Southeast Nebraska Diversified Ag Tour September 6 - UNL CropWatch, Aug. 29, 2013

Southeast Nebraska Diversified Ag Tour September 6 - UNL CropWatch, Aug. 29, 2013

August 29, 2013

UNL Extension will be hosting a tour of diversified and sustainable agricultural operations in southeast Nebraska on Friday, September 6.

The 2013 Southeast Nebraska Diversified Ag Tour will include five stops:

Bluff Valley Farm near Rulo where Ken and Mary Grace Thiltges and their children use rotational grazing to produce naturally raised meats. They raise lamb, beef, chicken, eggs, pork, and turkey. The Thiltges moved in a country school house and converted it to an on-farm store. They are part of the Good Fresh Local Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and sell their meat for use in UNL dining halls. Bluff Valley Farm also markets their meat at the Haymarket Farmers’ Market, Open Harvest Coop, Red Clover Market, and Cetak’s Gourmet Meats in Lincoln. The Thiltges use no antibiotics or artificial growth hormones and feed organically grown grasses and forages and non-GMO grain. Their philosophy is to provide healthy meat products for their family and customers.

Quail Acres Farm near Falls City where Robert White raises pastured poultry, free-range eggs, and vegetables that he sells at the Old Cheney Road Farmer's Market in Lincoln, on Sundays and the Falls City Farmer's Market in Falls City on Thursdays. He also sells through Open Harvest Co-op and Grocery in Lincoln and the Nebraska Food Co-op serving eastern Nebraska farmers’ markets and co-ops. White initiated a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program where customers pay to get a share of his products each week for a specified number of weeks during the growing season. Along with vegetables in the field, Robert also has a high tunnel where he can extend his growing season in the fall and begin growing produce earlier in the spring.

Coryell Park, west of Auburn for lunch. The Coryell family homesteaded the Coryell Park area in June 1867. Their covered wagon served as the first Coryell home and commemorates the spirit and values of early Nebraska settlers. Coryell is unique in that it is free and open to the public. The homestead was converted into a park in 1934, with the intent to provide recreation and culture to the area. The park continues to attract thousands of visitors from all over the country each year. Kaleb and Debbie Bruggeman are park caretakers and live, year round, with their children in the Coryell home to the north side of the Park.

Cambrian Ridge Vineyard near Auburn where Mark and Wende Bergmeier are the first in the state to grow the grape variety Crimson Cabernet. The Bergmeier’s vineyard was established in April 2009 when they planted their first acre with 612 vines of Chambourcin grape vines. Since then they have added two more acres of premium wine grapes, one acre each of Traminette and Crimson Cabernet wine grapes.

Auburn Community Gardens in Auburn where they are striving to deal with food insecurity and hunger issues in the community. They provide food for those in need and donate funds from market sales to aid local programs that address hunger. The community gardens program is in its fifth year and has received several grants and donations to help in their efforts.

Tour Logistics and Registration

The tour will pick up participants in Hickman at 6:15 a.m. in the parking lot north of Subway, in Tecumseh at 7 a.m. on the north side of the courthouse, and in Auburn at 7:30 a.m. on the north side of the courthouse. The tour cost is $20 per person and includes lunch and transportation.

To register contact the Nemaha County Extension Office (402-274-4755), Kimmel Education and Research
Center (402-873-3166), or the Johnson County Extension Office (402-335-3669).

If you have questions about the tour contact Gary Lesoing, Extension Educator in Nemaha County, at (402) 274-4755.

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