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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.

August 19 farm tour stops are Z&M Twisted Vines Wine and Winery, Schwinn Produce Farm, and Oregon Trail Farm, all in Leavenworth, KS. ‘Vines, Barns, Berries, and Bees Day’ zeroes in on options with value-added production and agritourism, such as wineries, on-farm event hosting, and U-Pick operations.

The day’s educational session focuses on financial management, one of the biggest challenges farmers face, regardless of age or experience. Gary Matteson, Vice President for Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach for the Farm Credit Council, encourages producers to make it a priority to study, analyze and improve their financial knowledge. “As farm managers, you cannot avoid difficult tasks, subjects or problems,” Matteson says. “Getting fluent in the language of monthly cash-flow budget is the single greatest skill a beginning farmer can have in convincing someone else that they are competent, committed, and have clear expectations of the future.”

Event Series Information:

  • The tours are free, but registration is required.
  • Each farm tour day begins at 8:30 a.m. at the first tour stop.
  • After visiting the three farms, participants head to to the National Agricultural 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.


Meet us at Z&M Twisted Vines Wine and Winery at 8:30 a.m.

Z&M Twisted Vines Wine and Winery 620 Cherokee St Leavenworth, KS 66048
Z&M Twisted Vines Wine & Winery began with a twist from the start. MAJ Bryan Zesiger met Gina Montalbano & there was a spark. Their love for wine, is much like their love of life, traditional meets a modern flare. His military experience paired with her Italian heritage sparked a lifetime passion & partnership in wine making. Their love of creating specialty wine continued to develop, as the two set out to make unique, handcrafted wine. Gina & Bryan love to push the boundaries to bring your taste buds something new.  Z&M Twisted Vines opened their downtown Leavenworth, KS location on Oct. 27, 2018. Learn more about Z&M Twisted Vines Wine and Winery here.

Schwinn Produce Farm 17624 Santa Fe Trail, Leavenworth, KS 66048
Many additions have been made to Schwinn Produce Farm since the first sweet corn was sold under a tree over 30 years ago. Now a market building houses the sales on the farm. Every Wednesday and Saturday, Schwinn Produce Farm sells fresh produce at the Leavenworth Farmers Market. A greenhouse and two hoop houses have been put into place where transplants are started and bedding plants are sold to help things get started in early spring. Pick-your-own strawberry patch has been added for families to enjoy in the springtime. Pick-your-own pumpkin patch and hayrides bring many smiles to families in the fall as they search for the “best” jack-o-lantern pumpkin. The farm has developed its barn into an events facility specializing in weddings. Learn more about Schwinn Produce Farm here.

Oregon Trail Farm 18962 Santa Fe Trail Leavenworth, KS 66048
Having served 28 years in the Army with numerous deployments, 11 duty stations, and three combat tours, Ken and Cindy DeVan settled near Fort Leavenworth, Ks. With two daughters growing up as Army brats, they had sampled u-pick farms from the east coast to the southwest and throughout Europe. Upon retirement from the Army, they decided to start their own berry farm in Kansas on a quaint piece of property on Santa Fe Trail. Today the farm has blueberries, blackberries and raspberries for you-pick with 28 beehives and a growing apiary. Along with berries and honey we now offer lotion bars and lip balm hand-made from our own sourced bees wax. In 2018 we added a lavender patch and small fruit tree orchard. Come watch us grow! Learn more about Oregon Trail Farm here.


By 12:30 PM, we return to the National Ag Center’s Smith Event Barn for lunch and networking. Our local foods lunch is generously sponsored by the Farm Credit Associations of Kansas.


The day’s educational session focuses on financial management, one of the biggest challenges farmers face, regardless of age or experience.
Growing Cash Flow
Gary Matteson, Farm Credit
Hope is not a strategy. Plan for the things you want to accomplish on your farm, the money you intend to make, and the money you will need to spend. In this session, Gary Matteson will help you think about the future of your farm operation in financial terms that you can understand. A realistic plan brings confidence to you, your partners, your investors and to your family.
Gary Matteson works for Farm Credit’s trade association in Washington, DC as Senior Vice President, Beginning Farmer Programs and Outreach. This includes policy work on local foods, sustainable agriculture, and direct-to-consumer agriculture. He frequently speaks to beginning farmers, training on basic financial skills and recordkeeping. For thirty years Gary was a small farmer raising greenhouse wholesale cut flowers marketed in the Northeast and beef cattle for local sales. He has served on numerous boards of directors including Farm Credit, the Boston Flower Exchange, and many non-profits.


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 AUGUST 16 to ensure lunch will be available for you.
To reserve your spot for the August 19 event, use the RSVP box below or call Mary Howell at 785.562.8726.
July 22 event event information/RSVP available here.
August 5 event information/RSVP available here.


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.