“I think it’s real good, and I really appreciate people coming out and being a part of it,” Trigg County Extension Agent David Fourqurean said.
Starting at 9 a.m., people toured Little Pines Farm, owned by Joe Rogers; Casey Creek Farms, owned by Jim McAtee; Harton Farms, owned by Todd Harton; and Tom Ledford Farms, owned by Tom Ledford.
Rogers, who stood with his wife Pat Rogers and Daniel Hale of the Trigg County Soil Conservation District, said he was very pleased to be given the state’s 2010 Master Conservationist Award, the first such award given to a Trigg Countian.
“You have days where you know who controls the weather,” said Rogers, commenting on the weeks-long dry spell.
Rogers has been working from sunrise to sunset raising livestock on his southern Trigg County farm for 27 years.
Next, the tour shifted to Casey Creek Farms and Harton Farms, which are in the same general area.
McAtee has three employees and raises corn, wheat and soybeans on 3,200 acres on his family-owned farm in southern Trigg County, and has been since the 1970s. He said he hopes to have the entire farm using continuous no-till farming methods in the near future, although they aren’t there yet.
Harton has been raising tobacco for about 20 years, and has been strip tilling tobacco for about 7 years. He has 32 tobacco bars, and recently he raised 7 million tobacco plants and harvested 950,000 pounds worth of tobacco. He said he’ll be harvesting the tobacco in about four weeks.
“Strip tilling is good on tobacco and good on the land,” Harton said.
Next, the tour moved to Tom Ledford’s farm. Ledford has been farming since he graduated from Murray State Univerity in 1977, raising pigs until the late 80s, after which he started raising corn, wheat and soybeans.
Ledford said he can trace his family’s farming efforts in the county to his great-great-great grandfather, who started a farm in the county in 1818. Today he works with his sons Matt and Mark and his wife Suzanne.
“I’m blessed to have grown up on a family farm,” Matt said.
Fourqurean said the purpose of the farm tour is to give people in the community an overall view of what’s happening in agriculture and to help people see where their food comes from.
Fourqurean also said there will certainly be another farm tour again next year, as there was a lot of good feedback about its return last year after about 10 years without a farm tour, although the farms that are to be toured haven’t been selected yet. Prior to that, it had been going on since the 1970s, he added.
“It’s an annual event, I don’t think we can get out of it now,” Fourqurean said with a smile.
There are many good farmers in the community, and all of them want to “take their turn” to participate in the farm tour, said Fourqurean.
“I don’t have to twist too many arms to get everybody to be a part of it,” Fourqurean said jokingly.