On Wednesday, June 13, thirteen Sleepy Eye FFA members visited a variety of businesses around the Sleepy Eye area.

On Wednesday, June 13, thirteen Sleepy Eye FFA members visited a variety of businesses around the Sleepy Eye area to learn about their roles in agriculture. FFA Advisors, Mrs. Hoffmann, Ms. Klontz, and Mr. Manderfeld, and summer ag intern, Ashley Anderson, attended the tour as well.

This experience gave students the opportunity to learn more about each business and the career opportunities within them.

The day started by going to Schmidt Farms, located outside of Sleepy Eye. The owner of the farm, Kelly Schmidt, and his daughters, showed the students around the farm, explained what they do there, and how the farm has been transformed for their hobby farm needs. FFA members learned about the pigs and beef cattle that they take care of and how they get them ready to show.

Next, the group traveled to Kibble Equipment in Sleepy Eye. There, students received a tour of the facility, which included the wash bay where they cleane equipment, the shop where they do maintenance and repairs on the farm equipment, and the parts warehouse.

The third stop was at AMPI in New Ulm. Members saw a slideshow about the AMPI cheese and milk production facilities in Minnesota and neighboring states. It was interesting to see the steps it takes to produce and manufacture dairy products to be put on the market for consumers.

After AMPI, the group traveled to Nicollet to visit Schmidt’s Meat Market. Here, FFA members had the chance to see how meat was cut, prepared into the different meat products, smoked, and stored. Schmidt’s Meat Market allowed FFA members to see the different equipment for making various products, as well as the packaging machines.

After Schmidt’s Meat Market, they went to Minneopa State Park. FFA members saw the bison herd and the amazing waterfalls.

The day ended with a trip to the WOW Zone where members could choose between bowling, laser tag, and mini golf. It was a fun way to end the day of tours and enjoy some fun with friends.

Each year the Sleepy Eye FFA conducts this one-day tour in the summer, with at least four area agriculture stops. This is a fantastic way for the members to gain first-hand knowledge of different aspects of agriculture locally and explore the various career pathways. From animal systems to food processing and products systems and from natural resource systems to power, structural, and technical systems, the members always have a variety of careers to check out.