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City’s residents tour modern farm

By Staff | Sep 3, 2014

MARSHALLTOWN – A juicy Iowa Pork Chop doesn’t come from the grocery store.

That’s the lesson dozens of people learned after touring the Burt family farm north of Marshalltown on Aug. 21, during the first Marshall County Farm Bureau’s farm and agriculture tour series

Children and adults, curious about the modern world of agriculture, rode a hay rack to a corn field, sow barn and a soybean field, then asked farmers questions.

The visitors then enjoyed a juicy pork-chop-on-a-stick, after learning from where it came.

Sharon Robinson, of Marshalltown, moved to the city from Florida and was told she needed to learn about farms in Iowa.

“I knew nothing about farms,” Robinson said. “I wanted to ask questions so this was a good source.

“I learned a lot and it was fun. I had no idea that there was so few ears of corn to a stalk.

“I was surprised that the sweet corn, which seems to be a big deal here, is such a short time of actually being in the field.”

Claire Handorf, of Gladbrook, is a long-time friend of the Burt family, said she enjoyed the tour.

“Even though I am from farm life, I learned a lot,” Handorf said. “I learned about soybeans and the size of the pigs.”

Darrel Burt said the pigs are about 275 to 280 pounds each.

“They are a lot bigger than when we raised them,” Handorf said.

Bill and Cindy Ormston, of Marshalltown, are also friends with the Burt family and were both raised on farms.

“I had never seen the tour,” Bill Ormston said. “It was interesting.”

Cindy Ormston said she enjoyed the pork-chop-on-a-stick.

Jean Klosterman, of the Marshall County Farm Bureau, said one farmer feeds 155 people.

“The technology has changed,” Klosterman said. “The plants are more productive, the yields are higher and here we are.

“This is the whole point of these tours, to introduce people who are unfamiliar with all aspects of agriculture.

“All this stuff is around us, and we kind of take it for granted, (is) the whole point of these tours.”

Klosterman said she was pleased with the turnout.

“We had people of all ages,” she said. “We did have some people that were familiar with some part of agriculture and some people (for whom) this was their first introduction, so I would call this a huge success and I’m looking forward to building on tonight’s success for our next four tours.”

Those interested in going on the other farm tours, should contact the Farm Bureau office at (641) 753-6637.

Preregistration is requested, but not necessary.

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