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ABOUT THE SERIES: Kansas Farmers Union and the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Kansas are offering new and aspiring farmers an opportunity to visit nine Kansas and Missouri farms and learn from educators, producers and other experts about topics ranging from on farm food safety to business planning.

The Summer Fun Farm Tour Series runs every other Monday beginning July 22 and includes stops across the northeastern region of the state, a local foods lunch, networking, and an educational session. There is no cost to participate. The series wraps up on August 26 with a Produce Safety Alliance Growers Training workshop.

Visit the Summer Fun Farm Tour Series PAGE to learn more about the project.

July 22 farm tour stops are Green Dirt Farm, Weston, MO; KC Cattle Company, Weston, MO; and April Valley Farm, Leavenworth. ‘Critter Day’ highlights opportunities with livestock production including: a small sheep dairy and cheese making company, a veteran-owned and staffed ranch producing USDA certified hormone-free American Wagyu beef, and a diversified family farming operation raising registered Angus cattle, crossbred hogs and row crops.

The day’s educational session focuses on enhancing producers’ relationship with their meat processor and also covers a program for military service members transitioning to civilian life with interest in a career in agriculture.

Event Series Information:

  • The tours are free, but registration is required.
  • Each farm tour day begins at 8:00 a.m. at the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame in Bonner Springs, KS.
  • After visiting the three farms, participants return to the Center’s Smith Event Barn by 12:30 p.m. for a local foods lunch sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.
  • Following the meal, Ken DeVan shares the story behind the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame. DeVan is a Center board member as well as being the president of the Farmer Veteran Coalition of Kansas.
  • Additionally, Tawnie Larson, Kansas AgrAbility Project Coordinator, explains how the program assists farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers who have become injured, have a health condition, or a disability to remain actively engaged in production agriculture for as long as they choose.
  • The featured afternoon ag education session concludes by 3:00 p.m. each day.

For more information about the Summer Fun Farm Tour Series or to RSVP by phone, contact Mary Howell at 785.562.8726.

To join a mailing list to receive updates on the farm tours and other events planned by the beginning farmer team, send an email message to Mercedes Taylor-Puckett.

MORNING FARM TOURS

For those wishing to carpool, we meet at the Ag Hall of Fame. Cars depart at 8:15 a.m., go to all stops, and return to Ag Hall of Fame at approximately 12:30 p.m. If you prefer to drive on your own, meet us at the Ag Hall of Fame by 8:15 a.m. or Green Dirt Farm at 8:45 a.m.

Green Dirt Farm 1099 Welt St, Weston, MO 64098
Green Dirt Farm is a small sheep dairy and cheese making company founded in 2002, with the dream to create artisan cheeses from grass-fed sheep’s milk produced on the farm. Commercial cheese making began in 2008 and the cheeses quickly garnered awards and national acclaim, winning awards each year at the “Oscars of Cheese”, the American Cheese Society annual competition. Green Dirt Farm is also known for their popular events on the farm that invite the community to experience and celebrate local food artistry. The events include dinners featuring the best chefs in Kansas City, and cheese tasting collaborations with other local and regional artisanal food makers. In 2016 Green Dirt Farm opened a cafe and ice cream shop in the nearby historic town of Weston, Missouri. The shop continues the tradition of sourcing local and regional small batch foods and offers residents and visitors to Weston a local food adventure. Learn more about Green Dirt Farm here.

KC Cattle Company Weston, MO 64098
Located just outside Kansas City in Weston Missouri, KC Cattle Company was founded in 2016 by Patrick Montgomery, a combat veteran. After completing his military service, Montgomery, only 28, earned his degree in animal science at the University of Missouri, established KC Cattle Company’s roots in Weston, MO, the epicenter of Kansas City’s farm-to-table movement. There, he started raising Wagyu cattle with the goal of providing exceptional beef to the same people he had served as a member of the 1st Ranger Battalion 75th Ranger Regiment. Today, his company employs and mentors veterans and donates to a number of veterans’ foundations. Montgomery sources his cattle from established Wagyu breeders in the U.S. Wagyu, a breed that originated in Japan–where the name means black cow, are known for having an extraordinary intramuscular fat. In premium steaks, this means optimum marbling and in turn, optimum flavor. This fat also has a lower melting point, and these attributes combine to deliver superior taste. KC Cattle Company has an online butcher shop that offers a wide range of Wagyu cuts. Learn more about KC Cattle Company here.

April Valley Farm 18432 MT. Olivet RD Leavenworth, KS 66048
April Valley Farms is a family diversified farming operation raising Registered Angus Cattle, crossbred hogs and crops of wheat, corn, soybeans, and hay in Leavenworth County. The name April Valley Farms was chosen by Ed and Alice Theis when they married in 1957.
At first the main source of income was the farrow to finish swine operation that started with the farrowing of the 6 bred gilts in an old chicken house that was converted into 6 pens. Cattle were sold individually on the farm. In 1976 the farrow to finish swine operation expanded with a 24-sow farrowing building with a caged nursery and a heated floor nursery. This allowed the farrowing of sows every four weeks. Two hoop buildings house 60 pound to market weight hogs. The farm has an annual Show Pig sale held on the farm for 4-H and FFA projects. Learn more about April Valley Farm here.

LOCAL FOODS LUNCH

By 12:30 PM, we return to the National Ag Hall of Fame for lunch and networking. Our local foods lunch is generously sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.

WORKSHOP

The day’s educational session focuses on enhancing producers’ relationship with their meat processor and also covers a program for military service members transitioning to civilian life with interest in a career in agriculture.
Rosanna Bauman, whose family farms and owns poultry and meat processing facilities near Garnett, KS, provides insight on how to be a good partner with your processor and strategies to strengthen relationships with your direct and wholesale buyers.
SkillBridge, a U.S. Department of Defense program for retiring service members, allows companies – including farm operations, to provide job skills training to service members during their last six months of their military service.

REGISTRATION

Thanks to funding from National Farmers Union’s Local Food Safety Collaborative and sponsorship from the Kansas AgrAbility Project and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas, there is no cost to attend the Summer Fun Farm Tour Series!
We do need you to RSVP by JULY 19 to ensure lunch will be available for you.
To reserve your spot for the July 22 event, use the RSVP box below or call Mary Howell at 785.562.8726.
August 5 event information/RSVP available here.
August 19 event information/RSVP available here.

SPONSORS

The Summer Fun Farm Tour Series is made possible through funding from National Farmers Union’s Local Food Safety Collaborative and sponsorship from the Kansas AgrAbility Project and the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas. Tour partners include Kansas Farmers Union, Farmer Veteran Coalition of Kansas, Kansas Beginning Farmers Coalition, Kansas Center for Sustainable Agriculture and Alternative Crops, and K-State Research and Extension.

RSVP

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