Local FFA members in front of Stallion Barn at Grant’s Farm — front, from left: Marah Larson, Angie Krebs, Kaelyn Platz, Anna Plotz and Brandi Platz. Back: Andrew Beckman, Tyson Meidl, Devon Sargent, Alex Quesenberry and Dalton Brown.

Summer Ag Tour provides students with a different aspect of agriculture

Last week, 10 Springfield students who are members of the Springfield FFA joined others from Mountain Lake, Sleepy Eye and RTR (Russell-Tyler-Ruthton) on a three-day trip — their Summer Ag Tour — to St. Louis, Missouri.

Springfield students included in the group of 42 were Andrew Beckman, Dalton Brown, Angie Krebs, Marah Larson, Tyson Meidl, Brandi Platz, Kaelyn Platz, Anna Plotz, Alex Quesenberry, and Devon Sargent.   They were accompanied by local Agricultural Instructor Sarah Lee.

Students were able to see a different aspect of agriculture and a different part of the country. The  group left Monday morning, June 8, and returned Thursday, June 11.

Places visited during the tour included the John Deere Plant in Waterloo, Iowa, and the Amish community at Bloomfield, Iowa. In Missouri, they visited Grant’s Farm, Monsanto, the Butterfly House, Cahokia Mounds, Pappy’s Smokehouse, St. Louis City Museum and the St. Louis Cathedral.


 Grant’s Farm is the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family, named for Ulysses S. Grant who originally worked a portion of the land. Ranked in 2004 as a top attraction nationwide by the U.S. Family Travel Guide Zagat Survey, this unique landmark combines history, heritage and wildlife to create an unforgettable experience! Grant’s Farm is the official “prep” school of the Budweiser Clydesdales. Anheuser-Busch has one of the world’s largest herds of Clydesdale horses and owns approximately 200 nationwide. 


The Monsanto Company is a publicly traded American multinational agrochemical and agricultural biotechnology corporation headquartered in Creve Coeur, Greater St. Louis, Missouri. It is a leading producer of genetically engineered (GE) seed and of the herbicide glyphosate, which it markets under the Roundup brand.

The Butterfly House in Missouri, a part of the Missouri Botanic Garden, opened in 1998 to help educate the public about butterflies from around the world, and it offers special events, tours, and other programs to visitors. There are dozens of species of butterflies found at this location, divided into two parts — one native and one tropical. The other attractions in this facility’s family include the Botanical Garden, the Shaw Nature Reserve, and the EarthWays Center. At the center of the Butterfly House, guests can find the large Butterfly Conservatory. This areas houses tropical species and is home to up to 80 butterfly species, depending on the time of year. There are also over 150 different plant species in this area, and the nearly 2000 individual butterflies fly freely around the space. The conservatory also has an area called Miracle of Metamorphosis, which gives visitors the opportunity to see hundreds of chrysalises break open, revealing the butterflies inside. Outside, guests can walk around the outdoor butterfly garden. This part of the facility was planted with a number of species of flowers that serve as food for caterpillars and butterflies. The garden is set up to attract as many species of butterflies from the Missouri area as possible. The garden overlooks the Emerson Lakeside Terrace. With the garden’s reflecting pond to the south and a covered patio surface, this is the site of a number of special events, like weddings and birthday parties, every year.


Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site located on the site of a pre-Columbian Native American city situated directly across the Mississippi River from modern St. Louis, Missouri. The park covers 2,200 acres or about 3.5 square miles and contains about 80 mounds, but the ancient city was much larger. In its heyday, Cahokia covered about 6 square miles and included about 120 human-made earthen mounds in a wide range of sizes, shapes, and functions. Cahokia was the largest and most influential urban settlement in the Mississippian culture which developed advanced societies across much of what is now the central and southeastern United States, beginning more than 1,000 years before European contact. Today, Cahokia Mounds is considered the largest and most complex archaeological site north of the great pre-Columbian cities in Mexico.

No trip to St. Louis would be complete without snapping pictures under the famous Gateway Arch, to visit the St. Louis Museum; to eat at Pappy’s Smokehouse that claims to serve the best Memphis style barbecue in its midtown St. Louis restaurant; and tour the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. The superstructure took more than seven years to build. The church, one of the largest in the Western Hemisphere, is known for its large mosaic installation, burial crypts, and the addition of an outdoor sculpture to promote racial harmony.

Springfield Advance-Press

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