The fifth Farm Road Rally tour took place July 20, 2017 and made three stops to help guests from the grocery industry as well as registered dietitians and media representatives understand modern agriculture and how food is safely and carefully produced. The bus tour was sponsored by CommonGround Nebraska.
CommonGround volunteer Ruth Ready road along with the participants and answered their questions throughout the day. She also visited with Chad Moyer of the Rural Radio Network during one of the stops.
The first stop was Hoegemeyer Hybrids in Hooper, Nebraska where participants visited with Dr. Tom Hogemeyer, leading seed scientist and Stephan Beccera, General Manager of Hoegemeyer Hybrids. The participants learned about the evolution of the seed industry and the benefits and safety of GMO seed technology.
The next stop was J & S Feedlot near Dodge, Nebraska, with CommonGround volunteer Joan Ruskamp. She explained how they take care of cattle in summer and winter weather conditions. She also introduced the guests to the various feed rations that the cattle receive and discussed the nutritional value each provides. Joan welcomed the guests into her barn, where she explained how cattle are treated with antibiotics and given a small growth hormone. Guests were able to see the actual implant and discuss the benefits of its use.
The third stop was to Kluthe Farms near Dodge, Nebraska, where Danny Kluthe invited the guests and CommonGround volunteers to get up close to the hogs in the barn. He explained how the hogs are kept comfortable with misters and fans. He also explained how the manure from the operation is fed to an in-ground concrete tank. The digester system generates methane as it stirs and heats waste. The gas is used to fuel an internal combustion engine, which produces electricity that is sold to NPPD. His farm produces 730,000 kilowatts hours of energy annually is enough to power 53 homes per year. This is a great example of sustainability and conservation of waste.
10/11 News reporter Kristen Bauer was on the tour and shared her interviews.
First Stop – Hoegemeyer Hybrids, Hooper, Nebraska
2nd Stop – J & S Feedlot, Dodge, Nebraska
Third Stop – Kluthe Farms, Dodge, Nebraska