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September 28, 2007

Porter County is stop on Indiana Farm Sustainability Tour

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The 2007 Indiana Farm Stability Tour will head to Porter County on Oct. 11 to highlight area marketing efforts.

Focusing on specialty marketing partnerships, the tour's goal is to provide farmers, educators and consumers the opportunity to visit local sustainable farming operations and markets. Stops will include the Valparaiso Farmer's Market, Birky Family Farms Country Market and community supported agriculture at Crème de la Crop organic farm.

These businesses showcase unique marketing methods that focus on ways to benefit not only themselves, but also other local businesses, said Kris Parker, Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service educator.

She said the businesses work together in partnerships to support each other. For example, Chris Birky, owner of Birky Family Farms Country Market, sells pies from the local Marilyn's Bakery, and the bakery sells Birky's pork in return.

Tour registration begins at 9:30 a.m. CDT at the Porter County Administration Center, Room 309. Participants will have the opportunity to tour the Valparaiso Farmer's Market and speak with vendors. Next, attendees will travel to Birky Family Farms Country Market, where lunch, featuring Birky's grilled pork chops and other local specialties, will be served.

The final stop is Crème de la Crop organic farm. Owner Leann Landgrebe Stephens will lead a tour and discuss how their community supported agriculture program works.

The event is open to the public and is $15 per person, which covers lunch, refreshments and related materials. The registration deadline is Oct. 4. For more information and to register, go online to http://www.conf.purdue.edu/farmtours.

The 2007 Indiana Farm Sustainability Tours are sponsored by the Purdue Small Farms Team, the Purdue New Ventures Team, Indiana State Department of Agriculture and North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

For questions and more information about this or upcoming tours, contact Jerry Nelson, Purdue New Ventures Extension educator, at (812) 886-9582, jnelson@purdue.edu, or Kris Parker (219) 465-3555 ext. 27, parkerkj@purdue.edu.

Writer: Hannah Brescher, (765) 494-8402, hbresche@purdue.edu

Source: Kris Parker, (219) 465-3555, parkerkj@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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