Thirteen cotton producers will see a diverse range of agricultural production and processing operations in Montana on June 23-26 as part of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Multi-Commodity Education Program (MCEP).
Launched in 2006, the MCEP is coordinated by NCC’s Member Services and local leaders and organizations. The program is supported by The Cotton Foundation with a grant from Deere & Company.
The exchange helps provide participants with a better understanding of production issues and concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region, plus an opportunity to observe agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans and operational structure. The program is also designed to open continuing dialogue among American farmers and create strong and lasting relationships between this nation’s current and future producer leaders.
The tour’s producer participants include Jarod Abernathy, Altus, OK; Neal Baxley, Mullins, SC; Justin Bone, Bakersfield, CA; David Cochran, Greenville, MS; Bert Driskell, Grand Bay, AL; Michael Fruge, Eunice, LA; Heath Herring, Saint Joseph, LA; Chris Hirt, Garden City, TX; John Lindamood, Tiptonville, TN; Joe Martin, Conway, NC; Bobby Rieder, Sinton, TX; Jerry Rovey, Buckeye, AZ; and Jeff Wilson, Rebecca, GA.
John Gibson, NCC Member Services director, and Richey Seaton, executive director of the Georgia Cotton Commission, will also travel with the group.
The tour, which was arranged by the Montana Grain Growers Association, will begin June 23 at the Southern Agricultural Research Center in Huntley where the participants will learn about Montana agricultural research, including a presentation from the Western Sugar Cooperative. The group then will tour area farms to see production of irrigated malt barley, sugar beets, corn, wheat, alfalfa and cover crops, plus visit a sugar beet receiving station. They also will visit ORIgen for background on breeder to breeder genetics services, and then tour Erickson Farm in Broadview for a look at dryland wheat, corn, sunflower, safflower, and barley.
On June 24, the groups will visit Gateway Simmental in Lewiston for a presentation on continuous crop winter and spring wheat, irrigated/dryland hay and Simmental cattle. They will then travel to Moccasin for visits to the Heartland Seed chemical and fertilizer warehouse’s state-of-the-art loading facility, the grain cleaning/conditioning, grass seed bagging/chemical treatment operation at the Central Montana Co-op Fertilizer Plant, and the Central Agricultural Research Center to discuss hay, cereal grain, canola, winter peas and barley research.
June 25 will be spent in Great Falls with the Montana Wheat & Barley Committee, the Montana State Grain Lab, and Ag Trucks & Equipment. The group will also see winter wheat, barley, peas, lentils and hay production at the Bumgarner Farm; learn about wildlife management at the Montana Fish & Game headquarters; tour the Giant Springs Trout Hatchery and look at pasta manufacturing at Pasta Montana.
On June 26, the group will travel to Fairfield to hear a presentation on the Greenfields Irrigation District; tour irrigated malt barley/seed production, dryland hay and yellow mustard at Konen Farms; and see a barley elevator at Busch Agricultural Resources. After visiting a grain elevator at the Mountain View Co-op in Dutton, the group will return to Great Falls for tours of the Malteurop barley malting plant and the Moodie Implement John Deere dealership.
Source – National Cotton Council