Agriculture

Minnesota farmAlbert Lea

Region: Southern
POET Biorefining Ethanol Plant
15300 780th Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007
Phone: (507) 373-8895
Fax: (507) 373-1973
Contact: Rick Mummert, GM
E-mail: Rick.Mummert@POET.COM  
Website: www.poet.com
Tour Focus: To produce 42 million gallons of ethanol annually, ethanol production consumes nearly 16 million bushels of corn from the region and provides environmentally friendly fuel and high quality livestock feed for local, regional and national markets. Learn how working with renewable resources reduces dependence on fossil fuels, reduces greenhouse gases, and improves rural economies.
Group Size: Prefer 25-30
Cost: Free
Tour Guide: POET staff

Brooklyn Park

Region: Metro
Eidem Homestead, Brooklyn Park Historical Farm
5600 85th Ave North
Brooklyn Park, MN 55443
Contact: Barb Stewart
Phone: (763) 493-8367
Website: www.brooklynpark.org
Tour Focus: See a depiction of Minnesota farm life in the 1890s-1900. On the tour, enjoy living history with costumed guides-a farmstead with house, barn, chicken coop, animals, and poultry, etc.
Group Size: 15 minimum, 50-60 maximum
Cost: $5/person
Availability: tours are available by appointment May 1-Oct 15.
Tour Guide: Eidem Homestead staff

Center City

Region: Metro
Eichtens
P.O. Box 216
Center City, MN 55012
Contact: Tammy Stephens, Eileen Carlson
Phone: (651) 257-4752
Fax: (651) 257-6286
E-mail: eichtens@frontiernet.net
Website: www.specialtycheese.com
Tour Focus: Watch the complete cheese-making process and look at bison herd; lunch is available at our restaurant (Bison burgers, yumm!).
Group Size: 10 minimum, no maximum
Cost: $7/adult, $5/child
Availability: By appointment, year-round
Tour Guide: Owner

Elk River

Region: Central
Oliver Kelley Farm
15788 Kelley Farm Road
Elk River, MN 55330
Contact: Bob Quist
Phone: (763) 441-6896
Fax: (763) 441-6302
E-mail: kelleyfarm@mnhs.org
Website: www.mnhs.org/kelleyfarm
Tour Focus: Discover 1860s farm life on this working historic farm along the Mississippi River. Farm tours include touring buildings, grounds, and gardens, as well as participating in livestock interactions, domestic chores, and gardening chores.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 150 maximum
Cost: $6/person, driver and tour operators are free
Availability: Mar-Dec, by appointment
Tour Guide: guided

Grand Rapids

Region: Northeastern
University of MN North Central Research & Outreach Center
1861 E Hwy 169
Grand Rapids, MN 55744
Contact: Dr. Shengrui Yao
Phone: (218) 327-4490
Fax: (218) 327-4126
Website: www.maes.umn.edu/components/ROCNC.asp
Tour Focus: With towering trees planted more than 100 years ago and compact ornamentals, small fruits and vegetables, grasses and forage, beef cattle, and Minnesota’s signature wild rice, the North Central Research and Outreach Center encompasses a wide spectrum of agricultural and natural research subjects. In addition, studies of tourism, ecological management, and use of industrial byproducts are all specific to the climate and industries of north central Minnesota.
Group Size: no minimum, 30 maximum
Cost: free
Availability: By appointment only
Tour Guide: staff

Hastings

Region: Metro
Afton Apple Orchard
14421 South 90th Street
Hastings, MN 55033
Contact: Cindy
Phone: (651) 436-8385
Fax: (651) 436-4634
E-mail: aftonapple@aol.com  
Website: www.aftonapple.com
Tour Focus: Apple growth, maintenance, production
Group Size: 20 minimum, 300 maximum
Cost: $6.50-$10/person, depending on the tour
Availability: Aug-Oct, by appointment
Tour Guide: Owners

Hastings

Region: Metro
Carpenter St. Croix Valley Nature Center
12805 St. Croix Trail
Hastings, MN 55033
Contact: Mayme Johnson
Phone: (651) 437-4359
Fax: (651) 438-2908
E-mail: mayme@carpenternaturecenter.org  
Website: www.carpenternaturecenter.org
Tour Focus: We offer quality environmental education programs year-round. Apple orchard tours are available in the fall. Visitors can see how CNC orchard is managed using minimal spray, as well as seeing our organic raspberries, pumpkins, squash and other fall produce. Snowshoes are available in the winter.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 65 maximum
Cost: $4 for programs, no charge for hiking trails
Availability: year-round, reservations necessary
Tour Guide: interpretive naturalists

Hollandale

Southern Region
Potato Farm
PO Box 239
Hollandale MN 56045
Contact: Larry Reynen
Phone: (507) 889-6271
Tour Focus: Tour a working vegetable farm. Learn about the entire potato farming process from planting and harvesting to storing, washing and bagging.
Cost: Free
Availability: By appointment
Tour Guide: Owner

Hutchinson

Region: Central
Liberty Land & Livestock
61231 Highway 7
Hutchinson, MN 55350
Phone: (320) 587-6094
Website: www.ourfarmtoyou.com
Tour Focus: Because there has been such a demand for our knowledge, we offer a variety of consulting and educational program opportunities. Each year we are asked to be speakers for different conferences and seminars. We also have tour groups come out to the farm, offer field days, and hold special training sessions for either groups or individuals. So whether you are in need of a speaker, you want some direct hands-on work with our farm stay program, are interested in an on-farm seminar with a group of others with similar interests, or you could use some private one-on-one consulting we have what it takes to serve your needs and would love to work with you or your group.
Group Size: no minimum, 35 maximum
Cost: free
Availability: by appointment
Tour Guide: owner

Kenyon

Region: Southern
Dancing Winds Educational Farm Retreat
6863 County #12 Blvd
Kenyon, MN 55946
Contact: Mary Doerr
Phone: (507) 789-6606
E-mail: dancingwinds@frontiernet.net
Website: www.dancingwinds.com
Tour Focus: Learn about sustainable agricultural practices, watch cheese-making demonstrations in season, explore our 60′ outdoor labyrinth and the beautiful nature trails. Very child-friendly! All ages welcome, no pets please!
Group Size: 6 minimum, 30 maximum
Cost: $5/person, $30 minimum for group tours
Availability: Tours are available by appointment only. Reservations are required for farm-stay accommodations. Both are open year-round.
Tour Guide: owner

Lake Benton

Region: Southern
Anderson Honey Farm
1907 US Hwy 75
Lake Benton, MN 56149
Contact: Heather Ulrich-Glynn
Phone: (507) 368-9577
Tour Focus: See the miracle of nature and watch bees make honey. Please allow at least 45 minutes for the tour.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: $2/person
Availability: Summer and Fall, by appointment
Tour Guide: guided

Lanesboro

Region: Southern
Lanesboro State Fish Hatchery
23789 Grosbeak Road
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Phone: (507) 467-3771
Tour Focus: This facility is one of five state cold water hatcheries managed by the Minnesota DNR, raising trout to increase fishing opportunity in area lakes and streams. Group tours welcome. Guided tours are available to groups by reservation.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: DNR staff

Lanesboro

Region: Southern
R&M Amish Tours
102 E Beacon St
Lanesboro, MN 55949
Phone: (507) 467-2128
E-mail: tours@acegroup.cc
Website: www.rmamish.com
Tour Focus: Step back in time and tour the largest community of Old Order Amish at their farms. Visit Amish farms and workshops and experience first-hand the interesting history of these Christian people. Browse and purchase Amish crafts, furniture, and baked goods. Enjoy a stop at the historical Lenora Stone Church built in 1856. Your friendly and knowledgeable tour guide will share the rich history of our Amish friends, as well as stories about the first Amish families who came to the area in the 1970s.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: $30/person, weekday discount of $2.50/person Mon-Fri. $150 step-on-guide for bus tours
Availability: year-round
Tour Guide: staff

Luverne

Region: Southern
Prairie Heights Bison Ranch
Hwy 75
Luverne, MN 56156
Contact: John & Jeanne Bowron
Phone: (507) 283-8136
E-mail: jjbowron@myclearwave.net
Website: www.luvernechamber.com 
Tour Focus: Ride into the herd in a custom built buggy for a 1½-2 hour tour. Feed and learn about these magnificent animals and the prairie. Follow the tour with a great bison meal at the ranch.
Group Size: Up to 45
Cost: $15-$20/person
Tour Guide: Owner

Minneapolis

Region: Metro
Bachman’s Floral & Garden Center
6010 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55419
Contact: Rosemary Kobler
Phone: (612) 861-7692
E-mail: kvieze@bachmans.com
Tour Focus: Tour our facilities and learn how we care for our plants year-round. Learn about our feeding systems, our watering systems, and our insect-management techniques.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 100 maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round, Mon-Fri mornings, by appointment
Tour Guide: guided

Montevideo

Region: Southern
Olof Swenssen Farm Museum
P.O. Box 303
Montevideo, MN 56265
Phone: (320) 269-7636
E-mail: cchs@maxminn.net  
Website: www.montechamber.com
Tour Focus: 22 room brick farm house, 1880s timber frame barn. There is also a family burial plot. Come see the home of one of Minnesota’s most innovative immigrants! In 2003, the barn underwent museum-quality preservation and has won several preservation awards.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 50 maximum
Cost: $4/adult, $2/students, free for those under age 5
Availability: Memorial Day Weekend-the end of September
Tour Guide: Society Executive Director or self-guided

Morgan

Region: Southern
Gilfillan Estate
Box 147
28315 County Road 13
Morgan, MN 56266
Phone: (507) 249-3451
Website: www.redwoodcountyhistoricalsociety.org
Tour Focus: The tour focuses on the family’s story and tours can be of the mansion, the 1890s farm, and the museum collection of interesting old artifacts. They even offer home-made ice cream!
Group Size: 20 minimum, 40 maximum, flexible
Cost: $3/person
Availability: By appointment for groups, Apr-Oct
Tour Guide: A variety of guides are available

Morgan

Region: Southern
Rich-Nes Alpaca Farm
26795 State Highway 67
Morgan, MN 56266
Contact: Richard and Agnes Wildt
Phone: (507) 249-3631
Website: www.richnes.com
E-mail: wildt@richnes.com
Tour Focus: The tour focuses on these cousins to the llama. You may pet and feed the animals, as well as get a tour of the barn. The animals are cute and cuddly and a big hit! The owners are national leaders in the raising and breeding of alpaca and can focus on the agriculturally-related aspects of this stock.
Group Size: 20 minimum, 45 maximum
Cost: free
Availability: By appointment for groups, April-Oct
Tour Guide: Guided by the owners

Morris

Region: Central
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Agricultural Research North Central Soil Conservation Research Lab

803 Iowa Avenue
Morris, MN 56267
Contact: Abdullah Jaradat
Phone: (320) 589-3411
Fax: (320) 589-3787
E-mail: Abdullah.jaradat@ars.usda.gov
Website: www.usda.gov/mwa/ncscrl
Tour Focus: Soil and water conservation, land and crop management, cropping systems and bio-energy. Specific interests of scientists include: yield response of traditional and alternative crops to abiotic stresses; weed ecology, management and modeling; development of new/alternative crops; Carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions; soil biology in relation to soil quality and land management issues; management practices that minimize environmental contamination while maintaining production; tillage-included carbon dioxide loss and soil movement by tillage.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: Usually a scientist

Nevi

Region: Northwestern
Minnesota EMU-Heart of MN EMU Ranch
24200 Fairwood Lane
Nevis, MN 56467
Contact: Pat
Phone: (218) 652-2303
E-mail: minnesotaemu@yahoo.com
Website: www.emumagic.com
Tour Focus: On this tour, learn about our Vertically integrated operation, incubation of green emu eggs, hatching of chicks, micro chipping of birds, history of Aboriginal uses of emu oil, leather, meal , the double feather, the multi-layered and colored green eggs, the body leather, and the leg leather-close living relative to the dinosaur.
Group Size: 4 minimum, 50 maximum
Cost: $5/adults, $2.50/children, schools $50/group
Availability: By appointment
Tour Guide: Pat, Owner & Manager

New Prague

Region: Southern
Cedar Summit Farm
Dave & Florence Minar
25830 Drexel Avenue
New Prague, MN 56071
Phone: (952) 758-6886
Fax: (952)758-6197
Website: www.cedarsummit.com
Tour Focus: Visitors are always welcome to their creamery where you can watch processing through a window. They open at 9am and processing is usually finished by noon. Farm tours take about 1 hour and they need to be scheduled.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Availability: The Cedar Summit Farm Store is open Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm & Sat. 8am-12pm

New Ulm

Region: Southern
August Schell Brewing Co
1860 Schell Road, P.O. Box 128
New Ulm, MN 56073
Contact: Jodi Marti
Phone: (507) 354-5528
Fax: (507) 359-9119
E-mail: jmarti@schellsbrewery.com
Website: www.schellsbrewery.com
Tour Focus: Learn about the history of the founding family and brewing itself; hear an explanation of grounds, the brewing house and the brewing process; a 7-minute video is shown with areas not allowed for touring; the tour ends with a beer (or rootbeer) tasting in our Rathskellar tap room. There is also an extensive Museum of Brewing on the grounds.
Group Size: 20 minimum, 45 maximum
Cost: $3/person
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: tour guides well-versed in the brewery’s history and beer knowledge

Redwood Falls

Region: Southern
Potterosa Farms
28055 310 Street
Redwood Falls, MN 56283
Contact: Jeff Potter
Phone: (507) 641-3087
Fax: (507) 641-2098
E-mail: loghome@rrcnet.org
Tour Focus: Come tour this crop and cattle farm along the Redwood River.
Group Size: no minimum, no maximum
Cost: free
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: owner

Rochester

Region: Southern
Garten Marketplatz Perennial Farms
5225 County Road 15 Southwest
Byron, MN 55920
Contact: Sue Lantz
Phone: (507) 281-1023
Tour Focus: On this tour you will see perennial theme gardens in the beautiful setting of the Civil War era farm. Learn about the raising and selling of perennials.
Group Size: no minimum; no maximum
Cost: varies by food
Availability: May-Oct, by appointment
Tour Guide: owner

St. Paul

Region: Metro
Como Park, Zoo, and Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
St. Paul, MN 55103
Phone: (651) 487-8201
E-mail: comoeducation@ci.stpaul.mn.us
Website: www.comozooconservatory.org
Tour Focus: Come visit the indoor and outdoor exhibits, along with a stop in the conservatory. Guided tours go behind the scenes to the production green house. Guided tours also come with a lunch. Make sure to stop at the new Tropical Encounters exhibit and the seasonal Blooming Butterflies exhibit.
Group Size: 10 minimum, no maximum
Cost: free for self-guided tours, guided tours typically begin at $10 per person
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: guided or self-guided

Spring Grove

Region: Southern
Spring Grove Soda Pop
215 2nd Ave NW
Spring Grove, MN 55974
Contact: Dawn Hansen
Phone: (507) 498-3424
E-mail: sgsoda@springgrove.coop
Website: www.springgrovesoda.com
Tour Focus: The tour includes a start to finish description of the process used to produce our soda along with the machinery and techniques used. The 113 years of history of our soda and the changes in the various bottles will also be discussed.
Group Size: all sizes can be accommodated
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: owner

Waseca

Region: Southern
University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center
35838 120th Street
Waseca, MN 56093
Contact: Jeanette Williams
Phone: (507) 837-5612
Fax: (507) 835-3622
E-mail: willi098@umn.edu
Website: http://sroc.cfans.umn.edu
Tour Focus: Agricultural crop and livestock production studies and facilities and horticultural research.
Group Size: 2 minimum, 100+ maximum
Cost: free
Availability: Seasonal weather, by appointment
Tour Guide: Research leader or staff

White Bear Lake

Region: Metro
Pine Tree Apple Orchard
450 Apple Orchard Rd
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Contact: Nancy or Barb Jacobson
Phone: (651) 429-7202
Website: www.pinetreeappleprchard.com
Tour Focus: The tour focuses on year-round orchard operations, pollination, harvest and post-harvest-value added operations.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 75 maximum
Cost: varies per activity
Availability: Aug-Oct, by appointment
Tour Guide: Tour manager

Willmar

Region: Central
Mr. B. Chocolatier
916 Litchfield Avenue SW
Willmar, MN 56201
Contact: Danielle George
Phone: (320) 235-1313
Fax: (320) 235-2610
E-mail: mrb@mrbchocolate.com
Website: www.mrbchocolate.com
Tour Focus: On this tour you will hear a short history of Mr. B., see a demonstration of the molding process of a novelty item, and see the general process of making one or more of our candies.
Group Size: 10 minimum, 25 maximum
Cost: $3/person (includes a free sample of chocolate)
Availability: year-round, by appointment
Tour Guide: Owner and production team