The fifth annual Highland County Farm Tour, co-hosted by Highland County Farm Bureau and the Highland Soil and Water Conservation District, will be held Saturday, Sept. 15.
The tour, including lunch, is free to the public and will run from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Preregistration is required by Sept. 10 by calling the SWCD office at 937-393-1922 ext. 3, or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Those planning to take part should meet at the Karnes Farm at 11838 Karnes Road. The tour will start promptly at 10 a.m.
“The goal of this collaborative event is to provide opportunities for the community to learn new advanced techniques and interact with others,” said Pam Bushelman, Highland SWCD district operations manager. “It will be an educational day to see how others have utilized various conservation practices on their farms to promote water quality and soil erosion, as well as incorporate unique projects to sustain their operation.”
This year’s tour will highlight farms in the New Petersburg area and will feature updated technology on managing a hay operation at the Karnes Farm. Those taking part will also learn about an innovative high-tech swine facility from the Surber family, and visit the Karnes Orchard with a newly constructed on-site market place.
The first stop will be the Karnes Hay Farm where the speakers will be Dr. R. Mark Sulc, OSU Extention forage specialist, and owner Steven M. Karnes. They will provide field-based research that focuses on integrated pest management in alfafa and the performance of various hay species under Ohio conditions.
The second stop will be Surber Family Swine Operation on Blazer Road. The speakers will be John and Connie Surber. They will explain their 2,400-sow breed to wean facility that features PIC certified genetics. They will also discuss the breeding, gestation and weaning process of the operation.
The third stop will be Karnes Orchard and Market Place on Worley Mill Road. The speakers will be Steve D. and Zelda Karnes. They will lead a tour of the orchard that features more than 40 different varieties, including several heirloom apples, and the shop at the new on-site market place.
“It has been a great event. It’s a great asset to showcase the beautiful farms in the county,” Bushelman said.
For more information call the SWCD office at the above number or visit www.highlandswcd.com or www.ofbf.org/counties/highland.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.