Twelve Sunbelt farmers will see a diverse range of agricultural production and processing operations in southern Idaho as part of the National Cotton Council’s (NCC) Multi-Commodity Education Program (MCEP) June 20-23.
Launched in 2006, the MCEP is coordinated by the NCC Member Services staff and local leaders and organizations. The program is supported by The Cotton Foundation with a grant from John Deere.
The program is designed to provide its participants with a better understanding of production issues/concerns faced by their peers in another geographic region, and an opportunity to observe agronomic practices, technology utilization, cropping patterns, marketing plans and operational structure.
The program also helps build a continuing dialogue among American farmers, regardless of their crops or locations, and creates strong and lasting relationships between current and future farmer leaders.
The participants, selected by the NCC and USA Rice, are Curtis Berry, Robinsonville, MS; Lee Cromley, Brooklet, GA; Barry Evans, Kress, TX; Allan Fuchs, Garden City, TX; Richard Lindsey, Centre, AL; Tommy Moore, Somerville, TN; Steve Olson, Plainview, TX; Herbert Price, Dixie, GA; Sam Spruell, Mount Hope, AL; Dean Wells, Casa Grande, AZ; Jim Whitaker, McGehee, AR; and Steve Wilbur, Tulare, CA.
Also participating are Andrew Grobmyer, representing the Agricultural Council of Arkansas, and Craig Brown, NCC vice president, Producer Affairs, and John Gibson, NCC director, Member Services.
The tour – which was arranged by the Idaho Barley Commission and Idaho Grain Producers Association (IGPA) – begins June 20 with an overview of Idaho agriculture from staffers with IGPA and the Idaho State Department of Agriculture. The group then see operations involved with malt barley, seed barley, wheat, seed potatoes and cattle before touring a cow-calf operation and a phosphate mine.
On June 21, the group will visit the University of Idaho Aberdeen Research and Extension Center and the USDA Agricultural Research Service’s National Small Grains & Potato Research Facility, before traveling to American Falls for a tour of the ConAgra Lamb Weston frozen potato processing plant.
The group will tour Glanbia Cheese’s world research and development headquarters in Twin Falls on June 22, before touring the Southfield Dairy in Buhl and learning about farm-raised trout production at the Hagerman Fish Culture Experiment Station.
On June 23, the group will depart Idaho Falls for a visit to the InteGrow Malt Plant, before touring the Larsen Farms hay compaction facility and seeing local crop production operations in the Dubois area. They also will visit a John Deere implement dealership in Rexburg, tour the nearby Wilcox Fresh potato packing facility, and conclude the trip with a look at more barley, wheat and potato farming operations in the area.
Source – National Cotton Council