At first I was so excited for this trip, I saw the itinerary and thought there wasn’t one place one it that I didn’t want to see. I went into the trip with high hopes and expectations. Thankfully all of my expectations where met and by far exceeded. I had an amazing time the whole week and honestly wish our trip had been longer. Our group meshed very well together even with our diverse backgrounds. I learned not only about agriculture on this trip but also a bit more about myself and what options I could possibly have in the future for a masters program or a future career. By experiencing this trip I’ve learned that the Pacific Northwest may not always be my home because there are so many more options out there for me.
I would recommend this trip to anyone with a sense of adventure! It is a little strange to travel as a class but I will say it was well worth it.
I would like to thank Matt for putting this trip together and braving taking all of us girls and on other guy halfway across the country! I’m sure it took many hours making sure it all came together and the hard work he put in is very appreciated. I hope that the ag tour continues to tour all parts of the United States and wish I wasn’t graduation so I can continue to attend trips similar.
Day five started at Shatto Milk Company. This was a adorable dairy that allowed us to see their facility and do a little more than the average daily tour they do. We toured through the milking parlor and was the first time I’d have ever seen a cow being milked, every time before that I’d been in the parlor there whee no cows present. From the parlor we went to a barn that was a covered holding area for the cows that where waiting to be milked. In this area they had two calves we where allowed to pet and take pictures of also in this area they taught us how to milk a cow by hand which was something I’ve never gotten to do before and could not imagine milking cows the old fashion way. Than we got to taste test their wide verity of flavored milk, some of the flavor were Cotton candy, coffee, cookies and cream, root beer, banana! and others with of course the classic chocolate and strawberry. Next we saw their processing area where they homogenized, pasteurized, flavored, and bottled the milk. This room was not very large but seemed to be very efficient. After this we got to go out to the barns as an extra part of our tour. We learned about their diets, the climate, and their facility.
Our second stop was Schweiver Orchards. This orchard was both a large scale commercial operation but also had a farm stand with a verity of crops both in the stand and as Upick. The owner gave us a tour of the area the stand sits on and was very real with us about the good and bad he’s experience with the area, the farm, and the people. This was certainly not one of the tours given to the average citizen. He appreciated our previous experiences with agriculture and related it to aspects of our tour. We got to try his most popular verity of apples.
Our last stop of the day had us in Kansas City. We looked at the American royal grounds which was home to the first livestock show. While we where there there was a Quarter horse show going on so we got to see some competitors complete a western pattern. Being a horse person I appreciated to get a little taste of home here. After we walked over to the stock exchange grounds. This building is beautiful and full of so much history. It was amazing to see the pictures of all the cattle corals full.
Day four started with a three hour drive to Triumph processing plant. This was a very eye opening experience and I urge anyone who is interested in the processing of livestock should attended this facility. It was very impressive how they humanely treat their pigs and how efficient their process is.
After we attended a sheep dairy which was something I’ve never experienced or even heard of before. I was amazed to see how their sheep where milked in a similar fashion as dairy cattle only much smaller. I liked to see their cheese kitchen and appreciated that she allowed us to taste test the variety of cheeses and see their barn where they host different events.
Next we toured the Monsanto test plots where three knowledgable men told us about what they where doing out their with the main local crops of soybeans and corn. I appreciated that they where approachable and answered any of our questions on the crops and about what they do.
After these informative tours we wound down with a trip to the St. Joseph boot store where we partook in shopping among their hundreds of different boots. Followed by a new experience of a Cajan food restaurant. The food was good and exciting to try!
Day three started with a very informative and interesting tour of Purina Animal Nutrition center. This was a favorite of mine. Large animal nutrition is something I appreciate and enjoy learning about. We started in the equine facility where we got to see their treadmill, learn a little bit about their feeding process, and how they test the physical fitness of the horse. While there we also got to see the dairy, beef, and companion animal units. Unfortunately they had no beef cattle at the time but we still got to see the facility and learn about their feeding processes. Within their companion facility they have a wide verity of animals represented, these included chickens, rabbits, fish, deer, and also included their show feed.
After that we toured the University of Missouri. We got to see a good portion of their animal science program. A favorite part of this stop for many was the glow pigs. I thought it was interesting that they got the fluorescent gene from a jellyfish and by inserting it into that pigs DNA it gave it the ability to glow. After that we got to see parts of their swine, equine, and beef unit. I found it very interesting to see how another schools program can differ and how we had some similarities. After that we toured their agriculture and resource buildings. This campus is huge and felt very spread out. I enjoyed looking at another campus and seeing how it differs from the ones I’ve seen. We also got to enjoy a complementary treat from the on campus ice cream parlor. The signature Mizzou tiger stripe ice cream which is made by their students.
Day one came and went. After arriving in St. Louis my sister and I spent some quality time sitting in the airport and at the car rental place. After some confusion we all ended up on our marry way to the hotel to drop off our bags and the cars before experiencing my first ever Major League Baseball game. I enjoyed the game and the food! Was an awesome experience and was the perfect way to kick off the trip!
Can’t believe that I am getting away from my tractor for more than a day! I have been looking forward to this trip all summer and its finally come! Agriculture is a great passion of mine, I grew up in the small town of Amity, Oregon on my families grass seed farm. Our crew consists of the five members of my family and two other employees. We may not have the biggest crew but we get things done! Running a small crew gives us all the opportunity to be jacks of all trades. This summer I spent a lot of quality time in my tractor pulling either our rake, baler, disk ripper, and heavy harrow, but I wouldn’t want to spend my summer any other way!
I am currently a senior at Oregon State perusing a degree in Agricultural Science with a minor in Animal Science. I am a transfer student from the University of Wyoming where I was intending on getting my nursing degree until I realized I was not passionate about this career path and shortly after moved back to the valley and get a degree that my heart was set on. In high school my Ag teacher, Mr. Whitman, was the one who persuaded me to look at many other aspects of agriculture and since then I have been fascinated with various aspects of agriculture and the many different ways to execute a task. I know the the Midwest has many different aspects of their agriculture then we do here in Oregon and I am ecstatic to learn more about agriculture in the United States!