Four separate AgTours will depart at staggered times beginning at 6:45 a.m. on Friday, March 28. Each tour bus will visit several agribusiness and/or production companies in a different region of central Iowa. Lunch will be provided either on the bus or at one of the tour stops.
Tour #1 - Northwest Iowa (departs at 6:45 a.m.)
1. Sparboe Egg Production
- A leading egg breaking and further processing company, Sparboe Foods serves industrial and food-service customers in the Central and Western U.S. Their 320,000 sq. ft. facility is able to offer various blends of products or unique packaging and delivery mechanisms. They break 85 million dozen eggs a year and offer a wide variety of Liquid Eggs, Frozen Eggs and Dried Eggs, and provide unique packaging and delivery mechanisms. In fact, they have more than 46 egg product offerings!
*For this tour, all visitors must have had 72 hours of downtime from
both swine and poultry (including backyard flocks, pet birds and hunting). Also, all visitors must not have traveled internationally in the
previous 2 weeks.
2. Hagie Manufacturing
- Ray Hagie's Iowa farmstead became the birthplace of Hagie Manufacturing - and the world's first self-propelled sprayer. Three generations, millions of acres and more than a half-century later, the combination of pride, honesty and old-fashioned work ethic that Ray Hagie instilled in the company still exists at Hagie. Their mission is to optimize our customer’s growth, by providing the most innovative application equipment in the crop production industry
3. Heartland Museum
- The Heartland Museum was established to tell the story of agriculture in North Central Iowa and to celebrate small towns that make rural life a treasure. In Ag Hall, visitors will experience a century of agricultural machinery along with an extensive collection of horse drawn equipment and over 2,000 collectable Scale Models. As the visitor strolls along the streets of yesterday, his experiences will include stores from the 30's, 50's, and the Victorian era.
4. West Central Co-Op
- West Central is a farmer owned cooperative with headquarters in Ralston, Iowa. West Central operates a licensed public grain warehouse, provides grain marketing services; supplies feed, fertilizer, chemicals, and other merchandise; and manufactures and markets dairy nutrition products. West Central is one of the 20 largest grain companies in the North America with 3,148 stockholders, and in bound grain of 84.4 million bushels in crop year 2011.
Tour #2 - Southwest Iowa (departs at 6:45 a.m.)
1. World Food Prize
- The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity or availability of food in the world. The Prize recognizes contributions in any field involved in the world food supply -- food and agriculture science and technology, manufacturing, marketing, nutrition, economics, poverty alleviation, political leadership and the social sciences. By honoring those who have worked successfully toward this goal, The Prize calls attention to what has been done to improve global food security and to what can be accomplished in the future.
2. DuPont Pioneer
- DuPont Pioneer, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world’s leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere.
3. Hawkeye Breeders
- Since 1969, Hawkeye Breeders has been giving cattlemen quality service for custom semen collection and bull fertility testing. Today, their state of the art lab is incorporating the latest technology and techniques to have the best possible chance of conception. They specialize in special needs animals that may have reproductive or physical challenges which may prevent them from breeding naturally or the collection of semen through more traditional methods.
4. Picket Fence Creamery
- Picket Fence Creamery is an 80 acres family owned and operated dairy farm, creamery and country store. They milk 80 Jersey cows, and pasteurize and bottle the milk onsite. Picket Fence Creamery milk is 100% natural, produced without the use of artificial hones. The cows live outside in the grass pastures and drink fresh and clean Xenia Rural Water.
Tour #3 - Southeast Iowa (departs at 7:40 a.m.)
1. Couser Cattle Company - Couser Cattle Company is a second and third generation multi-faceted operation that annually feeds and finishes 5,000 to 6,000 head of cattle and farms 5,000 acres, producing both corn seed and soybean seed. The business philosophy centers on working to ensure that both profit opportunities and environmental integrity are present in cattle and farming operations.
2. Vermeer Manufacturing
- Vermeer is a world leading manufacturer of agriculture, construction, surface mining, tree care, organic recycling and wood waste processing equipment.
3. Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
- Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1990 with a mission to actively protect, restore, reconstruct and manage the diverse native ecosystems of tallgrass prairie, oak savanna, and sedge meadow. These were the native habitats existing on the Refuge’s 5,600 acres prior to Euro-American settlement. The Refuge serves as a major environmental education, volunteer and outdoor recreation hub for people of all ages and backgrounds to enjoy. The Refuge also strives to provide assistance to local landowners as they improve their lands for wildlife habitat.
4. DuPont Pioneer
- DuPont Pioneer, headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, is the world’s
leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing
high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer
provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer
productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable
agricultural systems for people everywhere.
Tour #4 - Northeast Iowa (departs at 7:40 a.m.)
1. Bear Creek Watershed - The Bear Creek watershed is located in north-central Iowa and is the depositional remnant of the late Wisconsin glaciation in Iowa. Bear Creek runs 21.6 miles and empties into the Skunk River. The watershed drains 17,180 acres of farmland, most of which has been subjected to tile-drainage over the past 40 years; approximately 85% of the watershed is devoted to corn and soybean agriculture.
2. Pine Lake Corn Processors
- Pine Lake Corn Processors LLC is one of Iowa's 42 ethanol plants. Located in Steamboat Rock, IA, the plant produces 30 million gallons annually. The plant has been in production since the spring of 2005. Ethanol production in Iowa has increased dramatically in the last decade. Today, Iowa produces 30% of the ethanol produced in the United States.
3. Summit Farms
- Summit Farms is a diverse farming operation headquartered in Alden, IA. Summit's operations include row crop, pork and beef production, as well as a purebred Charolais herd. Summit Farms prides itself on modern, advanced farming practices producing trend setting yields while utilizing intensive agricultural and conservation practices to ensure success in coming years. Throughout its history, Summit Farms has maintained a strong environmental focus. Giving back to the state and local community has also been a large focus of the Summit Farms operation.
4. Prairie Moon Winery
- Prairie Mood Winery is a family owned and operated winery in Ames, Iowa. In 2000, Steven Nissen planted the first vines of what now has become a thirteen acre vineyard. The dream was to grow high quality grapes, in order to create fine estate wines, without having to buy grapes from established growing areas like California. We may not be able to grow well-known varieties like Merlot, Chardonnay, or Cabernet, but we have many new hybrid varieties along with native American grapes that provide a lot of new tastes to the palate.