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Photo of Margaret Thomsen Florida FFA State agents and staff spent a week in Iowa visiting businesses related to agriculture and the Gienger Farm in Gladbrook. The group is pictured before dinner at Gienger Farm. Pictured are Tyler Brannan, Barrett Young, Jillian Johnston, Juliet Heijkoop, Dennis Gienger, Meg Alexander, Carter Howell, Camille Thompson, Ronnie Simmons, Emily KIng, Lilly Bru, Layne Murty and Eric Keller.

GLADBROOK – Florida FFA State agents and staff visited Dennis and Jason Gienger Farms on September 17. This tour is sponsored in conjunction with Tama County Pork Producers and Future Farmers in the State of Florida.

Youth from Tama County visited Florida earlier this year. The objective of the trips is to present the multiple aspects of agriculture across the country. Iowa has acres and acres of corn and soybeans. They have concentrated dairies and smaller farms producing fruits and vegetables.

Regarding the group visit to Dennis and Jason Gienger Farms,“We saw the best of everything today. We saw the farrowing units which were just awesome. I am amazed at how much people here give back to their community. They have a problem and they just go through it ”, Florida Zone 4 vice president Tyler Brannan said.

“The whole operation here is simply exceptional. And yesterday we visited the Kienze factory in Williamsburg. They even have a museum. I just liked it all, “ Florida State Zone 1 Vice President Meg Alexander said.

“It’s amazing to hear the family history of the farm. It is very inspiring to see how farms are kept in families for generations ”, Zone 6 Vice President Jillian Johnston said.

“We visited the Cookies BBQ Sauce Company and chatted with owner Speed ​​Herrig. He started this business in his own store and simply expanded and increased his production. He explained to us how the assembly line affects efficiency ”, Carter Howell, FFA secretary of state in Florida, said.

“We’ve seen the heart of the industry here in Iowa. From factory to practical agriculture. The engagement of farmers and the industry as a whole is so strong. It is all very impressive. said Juliet Heijkoop, president of the Florida State FFA.

“The comparison between FL and IA is a contrast – they don’t have the same output. This is something the general public is not exposed to. At Stein Seed, we learned about genetics. Also here in IA you are raising more pigs while using less land. You all work together. We visited Brenneman Farms and learned how to be sustainable. I learned about confinement. The sows here are so comfortable and relaxed while using 16 square feet of space. Politicians are making agenda moves, wanting to demand a lot more space. This trip is an experience that I will always remember ”, Zone 2 FFA vice president Barrett Young said.

Other stops appreciated by the Florida group include New Century FS in Melbourne, Iowa State University Meat Science Lab, and Rabo Bank Financial in Cedar Falls. There the group was greeted by Megan Gienger of Gladbrook.

The Florida group also included Ronnie Simmons, executive director of the Florida FFA; Camille Thompson, Florida FFA Alumni State Board and Emily King Florida FFA Association.

The Gienger family organized supper for the group and were assisted by pork producers in Tama County. Young people from Tama County who attended the Gienger Farm supper included Layne Murty and Eric Keller, who took a similar trip to Florida and Tama County Pork Princess Lilly Bru.

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