Young Farmers

By: News Release
Jul 6th, 2017

Young Farmers from Across Iowa Tour a Variety of Agricultural Sites in the St. Louis Area

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa—July 5, 2017— Less than two percent of the United States’ population can count themselves as farmers who raise livestock or grow crops for food, fuel, fiber and animal feed. However, the entire scope of jobs related to agriculture—which equates to one in five in Iowa—extends further than the farm. To see first-hand businesses which support the ag industry, more than 40 Iowa Farm Bureau (IFB) members traveled to St. Louis on June 29 and 30, visiting research centers and export sites.

The Young Farmer Ag Insight Tour to St. Louis allows our young Farm Bureau members from across the state to visit and learn from unique ag organizations and companies as well as connect with other members like themselves who are getting their start in ag,” said IFBF Commodity Services Manager Ed Kordick. “Members find the tours to very valuable learning experiences that benefit their farming operation and make them more informed leaders for agriculture.”

This “Ag Insights Tour,” sponsored by IFB’s Research and Commodity Services Division and Young Farmer Committee, began at the Mississippi River Melvin Price Locks and Dam. The system took 15 years to complete and moves millions of tons of commodities every year. The dam and two locks help control the flow of the mighty Mississippi so barges can navigate the river, aiding in the transport of common Iowa exports like corn and soybeans.

At the next two destinations, Donald Danforth Plant Science Center and Monsanto’s Chesterfield Village Research Center, Iowa farmers saw how researchers are putting science at the forefront of crop production. Through findings and discoveries in plant genetics, scientists and researchers at these locations are working to create crops that are not only sustainable and carry a smaller environmental footprint, but can also improve human health.

Human health is not the only thing science can address. At the Purina Animal Nutrition Center, the last tour stop, Farm Bureau members saw how feed is tested at every level of production with ingredients that are not up to standard being rejected from use. They also learned how Purina nutritionists and veterinarians work side-by-side to make sure livestock are able to reach their full potential through quality feed.

It was impressive to view the investment put forth by Purina and Monsanto to ensure the products that arrive at our farm gates are at utmost quality, having endured rigorous testing,” said Calhoun County farmer Andrew Lauver. “The tour provided a unique opportunity to view numerous aspects of agriculture that impact each of us at the farm gate, all the way to the consumer’s plate.”

Local Farm Bureau members attending the Ag Insights Tour included (pictured left to right): David Wilson and Anna Troester of Clayton County.