Student Federation for Agriculture to host farm tours

Caitlin Deaver

The Student Federation for Agriculture (SFA) hopes to educate non-College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students about the Ag industry by leading them on “Farm Gate to Dinner Plate” farm tours.

This is the first year the SFA has planned this event.

The farm tours will be held on Sunday, Oct. 20 from 4-8 p.m. Students will meet at Kildee Hall for provided transportation to head to the farms.

“One of the biggest misconceptions of agriculture today is that they are just ‘farmers,’” said Taylor Lewis, sophomore in agricultural studies and SFA member. “While farming is a big part of the agriculture industry in feeding the world, there is so much more.”

SFA members also hope students will learn where there food comes from and how it is raised, shedding light on how the industry affects everyone around the world on a daily basis.

The different ISU farms people will be visiting include: Dairy, beef, swine, sheep and Ag-450. They are all student-run farms with one manager keeping an overall eye on things.

“The students will have the opportunity for a tour of each farm with hands-on activities for the different commodity groups,” Lewis said.

These hands-on experiences will be gained by working with and learning about livestock and crops.

“We hope students will see first-hand what agriculture is like in today’s modern society,” said Theresa Fitzgerald, SFA member and freshman in agricultural and life sciences education. “We hope to help educate the students about all aspects of the industry and how the practices and methods of farmers are scientifically proven. We want the students to see what agriculture is all about.”

SFA also made efforts to encourage student participation.

They spoke with farm managers to set up tours, attended meetings of non-agricultural clubs to explain their event and get participation and made commodity group-specific brochures for the day of the tours.

After touring the farms, the groups will return to Kildee Hall for pork burgers, which were donated by the Iowa Pork Producers Association. Block and Bridle members will grill the burgers.

“I hope the students will take a stronger knowledge of the agriculture industry back with them and understand that agriculture is something that we do need,” Lewis said. “After explaining the misconceptions and myths that are not true, they may be able to share their new knowledge of the topics with their friends.”

Registration is still open for Sunday’s tours. If interested in attending the farm tours, contact Lewis at [email protected] or Fitzgerald at [email protected].