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Pastured poultry tour     Send a link to a friend

[JULY 15, 2004]  URBANA -- JoAnn and Dennis Dickman are proud to tell people that the chickens they raise on their farm near Herscher breathe fresh air, scratch on fresh grass and eat Dickman's own mix of grain every day. "They're not cooped up in a building under lights, and they're not given any hormones, steroids or antibiotics," said Dennis Dickman. Dickman's unique pastured poultry farm is the location for a tour sponsored in part by the University of Illinois Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program.

The tour will be Thursday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., followed by a chicken lunch at the American Legion in Herscher at noon.

"Many people want to know that the poultry they eat has been raised in a humane way," said Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, U of I research specialist and coordinator of the tours.
"They also want to know that it's free of chemicals. Raising specialty products like pastured poultry is one way for farmers to increase their income by providing a unique product to consumers."

The morning will include a tour to see the brooder house, birds on pasture and laying hens, the processing-finishing facilities at the farm, and the trailer setup. Information will be presented about marketing on the farm and on the Web. There will also be a look at the Dickmansí sweet corn operation. At each stop on the tour there will be time for questions.

For more about the farm, visit

To register for the tour, contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at (217) 968-5512 or or register online at A small fee will be charged. Registration at least one week in advance is required.


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Two additional sustainable agriculture tours are scheduled for 2004.

On Wednesday, Sept. 15, a western Illinois tour will feature stops at several locations, including John Brook's fee hunting operation, Baxter's Vineyard and Winery, and Warren and Phil Barns' buffalo ranch.

The final tour will be on Friday, Oct. 15, and will feature agritourism at Eckert's orchard in Millstadt

For a printable brochure that includes details about all of the tours, visit
. [To download the Adobe Acrobat reader for the PDF file, click here.]

The tours are sponsored by the Agroecology/Sustainable Agriculture Program in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois; the USDA Farm Service Agency; the North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Professional Development Program; and the Illinois Small Farm Task Force.  

[University of Illinois news release]

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