There’s no better way to explore South Dakota than by visiting a farm or ranch. Visiting a farm allows you to see firsthand what farmers like the ones featured on Hungry for Truth are doing to grow safe, healthy food. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff or a foodie, there’s an agriculture adventure in store for you this summer. Let’s learn more about some of the great sites you should visit.
Meet farmers at a festival. All sorts of farmers will be at South Dakota’s festivals this summer, from sustainable soybean farmers to expert cattle ranchers. Dairy Fest kicks off festival season with carnival games, ice cream and a farm tour. Learn more about farming at Dakota Fest, featuring family-friendly pig races! And lastly, celebrate the end of summer with South Dakota farmers at the State Fair.
Bask in South Dakota’s beauty at Circle View Ranch. This bed-and-breakfast is located on 3,000 acres, just six miles from Badlands National Park. Guests can get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and experience South Dakota’s breathtaking natural beauty. Owners Amy and Philip Kruse even let guests interact with the chickens, calves and donkeys on the ranch, which is a great experience for kids.
It’s always great to get on the farm and see how farmers interact with their animals. Whether they’re raising chickens or cattle, farmers keep their animals healthy and comfortable, feeding them a diet rich in soy meal to make sure they have the protein they need to produce delicious food.
Live out a literary classic at the Ingalls Homestead. If you loved reading the “Little House on the Prairie” series, you’ll adore the Ingalls Homestead in De Smet. Interactive activities teach guests about Laura Ingalls Wilder and life in the Dakota Territory in the 1880s. Adults and children alike will enjoy learning about the natural grasslands that make South Dakota such a thriving agricultural state.
Farming sure has changed since Laura Ingalls Wilder’s family started their homestead. Thanks to technology, farmers are much more productive now than they were back then. In 1890, it took 35 to 40 labor hours to produce 100 bushels of corn. Today’s farmers can produce the same amount of corn in just about 3 hours. This is good news as the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.
Crack open a cold one at A Homestead Brew. If you’re a beer lover, you have to visit A Homestead Brew in Valley Springs. You can schedule a tour of their farm to learn how they grow hops, the key ingredient that gives beer its bitter flavor. Toast the day with one of their signature brews in the tap room, and you’ll be in hop heaven.
Just like soybean farmers, hop farmers know that soil health is the key to healthy hops. The family that runs Homestead Brew grows Dutch white clover to replenish the nitrogen in the soil. Soybeans and other legumes are special in that they create their own nitrogen from bacteria in the soil to create the fuel they need to grow.
With these four great ideas, you’ll be in for a summer full of ag adventures! Can’t make it out to the farm? Read all about how farm families grow safe and healthy food here.
Hungry for Truth is an initiative about food and farming funded by the South Dakota soybean checkoff. The goal is to connect South Dakotans with the farmers who grow and raise their food.