By Lauren Estes
The Cullman Times
Traveling from Experiment Station to Topre America, grabbing a bite to eat at Brandin’ Iron Steakhouse and finishing up the journey at Steele Orchard in West Point was a group of 40 participants in this year’s Farm-City tour.
Owner of Steele Orchard, Linda Steele, said she was excited to be one of this year’s destinations for the annual Farm-City event.
“Y’all are my best advertisement,” Steele told the group. “From purchasing the apples to telling other people about us, you keep us afloat. Cullman and agriculture go hand in hand and we’re happy to be a part of it.”
Cullman Farm-City Chairman Brian Lacy said this year’s tour included the largest number of participants he has seen in several years.
“We were very pleased with the turnout and I think everyone had a really good time,” Lacy said. “It was very interesting because I didn’t grow up here, so every year I get to go on the tour, I always learn something new and it’s exciting for me.”
Lacy, who is also the communications manager at the Cullman County Electric Co-op, said the tour is interesting because most of the participants are familiar with the businesses, but don’t always know what goes into making them successful.
“Many who come on the tour have been to these places and that’s one of the reasons they enjoy going on it,” Lacy said. “Our unique mission to create a better understanding, between the urban and rural lifestyles. We show how the agricultural and industrial jobs work and also how they work together.”
Cullman County Economic Development project coordinator Ashley Graves agreed it was a successful, educational day.
“This morning we went to Experiment Station, first, and we were able to learn about the different types of fruit, soil, fertilizers and other things they test,” Graves said. “It gave us an idea of how the fruit grows. They showed us around and explained the different growth processes of grapes, blueberries, strawberries, peanuts, and sweet potatoes. It was probably the venue I learned the most from today.”
Graves said the tour included Topre America and the demonstrations of each station at the industry, as well as the process of picking and sorting apples at Steele’s Orchard.
“I really enjoyed this year’s tour, it’s a great time of year to do it and it gets you in the spirit of Thanksgiving,” Graves said.
For more information visit: http://www.cullmanfarmcity.org.
Lauren Estes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 256-734-2131, ext. 137.