CROP TOUR GIVES PATICIPANTS UP-CLOSE LOOK AT THE FERTILE FIELDS OF FARMING
Folks from Union, Wallowa, Baker and Umatilla counties gathered at Western Farm Services Tuesday for the 30th Annual Union County Crops and Conservation Tour.
County agent and tour organizer Darrin Walenta welcomed the crowd before passing the microphone to Don Sands, who took everyone back 30 years to the first tour.
Sands and a handful of farmers in dusty pickup trucks drove around the Grande Ronde Valley to see which experiments with crop varieties and chemical treatments were working, and which weren't.
"We learned a lot from each other," Sands told the crowd.
Perhaps those words sum up the spirit behind the crop tour. Farmers ranchers, business owners, community leaders, college students, retired folks and newspaper reporters are still learning about agriculture from those who understand it best, out in nature's classroom.
How better to experience the excitement generated by research on a nutritional product known as beta glucans, found in barley seed, than by standing in a brilliant green field of barley production trials?
What better place to learn that new technology can extract beta glucan from a barley seed, than standing under the big picture of a bold, blue summer sky? And then discussing what these new discoveries might mean for local farmers and the economy of Union County over a barbecued rib steak lunch?
Come on out to the fields next year and see what's really going on with agriculture.