Farmers in Stevens County are blessed with many agricultural resources that include an ideal climate, productive soils and excellent farmers. A few of these resources were recently showcased to a group of 17 Danish farmers and their tour leader, Niels Damsgaard Hansen, on Saturday, June 16. The Danish farmers were traveling in two 12-passenger vans on a comprehensive 14 day tour of the upper Midwest, USA.
The groups touring started with their international flight into Chicago, Ill. with local tours and agricultural equipment manufacturing in Wisconsin and on the way to Minneapolis to the Mall of America. From the Mall of America they drove to Breckenridge to visit the Yaggie Farms and learn about their operation.
After their visit to Breckenridge, the Danish farmers were scheduled to visit the USDA-ARS Swan Lake research farm located in Swan Lake Township. They were hosted by Don Reicosky, retired Soil Scientist, who discussed research tillage equipment and gave a brief discussion about soil carbon management and carbon cycling.
From Swan Lake they traveled to Riverview Dairy headquarters and were met by Kevin Wulf, who provided detailed explanations of the development and operation of the dairy. Kevin provided many details and answer questions about their feed rations, breeding program, and the use of the methane digester to generate electricity from the manure.
The Danish farmers then travelled to the Wulf Limousine headquarters and were greeted by Mike and Dennis Wulf. Both provided a brief history of the development of the family farm and how it has expanded to a very sophisticated family operation. They explain briefly the cattle breeding techniques used to enhance the quality of beef with emphasis on measuring the size of the steaks as part of the breeding program. The group then went through the feedlots with several stops along the way to provide more details of the feeding operation and the role of dried distillers grain as one of the supplements in their feed rations as well as their niche markets for beef.
The next local stop was Buddies Bar and Grill in Hancock for their evening meal before traveling to Willmar. Their tour travels continued through other farms in southern Minnesota and equipment manufacturing plants going to parts of Iowa, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas before returning to Chicago for their international flight.