tour offers non-farmers
a chance to visit a working farm
locations to showcase
Jefferson County farms
Helen E. McKinney
(September 2009) Gregory Brawners family
has been in the farm business for four generations. More than anything,
he wants to promote community awareness about dairy farming while making
his own farm as efficient as possible.
Greg, Teresa and son, Gregory, Brawner operate Organic Dairy Farm, located
in 3649 S. Hanover Saluda Rd. in Hanover, Ind. The farm consists of
more than 800 acres, said Gregory Brawner. They raise corn, soybeans,
wheat, alfalfa and a variety of other grasses.
We milk about 120 cows, said Brawner, which in itself is
enough to keep the family busy seven days a week. They raise primarily
Holsteins but have been cross-breeding the cattle with Jerseys, Brown
Swiss and New Zealand breeds to introduce more components into the herd,
The farm was begun by Brawners great-grandfather, B.T. Brawner.
Brawners father bought the farm in the early 1980s, and Brawner
said he is glad for the opportunity to partner with his father for a
few more years. He hopes to eventually take over the family farm on
We take pride in making the farm look nice, making the cows look
nice and in raising good crops, said Brawner. The cattle are raised
on a pasture rotation grazing system where the cows are not confined.
Its a natural, organic farm, said Brawner. No hormones
are added to the cattle, as most cows are a forage-diet animal, he pointed
The Brawners will be participating in the upcoming Farm Focus Tour to
promote education and community awareness about farming for people who
have never seen a dairy. It is also geared for people who may have been
raised on a diary but have not been around a farm recently, said Brawner.
It will provide a first-hand look at what takes place on a farm
and what goes into producing milk.
The Farm Focus Tour is an Open House for people to visit a farm,
said Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Agent Lonnie Mason. The
driving tour will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6,
at three area farm locations.
Participants can begin at any of the three farms and travel at their
own leisure to Madison Vineyards, Norbert Schafers farm and the
Brawners farm in Hanover. This free event was held 15 years ago with
a turnout of 400 people, said Mason.
Since that time, people have requested that it be held again, he said.
We decided it was finally time and all farms volunteered to be
a part of it.
In addition to the Brawner Organic Dairy, people are welcome to visit
the Schafer Farm, located at 4857 East 900 North in Madison. The Schafers
farm is in Shelby Township near Canaan. The farm was begun on a small
scale with one acre of tobacco in 1982. They began to farm full-time
two years later.
The farm now produces 16 acres of tobacco, 40 brood cows and 55 stocker
calves. In time the couple hopes to grow the cattle operation to match
forage resources. The Schafers employ an aggressive rotation grazing
system on the farm. On this farm, visitors may get to experience tobacco
The Madison Vineyards Estate Winery and Bed & Breakfast is located
at 1456 East 400 North in Madison. The 37-acre farm was purchased in
fall 1994 by Sandy and Steve Palmer.
The Palmers produce grapes on 13.25 acres from a dozen different varieties.
Grapes grown on the property are crushed, fermented and bottled in the
These wines are distributed throughout the state of Indiana. Visitors
are invited to tour the vineyards to learn more about the wine, grape-growing
Brawner said he is participating in the tour with the community in mind.
He wants people to know he is part of a respectful, clean farm environment.
In the future it is the familys hope to have more tours of their
farm and to invite more people out to it if there is enough interest
shown in the Farm Focus Tour.
Also on display for the tour at the Brawners farm will be tractors
spanning four generations. Included will be a 1966 John Deer 420 that
contains its original paint and is still used on the farm.
The Farm Focus Tour is sponsored by the Purdue Cooperative Extension
Service and the Jefferson County Extension Board, in cooperation with
the Jefferson County Farm Service Agency, Jefferson County Farm Bureau,
Jefferson County SWCD, Madison FFA, Southwestern FFA and the Jefferson
County 4-H Junior Leaders.
For more information, contact Lonnie Mason at
the Jefferson County Cooperative Extension Office at (812) 265-8919.
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