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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

'Back to the farm' at Ag Breakfast

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jay Alcorn speaks during the Ag Week Breakfast Tuesday morning about his decision to attend Purdue University and return home to work on the farm. The theme for Ag Week is "Why Farmers Do What They Do."
GREENCASTLE -- Ag Week officially kicked off in Putnam County Tuesday morning with the annual Ag Breakfast. As part of the week's theme "Why Farmers Do What They Do," three recent Purdue University graduates spoke about "going back to the farm."

Jay Alcorn is a fourth generation farmer. Growing up on the family farm with his father Ron and mother Jane, Jay held many responsibilities including counting the bulls.

"It wasn't hard, but somebody had to do it," he joked.

"But I always wanted a job where I could wear a hat," he said about why he chose farming as a career.

Since his graduation in May, Jay has been at home working on the farm, where he hopes to become more involved with the business management aspect of farming.

For Beth Legan and her fiancÚ Nick Tharp, becoming farmers seemed natural. The pair met at Purdue, where they graduated with agricultural degrees.

Tharp, a native of Winchester, said he found his passion for farming in the third grade, when he realized he could join 4-H and was later a member of FFA.

The Legan family farm, which produces 40,000 weaned pigs and about 1,000 acres of corn and soybeans annually, is located in the eastern part of the county.

It is the first agriculture business in Putnam County to receive tax abatement for its expansion of 10 acres, a 26-square-foot building and two additional employees.

Beth said her father Mark Legan would tell her "farming is a people business." The leadership skills she received in college were just as valuable to her as the education in the classroom.

Representatives from the Cloverdale, North Putnam and South Putnam FFA chapters enjoyed the breakfast before giving presentations on their chapters' events.

"Thank you for your continued support," said BJ Moore, member of the North Putnam FFA.

Several others were recognized during the early-morning event. Tammy Amor presented the Ag Day photo contest award on behalf of the Greencastle Chamber of Commerce and its co-sponsor Walmart to Ken Torr for his eagle picture. Second place went to Elana Sutherlin for "pig ears" and Rebecca Arnold received third place for "baby fox."

Larry and Pat Gottschalk received the first-born Putnam County farm animal in 2010 with their short-horned bull calf.

Ron and Jane Alcorn were named to the "Hall of Fame" and Melvin Nicholson received the Friend of the Farmer award.

In addition, Judy Miller with the Putnam County Emergency Food Pantry said the pantry would be located at 620 Tennessee Street effective April 1.

"It will be a better place," she said of the new facility. "Thank you for your monetary and food donations."

Last year, the pantry supplied 8,000 people with food.

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