Nearly 800 farmers tour the Tennessee Valley for the 42nd Annual Commodity Producers Conference

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LINCOLN COUNTY, Ten. (WHNT) – Nearly 800 Alabama farmers are in the Tennessee Valley for some professional development.

The owners of Lyons Family Farms welcomed about 150 of those farmers to their farm Friday morning. It was just one stop on a series of 5 tours of North Alabama and South Tennessee farms.

Owners discussed their agritourism business and what makes it work for them.

It is a business model that appeals to Joe Lambrecht, owner of Oakview Farms in Elmore County.

“Because we`re a specialty crop and a small operation, agritourism is a great way to get you to come to my farm, buy my product, and get you to see something you hadn`t seen,” said Lambrecht.

Earlier in the day, Lambrecht visited a farm featuring an apple orchard, giving him ideas about how to diversify his own crop.

“We see so many unique things that we may not have and we get different ideas.”

This is the goal of the 42nd Annual Commodity Producers Conference, hosted by a different city each year.

“You get together with farmers and learn something you might not have thought you could do on your farm,” explained Mary Johnson, with the Alabama Farmers Federation. “Traditional row crop operator may not think about ‘hey, let`s put in a peach orchard down here’, but on a tour like this they may see someone who has done that. ”

Johnson says Friday’s tours are often the most popular part of the conference. Saturday the farmers will attend seminars on tax training, the economic and trade forecast, and the latest technologies and innovations.

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