62nd Annual Ag Tour
The 2022 Ag Tour is officially in the books. We took 43 individuals to Amarillo for the 62nd annual event. The "Ag Tour" is a long standing tradition in our district with destinations ranging from Arkansas to New Mexico and Wyoming to Iowa. On our way to Amarillo we stopped at the Adobe Walls cotton gin in Spearman and Maxwell's Pumpkin Patch just outside of Amarillo. Drought has a wide reaching hold on most of the Central U.S. so the yields in cotton country are severely slashed much like crop yields are here. Our tour host showed us the entire process of ginning cotton from modules and bales arriving to the finished cotton bales being bundled and sampled for USDA grading and sent to a warehouse.
Maxwell's Pumpkin Patch is Agrotourism at its finest. Each year during Halloween and Christmas literally thousands of individuals young and old visit and take part in a wide variety of kids games and events. Petting zoos, bounce pads, apple launcher, walk thru maze, tricycle races, under ground slides, oversized lawn furniture, jungle gyms, and on and on are all available for a days worth of enjoyment. Yes they do have 5 acres of pumpkins, but that pales in comparison to the nearly 80 acres of family entertainment that is available.
On Wednesday we toured the Ag Department at West Texas A&M. The Academic and Research Hall that contains the Ag faculty, classrooms, and Caviness meats lab is a very modern facility that has become well known with the cloning of Prime yield grade 1 carcasses. Our group was able to see the entire meats lab, processing facility, and on site meat market. From there we were able to see the school ranch and feedlot to see and hear about the research that is ongoing. Later that afternoon we visited Timber Creek Vet Service, the home of many embryo transfers, cloned horses, and the proprietor Dr. Gregg Veneklasen. He was also instrumental in the creation of Alpha 1, the initial clone of the yield grade one carcass. A short drive took us to the Palo Duro canyon where we drove to the bottom and explored the park.
Our final day started at the American Quarter Horse Museum. Visitors can see the evolution of not only the Quarter Horse, but the association that shows historical significance to both the directors, the area ranches, and the notable sires. Our final stop was to the Sizemore Museum. This is a private collection of motorcycles, vehicles, and RV's. Many memorable racing artifacts are held as well as well as the earliest of camping trailers, movie props, and unique vehicles and trailers that have literally have been discovered and refurbished.
Make plans to join us in October of 2023 as we look to make the 63rd trip to destinations unknown...maybe westwardly!!