Trip report

Overall I had a very influential experience! I felt I learned a lot about Midwest Agriculture. I would recommend this trip for mostly animal science interested people because we got to see many neat animal operations.

I had a great time especially because I got to spend time with people who have similar interests to mine. I liked the diversity of the trip as well.

Last days in Nebraska


Nebraska University feed lot. It sits on an old bomb testing site. There is about 9000 acres and 2500 head of cattle that are owned by the university.


First tractor testing facility at Nebraska University. There is a law that tractors must pass the University of Nebraska’s tractor tests in order to sell a product. If they do not pass, the tractor company must compensate anyone who has already bought that tractor.


Nebraska husked stadium.. All I can say is WOW. It was very fancy, huge, and really neat to tour!

We also got to see the Ag college at University of Nebraska. My favorite part was the animal science building where we got to see fistulated cows, horses for the rodeo team, and sheep. We also got to see their meat lab which was very nice and clean!


We toured 4K farms in Iowa. This has been one of my favorite stops of the trip. We got to see the famous boar Hillbilly Bone, who’s semen straws go for $500 a dose.

Kirk, the owner was a wonderful host. He shared many interesting things about swine reproduction; we even got to see him collect semen from a boar and AI a gilt! It was SO SO neat. We also were able to hold baby piglets.

4K farms is considered a small to medium size operation in Iowa but would be the largest swine operation in the state if located in Oregon.


Finally got to Nebraska on Sunday.


4k farms



Entering Iowa!





image Shweiver farms was very fun and educating. The owner was very excited we were interested in agriculture and explained anything and everything we wanted to know about how farm. He was my favorite tour guide so far because I felt he gave us a very real Midwest farm experience.




Got to milk my first cow at Shatto Dairy! By far the most influential dairy I have ever been to. We were able to taste their different flavor a of milk. My favorite being the Rootbeer which won the number 1 best milk at the world dairy expo.

Along with touring  an amazing dairy, milking my first cow, visiting a fruit and vegetable farm, going to the very first livestock auction sale yard, seeing the old Kansas city exchange and tasting Kansas city BBQ it was a great day!

I learned a lot about Midwest agriculture! More tools in my tool box, for sure!


Thursday- Purina and University of Missouri


imageWe started our day at Purina animal nutrition center. So far this has been my favorite place! We got to learn so much about animal health, animal nutrient requirements, and how purina strives to create a product that enhances animal performance and is user friendly. I enjoyed visiting purina very much!

We toured the campus of University of Missouri, their swine facility, equine facility, and beef facility. We saw glow in the dark pigs that are inserted with a florescent gene to research different health issues that humans experience. (Diabetes, etc) We got to see labs and experiments on cow rumens and how digestion occurs. We saw pigs at different stages of their life and got to see farrowing and gestation crates. Lastly, we saw the beed facility. They have data collecting feed bins that record each cows daily feed and water intake. The cows are equipped with a tag that the machine recognizes every time the animal eats or drinks.

Overall, Purina and the University of Missouri were definitely great places to learn about animals and agriculture. Both places really opened my eyes and gave me a better understanding of Midwest agriculture!



Wednesday- St. Louis City and Monsanto


imageI really enjoyed the river boat tour. Our boat’s name was, Tom Sawyer! The Mississippi River is not as clean as the rivers at home but it seems to be very useful for transporting numerous commodities. On the tour we learned about the history of St. Louis and about the names of different bridges.

image The St. Louis arch was awesome. We climbed into little minnie elevators with 5 seats in them. When we got to the top we could look out and see just how flat Missouri really is!

imageOur last stop of the day was Monsanto’s research facility. It was interesting to actually be inside a Monsanto building and talk to Monsanto employees. I learned a lot about how Bt corn was developed, why it was developed, and how it has benefited the corn industry. I also was able to clarify some questions I had regarding Monsanto as a cooperation, and why/how the media gives them such a bad image.



First Day in St. Louis

When I stepped out of the airport at the St. Louis airport I was swallowed up by all the humidity. It was instant sweat-time! I definitely have never experienced humidity like that before.

We went to the Cardinals vs. Cubs baseball game tonight and it was so fun! It was a perfect thing to do after a long day of traveling. The atmosphere was exciting and we got to mingle with many different people.

Here is a photo of the stadium, but it does not do it justice:



Overall it was a great first day in Missouri!


T-Minus 48 Hours!

In less than 48 hours I will be on my way to the Midwest!

Listed below are some of the places I am especially looking forward to. Even though everything on our agenda has me very excited, these are the places I have the most questions about.

I am looking forward to visiting the animal facilities in the Midwest that we will be touring. I hope to learn about their feed and animal care strategies.

I am looking forward to visiting Monsanto because I have many questions about their company. I feel like many of the things I have heard about them come from people who have never been to a Monsanto establishment and really do not have a very educated opinion about them.  I hope to develop a more fact/knowledge based opinion on their business.

And of course I am looking forward to the Cardinals game and the Omaha Zoo!! 🙂

1st Post prior to leaving

Our trip itinerary:

Tuesday Sept 8th: Fly in and attend cardinals game; stay at Missouri Athletic Club

Wednesday  9th: St Louis Arch, Riverboat Tour and Monsanto; stay at Missouri Athletic Club

Thursday 10th: Purina Mills Research Farm, University of Missouri; Stay at Hampton Inn, Columbia MO

Friday 11th: Triumph Foods, Green Dirt Farm, Lewis Seeds/Monsanto Field Plots; Stay at Hampton Inn, St Joe MO

Saturday 12th: Shatto Dairy, Schweiver Orchards, Explore St joe/Kansas City; Stay at Hampton Inn, St Joe MO

Sunday 13th: 4k Farms- Swine/soybeans/corn, Omaha Zoo; Stay at Hampton Inn, Omaha, NE

Monday 14th: University of NE feedlot, campus, Tractor testing Facility; Stay at Hampton Inn, Omaha, NE

Tuesday 15th: Claas Combines, Union Pacific; Fly out of Omaha

I am really excited to visit the Midwest, especially in September because corn harvest will be going on.

I am looking forward to learning about different equipment and harvest techniques that the Midwest agriculture industry uses compared to the Pacific Northwest. I also hope to learn how the Midwest farms deal with weed and pest problems within their crops.