Conference Tours

Wednesday is Tour Day. Buses will load at 8:30 AM and return at 4:30 PM, and lunch is included on all tours.
Here are this year's tour options:

  • TOUR 1: “University Research with focus on Livestock”
    Leave hotel at 8:30 AM for South Dakota State University Research Farm in Brookings, SD. Morning: Tour complete dairy plant run by students, commodity trading room and newly-constructed Beef Research Unit for research. Lunch at the Straw Bale House at McCrory Garden, followed by tour of the gardens. Afternoon: Tour Animal Disease Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, which does large animal diagnostics and worked with the Avian Influenza outbreak. Return to hotel 4:30 PM.
  • TOUR 2: “Culture & Unique Industry”
    Leave hotel 8:30 AM, arrive Oaklane Colony, a Hutterite community, at 9:45 AM. Tour their grain and livestock operations, special lunch with colony members at their dining hall. Travel to Lyons, SD and tour Rosenbauer South Dakota where they manufacture fire trucks. Also see Central Farmers Co-op rail spur operations in same town. Return to hotel 4:30 PM.
  • TOUR 3: “Production Ag”
    Leave hotel 8:30 AM, arrive at the Vanzanten “concrete slat” dairy finisher at 9:30. Travel to Johnson Farms organic grain operation at 11:00 AM, with lunch provided on site. Travel to Cottonwood Ridge Dairy, which is the first dairy in South Dakota with robotic milkers and also use robots for waste removal and to groom the cows. Return to hotel 4:30 PM.
  • TOUR 4: “Technology and Industry”
    Leave the hotel 9:00 AM, arrive at Rosenbauer Fire Truck Manufacturer in Lyons and tour from 9:30- 11:00. Next, tour Central Farmers Coop elevator/rail spur facility from 11:15-11:30 AM while staying on bus with our step-on guide. Arrive at Terrace Park with picnic shelter & playground in Sioux Falls (just south of arena and convention center) at 12:00 PM for box lunch and a little time to relax. Veteran’s Memorial Park and Covell Lake (home of the infamous year-round geese) are nearby to browse if you eat fast. Load the bus at 1:15 PM, then from 1:30-3:00 tour Raven Industries (Aerostar, Engineered Films) in industrial park south of airport. Return to hotel at 3:15 PM.