Touring the farms

Monday, August 3, 2009

Cape Girardeau is a retail, medical, industrial and education center, and it also is in the heart of some of the most productive agricultural areas in the country. Some 120 participants in the recent Jackson Chamber of Commerce Agribusiness Tour learned about the newest and best practices during a daylong visit a variety of farm settings.

One of the stops was near Gordonville at the David M. Barton Agriculture Research Center, operated by Southeast Missouri State University. Visitors saw how solar power is being used to run irrigation systems. The tour group also visited a sod farm, a dairy operation and an underground irrigation system.

The Jackson chamber's tour is one of the oldest in the state. "We're trying to educate the next generation of agricultural leaders and development," said Michael Aide, chairman of the Department of Agriculture at the university. He said educating young people through the chamber tour and the facilities at the university farm should be a top priority for agribusiness in this area.

Participants give the tour high marks for keeping them abreast of the latest developments in agriculture. And several mentioned the good food served at lunch -- made possible, of course, by area farmers who help feed the nation.

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