On Thursday, April 5, 2018, Our Farms, Our Future conference attendees had the option to attend one of eight different tours to farms and businesses in the St. Louis area that utilize sustainable practices. We are grateful to the farm tour leaders that volunteered to guide these tours, and we also would like to express gratitude to the farms and businesses that agreed to host farm tours, and to congratulate them for the sustainability initiatives they’re committed to implementing on a daily basis.
Agritourism at a Seventh-Generation Orchard: A Tour of Eckert’s
Tour Lead: Andrew Coggins, NCAT/ATTRA
Ask a handful of St. Louis families about special things to do in the fall and you’ll hear about picking apples at Eckert’s. For seven generations, the Eckert’s family has owned and operated Illinois orchards near the St. Louis metropolitan area. During this tour, you’ll learn about this rich history and see how Eckert’s has evolved over time.
All About Livestock: Raising Animals Profitably and Sustainably
Tour Lead: David Redhage, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture
From pastured livestock production systems to an innovative food hub, the stops on this tour will engage anyone seeking to learn more about locally raised livestock.
The Gateway Tour: Urban Agriculture in Downtown St. Louis
Tour Lead: Bill McKelvey, University of Missouri
St. Louis is known for the Arch, the Cardinals and Anheuser Busch, but within just a few miles of these major attractions are four bright urban farming organizations. On this tour, see how these local organizations are making a big impact.
Urban Harvest’s Food Roof Farm
Farm to Institution Tour: Sourcing and Growing Local Foods in St. Louis Schools
Tour Lead: Lindsey Hethcote, University of Missouri-Extension
It’s critical that children learn about where their food comes from and how to prepare it. On this tour, you will visit the Maplewood Richmond Heights school gardens, where elementary and middle school students learn about how food is grown and gain a sense of appreciation for the natural environment. A panel discussion with St. Louis leaders in local food sourcing will follow the tour.
Farms, Ranches and Communities Tour
Tour Lead: Debi Kelly, University of Missouri-Extension
The oft-quoted saying that “it takes a village” to accomplish something worthwhile is definitely true in sustainable agriculture. On this tour, you will see how farmers, ranchers and restaurateurs contribute to the collective picture of sustainable agriculture in Southern St. Louis.
Henry Family Farms
From Pasture to You: A Tour of Illinois Dairy Farms
Tour Lead: Rob Myers, University of Missouri and North Central SARE
Have you ever wondered where your favorite dairy products come from? This tour is your opportunity to meet some amazing dairy producers and the animals they raise. On this tour, you can enjoy some cheese samples as you learn more about cheese, milk and yogurt production.
The Next Generation of St. Louis Farmers
Tour Leads: Guy Ames, NCAT/ATTRA and Sami Tellatin, University of Missouri-Extension and North Central SARE
Be prepared to be inspired. This tour features three St. Louis producers who are locally creating tomorrow’s sustainable agriculture landscape.
Soil Health Stewards Tour
Tour Leads: Charles Ellis, University of Missouri-Extension and Rusty Lee, University of Missouri-Extension and Lee Farms
It’s one thing to read about the soil health craze that’s captured the nation, and quite another to visit the farms and research institutions where soil health practices are being put into action. This tour is for anyone wanting to witness soil health practices in action and meet the farmers and researchers who steward the soil every day.
Harry Cope Farm
NRCS Plant Materials Center in Elsberry, MO