Monday, June 16, 2008

Field Day in Lexington to Focus on Specialty Crops and Extending the Growing Season

The specialty crop industry continues to grow across Missouri. On June 23, Fahrmeier Farms in Lexington, Mo. will host a farm field day to promote specialty crops and provide education to producers about the crops. Director of Agriculture Katie Smith will be in attendance as a guest speaker as well as Brandon and Bret Fahrmeier, Robin Franks of Netrafim Irrigation and Ralph Carmer of HayGrove.

"Many specialty crops including fruits and vegetables, tree and dried nuts and nursery crops in Missouri are grown on small farms and on less land than traditional crops," said Katie Smith.

"Specialty crops are a great way for young farmers to begin careers in agriculture allowing them to return to the farm. It is important that we give encouragement and assistance to the next generation of Missouri farmers. The Fahrmeier Field Day is the perfect opportunity to learn from their operation and hear from others about what has worked and what has not in the industry."

The specialty crop field day will be held on June 23 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (registration begins at 9 a.m.) Cost for the field day is $10 per person if pre-registered and $15 for registration at the event. Registration includes lunch. The Fahrmeier Farm is located at 9374 Mitchell Trail, Lexington, Mo.

The day will focus on creating awareness of education in the Midwest for specialty crop growers, provide an overview of the types of specialty crops that produce well in high tunnels and provide information on irrigation techniques for specialty crops.

"In its second year, we began the field day event to give back to growers willing to learn about the industry and to thank growers that have shared information with us in the past," said Brandon Fahrmeier. "We try to be very progressive and find it beneficial to share knowledge as well as learn from other growers. High tunnels have changed our business and made us better growers making it easier to grow high quality products for local farmers’ markets and grocery stores."

Fahrmeier Farms was started in 1947 as a diversified livestock and row crop farm. The entire Fahrmeier family lives in Lafayette County; the majority are farmers and ranchers. The operation currently consists of greenhouses, vegetable production, a winery and diversified livestock including cattle, goats and hogs.

In addition, the Fahrmeier family farm will also be host to a demonstration grape vineyard this year, as part of the Specialty Crop Block Grant Project - a joint partnership between the Missouri Department of Agriculture, University of Missouri Center for Agroforestry and the Institute for Continental Climate Viticulture and Enology.

To pre-register for the field day, contact Charlotte Jackson at (573) 526-2061 or To learn more about specialty crops, visit

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