Area farm tour kicks off with barbecue in Alma

Sunday, August 2, 2009
Robert Pope of Jasper talks to his son Austin, 2, as he tries out one of the antique tractors on display at Alma City Park on Sunday, Aug. 2. Pope was one of more than 200 people taking part in the 38th annual Missouri Young Farmers and young Farm Wives state farm tour. During the three-day event more than 250 people are expected to be in the area to tour nine farms and agribusinesses. (Marcia Gorrell/Democrat-News)

A large crowd from across Missouri was at Alma City Park on Sunday, Aug. 2, for the kickoff meal of the 38th annual Missouri Young Farmers and Young Farm Wives State Tour.

"We are looking for 250 to 300 people," said Jeff Bergman, co-chairman of the event, which is being presented by Santa Fe Agri-Leaders.

Although called "young farmers tour," anyone is welcome to take the tour, according to Bergman and co-chairman Judy Hemme.

"Anyone is welcome, farmer or non-farmer," said Bergman.

"Anyone interested in agriculture," added Hemme.

This is the first time the annual tour has been in this area, according to John Morgan, Santa Fe Agri-Leaders adult advisor.

"It's been six years since it's been in central Missouri," said Morgan, adding that it has previously been in California and Boonville. "It was in Lexington in 1984 when they had an active chapter there," he added.

The family rate for the entire tour is $100 and the individual rate is $60. The student rate is $45. For a one-day tour, the family rate is $50 and the individual rate is $35. The cost includes all meals.

"We have a real good variety of farms tomorrow," said Morgan. "And on Tuesday we are going to see Peter's Orchard, Alma Meats and Cedar Lane Greenhouse."

The stops on Monday include Heins Family Farms, United Hog Systems--Zeysing Farms, Salyer Farms, Bredehoeft Farms Inc., Mid-Missouri Energy, Marshall and Fenner Farms and Peters Family Farms.

An alternative tour on Monday will view historic Lexington before stopping at Baltimore Bend Winery on the way back to Alma, said Hemme.

Jon Hagler, Missouri's director of agriculture will speak at a banquet set for 6 p.m. Monday at Santa Fe High School.

On Tuesday, breakfast will be served beginning at 6:30 a.m. before the bus departs at 7:45 a.m. The tour ends at noon on Tuesday with a meal at the high school.

Besides a meal, more than $2 million-worth of new farm equipment was on display Sunday evening at the park, as well as a large group of antique and classic tractors. There was also a corn and soybean plot tour, followed by entertainment from Fire Good Productions.

Bergman and Hemme, who along with committee members have been planning for the tour over 1 years, said area townspeople have been very supportive.

"If we asked for help, they helped," said Bergman, adding that a ladies group has been making the sweet rolls for the meals.

"The community has just been very supportive," said Hemme.

Contact Marcia Gorrell at

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