Participating in the “How Many Hats Does a Farmer Wear” agricultural tour, 75 Alabamians recently traveled to Lincoln County and made a number of other stops as they learned more about high-tech farming methods being utilized today.

The group included elected officials, teachers, business professionals and others who wanted to see different new farming methods through parts of Alabama and Tennessee.

The group departed from A&M Agribition Center on Moore’s Mill Road and saw research on hemp plants along with research plots growing various herbs at the Winfred Thomas Research Farm on Walker Lane.

Next the group traveled to see Brown Solar Panels in Parks City, where Barry Brown explained how solar energy is becoming more popular.

“The group was very interested in his presentation,” said Kathy Walker, NRCS-CD, of the Madison County Soil & Water Conservation District.

From the solar farm, the group went to the Bragg Irrigation Lake on Fowler Road. “Dennis Bragg told us that this is about 100 acres of water that is used to irrigate about 1,600 acres of cropland,” Walker said. “At lunch we had a panel of participants who told who they were and what agency or farm that they represented. The group also asked questions about what they had seen and heard.”

Following lunch, the tour drove to the Bobo Angus Farm, where Doug Parrish of New Market AG explained how irrigation pivots work to save water by shutting off in areas, such as treelines, bounding fields.

“Lee and Deana Sublett told us how irrigation works to help their farming operations and how they capture run-off water in an irrigation lake to use in times when rainfall is not plentiful.” Lee Lasater, of the family owned and operated Lasater Farm, explained and demonstrated how he uses a drone to check his fields and irrigation lines.

“This was such an informative day of touring Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee to learn about farmers and the things that they have to cope with on a daily basis,” said Walker. “After all, the farmer must find a way to feed and clothe us all.”

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