Two unique and successful livestock farms will host a July 7 sustainable ag tour sponsored by University of Illinois (UI) Extension.

“Soil and pasture development are fundamental components of each farm’s operation, growth and success – reinforcing that good food comes from good soil,” says Roger Larson, director of the UI Extension’s Peoria County unit office.

The tour begins at 9 a.m. at Meadow Haven Farm. The operation raises certified organic grass-fed beef and pastured poultry – 185 head of cattle, 3,000 chickens and 250 turkeys, orchard and alley cropping for small farm production.

At 11 a.m., the tour moves to the Graze N’ Grow operation, which raises Katahdin sheep. It sells and delivers lambs “on the hoof” to an ethnically diverse customer base, much of it to the Hispanic, Muslim and Greek population.

The tour officially ends at 1:30 p.m. but visitors can stay for an informal tour of Meadow Haven Farms’ geothermal house and orchard, concluding at 3 p.m.

Other dates in the Illinois 2009 sustainable ag tour include:

  • Aug. 13 – creative community co-op farming, Basu Natural Farms, Pembroke;
  • Aug. 15 – raising elk and innovative farming, Mackinaw Valley Elk Farm and Blue Schoolhouse Farm, Congerville;
  • Sept. 22 – fresh fruits and vegetables, River Front Berry Farm, Martinton.
Registration (at least one week in advance) is $20/person for each tour, and includes lunch. To register, go to: webs.extension.uiuc.edu/registration/default.cfm.