MADISON, Ala. (WHNT) — People interested in learning about agriculture and farming traveled to different farms in Madison County on Wednesday for the 2022 Ag Tour presented by the Madison County Soil and Water Division.

The theme of the 2022 tour is “Creative Farming in Challenging Times” and highlights how expensive and difficult it is to farm today with inflation and the current supply chain.

“Every day, seven days a week. I get up. It’s like going to the office. I [have to] come down here and check on the cattle,” said Dave Mann, the owner of Mann Family Cattle.

The family-owned Mann Cattle Farm operates on nearly 1000 acres and maintains around 400 heads of cattle.

“Primarily we are a commercial calf operation… but we’ve transitioned to a registered Angus heard now,” Mann explained.

The 2022 Madison County Ag Tour is educating people on how expensive and difficult it is to farm today with inflation and the current supply chain.

“Fertilizer has gone from $350 a ton two years ago to $1,000 a ton,” Mann continued. “Fuel is $5 a gallon. Feed’s gone from seven cents a pound to 16-17 cents a pound. Everything has doubled.”

Mann says high input costs impact the bottom line.

“When that goes up that much your profit margin goes down/ you need to be a very good manager,” he continued.

Mann says people can support local agriculture by shopping farm fresh, local meat.

“And when you compare you’re getting all your steaks, roasts, hamburgers, special cuts of meat out of it for roughly $6.50 a pound,” he said. “That’s a bargain.”

And he says shopping local benefits the buyer too.

“You know where it comes from, you know how its fed, you know it doesn’t have any antibiotics in it, you know it doesn’t have hormones in it,” he added/

And beyond the business — attendee Joel Donelan says the tour is teaching so much more.

“Just the basis of a love for nature,” Donelan said. “A love for God’s creations and being good stewards over it and that’s especially that farmers do, environmentalists do, everyone that loves the City of Huntsville — everyone wants to learn to be a better steward and I think this is a program that helps teach everyone how to do that.”

The tour made stops at Mann Cattle Farm, Butler & Sons Farm, and F&W Farms before a luncheon with guest speaker Tami Culver-Allen, the deputy commissioner for the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries.