FFA members from throughout Region VI participated in the Summer Ag Tour, July 16 to 19.

FFA members from throughout Region VI participated in the Summer Ag Tour, July 16 to 19. Twenty-one members from Sleepy Eye, FFA advisor Mary Hoffmann and summer intern Donavan Phoenix, as well as members from the Springfield and Mountain Lake Chapters were on the tour which provided an excellent opportunity for the members.

Students started out the trip with a stop at the John Deere Museum in Waterloo, Iowa, where they were able to explore and see the advances of John Deere throughout history. After the museum, members went on a tour of the John Deere Tractor Cab Factory, also in Waterloo. On the tour, members watched the process of John Deere tractors being made from beginning to end. Later that day, members arrived at the hotel and spent time meeting other FFA members.

The second day was spent throughout St. Louis, Mo., at Grant Farms, the Basilica Cathedral, and finally, at the Gateway Arch.

At Grant Farms, the group went on a tour, saw what was necessary to be a Budweiser Clydesdale, and how the horses are cared for. After the tour, students went to the park portion of the farm and saw various animals and many other interesting things.

That afternoon, members toured the Basilica Cathedral, where they saw many interesting and unique aspects of the cathedral. They heard how the cathedral was built and the artists who designed the depictions inside. Following the Basilica Cathedral, the students took the tram up to the top of the Gateway Arch and saw a breathtaking view of St. Louis. They also learned how the arch was designed and built over 50 years ago.

The final day started with a tour of Monsanto, where the group got to experience a realistic activity about the numerous risks of farming. They then went on a tour of the facility where they learned about genetic modification and biotechnology. From there, the group went to the Butterfly House and saw butterflies native to the area, as well as butterflies from other regions of the world.

Later in the day, students went to the City Museum in St. Louis and explored the area where they were allowed to climb, slide, and even ride a ferris wheel. After several hours there, those on the trip ate a delicious southern meal at Pappy’s Smokehouse. Following the meal, members traveled back to home to Minnesota.

The FFA members who took advantage of the Summer Ag Tour are extremely grateful for this opportunity which was partially funded by the Sleepy Eye Ag and FFA Program Boosters. The Summer Ag Tour was a great chance for students to learn about different areas within agriculture while also having a great time!