For the first time, Iowa Farm Bureau members will have an opportunity to participate in one of two unique agricultural education tours on the afternoon of Monday, Dec. 4, just before the 2017 Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) annual meeting.

The tours, which are free to members, are set for Hawkeye Breeders in Adel and the Monsanto Learning Center in Huxley. Buses for both sites will leave from IFBF headquarters at 2 p.m.

“These tours will provide our members unique learning experiences and will provide them access to two of central Iowa’s top research facilities,” said Barb Lykins, IFBF, director of community resources. “They will give members insight into the cutting-edge technology that is used to develop improved plant and animal genetics and will highlight the diversity of agriculture we have here in Iowa.”

Cutting-edge facilities

Hawkeye Breeders in Adel is a family-owned custom collection facility that specializes in bull semen and fertility testing. Members on the tour will see a variety of beef and dairy breeds and get a look at the Hawkeye Breeders lab and other facilities.

The Monsanto Learning Center in Huxley provides interactive tours that explore the complexities of how farmers plant their crops, use technology and optimize data. It provides a showcase of the latest ag innovations, such as precision planting and biotechnology.

The tours will precede the IFBF’s 99th annual meeting, set for Dec. 5 and 6 at the Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center in downtown Des Moines. This year’s annual meeting will celebrate the achievements of county Farm Bureaus and the members of the grassroots organization.

In addition, members at the annual meeting will have the opportunity to access information in a wide range of important topics, including conservation, connecting with consumers and the importance of entrepreneurship in rural Iowa. There will also be updates on the 2018 farm bill, the changing situation in health care and strategies to survive in today’s ag markets.

In addition, there will be a kickoff to the IFBF centennial celebration.

Members are encouraged to register early for the pre-meeting tours because slots are limited to 50 people per site. Contact your county office for more information on the tours and information for registering.

For complete information about the 2017 Iowa Farm Bureau Annual Meeting, click here.