson’s have combined farming with their pursuit of entrepreneurial opportunities to help ensure a successful farm transition.

• Master Farmer Reception and Panel Discussion, Beck’s Hybrids, 6767 E. 276th St., Atlanta, Ind., 3:30 p.m. July 19: The Master Farmer program is a long-standing tradition in Indiana and honors individuals who have contributed heavily to Indiana agriculture and demonstrated success in farming efficiency, stewardship of natural resources and community service.

The presentation of awards will be followed by a panel discussion with the honorees, moderated by James Mintert, director of the Purdue Center for Commercial Agriculture. The reception will be held at the Beck’s Hybrids headquarters near Atlanta.

Pre-registration is required to attend the Master Farmer Reception and Panel Discussion. No day-of tickets are available for this event.

The Indiana Master Farmer program is sponsored by Purdue University’s College of Agriculture and Indiana Prairie Farmer. All are welcome and the reception is free.

• Orr Farms, 6060 E County Road 50 S, Michigantown, Indiana, 8:30 a.m., July 20: Clint and Marianne Orr started their farming operation with just 200 acres under cultivation in the late 1980s. In the farm’s start-up years, the Orrs focused on generating enough off-farm income to facilitate reinvesting farm earnings back into the farm and were able to transition to a full-time farm operation in the early 2000s.

Lacking a large land base at a single location encouraged the Orrs to take advantage of existing facilities scattered across several owned and rented locations.

Recently, the Orrs built a new stand-alone grain facility with a GrainHandler Continuous Mix-Flow dryer. The facility, which is located near the junction of two highways, provides them with capacity to store 100% of the seed beans, waxy corn and white corn their farm produces.

Growing specialty crops requires paying close attention to details which has helped make the Orrs efficient farm managers. Staying up-to-date on new technology is important on Orr Farms and their new 2022 model corn and soybean planters will both be on display at this tour stop.

• Stafford Farms, 2286 S 975 W, Tipton, Indiana, 1:30 p.m. July 20: Stafford Farms senior leadership is provided by Tim Stafford, who along with his sons, Jarren and Jordan, raises corn, soybeans and hogs.

Jarren and Jordan, comprising the fourth generation of farm operators, joined the farm full-time upon graduation from Purdue in the early 2000s and provide leadership on technology adoption and implementation.

In addition to their hog enterprise, Stafford’s raise seed corn and have been installing pattern tile using their own equipment.

To prepare their farming operation for transition to the next generation, the Staffords have implemented a plan to move major assets from father to sons over time.

In 2022, the Staffords completed a new state-of-the-art farm shop, which will be featured at this tour stop.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor