On May 21-23, the Monroe City FFA Chapter took 23 FFA Members as well as three community members and two advisors on the Annual Agribusiness Tour.

Each year, the Monroe City FFA Chapter strives to give members exposure to agriculture outside of their hometown. The trip this year focused on all of the opportunities that are available on a large scale. Emphasis is put on different aspects of the agriculture industry, specialized in each state that is visited, to provide something for every member.

On May 21-23, the Monroe City FFA Chapter took 23 FFA Members as well as three community members and two advisors on the Annual Agribusiness Tour. This year, members traveled to Madison, Wisc., to see the vast array of agriculture to the north. 

This year the chapter started their tours in Iowa at the Kinze Innovation Center where students discovered a mechanical side of machinery implements.

To break up the trip, the next stop was in Dyersville, Iowa, at the Field of Dreams, where a small competition of baseball was played. The next day started off at ABS Global where students learned the ins and outs of livestock genetics.

Here students saw first hand the steps in the process of bull studding in cattle.

Students also enjoyed a stop at Nevin’s Fish Hatchery to learn about the production of trout fish for restocking purposes and more on the aquaculture industry.

Next, students became naturalists at the University of Wisconsin’s Arboretum. The students were guided through naturally preserved forest and grasslands and learned the benefits of conservation practices. The crew ended the second day with a visit to Harvest restaurant in downtown Madison.

The students were able to learn dinning etiquette skills and enjoy a delicious meal. The final day consisted of several stops on the decent back home. It started with a tour of Babcock Plant on the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s campus. Here cheese, ice cream, and fluid milk were processed and packaged. Students got to observe these processes and enjoy scrumptious ice cream at the end of the tour. An impromptu stop at Carr Valley Cheese for a quick cheese making tutorial. Several members took the opportunity to stock up on Wisconsin’s famous cheese.

Next, the final stop in Madison, was spent at Filament, an agricultural marketing company.  Members learned opportunities in agricultural communications. Also, members experienced real life marketing situations and participated in marketing campaign strategies.

On the way home, students detoured through Peoria, Illinois, to visit Water Street Solutions, an agricultural finance service company.

These students had the unique opportunity to visit with Lance Burditt, a Monroe City native, about transitioning into life after high school to the workforce.

Students were able to ask questions and advice about advancing within the National FFA Organization and other opportunities that will help in a career in agriculture.