Quinn Farm Tour Highlights On-Farm Innovations

Earlier this month AERO members and others travelled from near and far to visit the Quinn family farm in Big Sandy and learn first-hand about organic agriculture and oilseed processing. The day was packed with information and the group had plenty of time to ask questions and share ideas with the numerous presenters. Tour host Bob Quinn demonstrated Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO) processing, and shared insights into oilseed production for on-farm use. John Theibes, a Montana State University (MSU) student and intern on the Quinn farm shared what he is learning about dry land vegetable production and trials and errors in finding appropriate vegetable varieties for north central Montana.  MSU professors Fabian Manalled and Patrick Hatfield shared some of their research on both organic agriculture and controlling noxious weeds with targeted sheep grazing, and Andre Gilles of Montana Flour and Grain reflected on the work they have done to develop markets for Montana’s organic grains. Finally, representatives from N/C Quest Inc demonstrated their emissions as fertilizer technology, and researchers from MSU Northern’s Bio Energy Center talked about how they are working with area oilseed producers on a pilot project. The day was packed! But, we still managed to eat a delicious lunch and visit with each other. Thank you to our hosts, the Quinn family, and to all of our presenters, we have heard a number of attendees comment on how interesting and engaging the tour was. Keep your eyes open for information about AERO’s next farm tour, this one of Groundworks and McVeda farms near Great Falls, and exploring market vegetable and pastured poultry production.


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