Educators joined us for a teacher tour where we showcased and experienced the unique and diverse parts of North Central Minnesota; and the best part was they didn't even know where we were stopping! The mystery tour attendees were geared up for hands-on experiences and a little cruise to wrap up our adventures in what many call the north woods.
Our tour started in the Park Rapids Ag Room with curriculum connections where attendees got to try out our lesson plans and activities in small groups as well as hear about all the other free resources we offer and opportunities with Farm Camp. Then we started unveiling the mystery locations starting with William Mack’s Farm.
It's a Mystery Tour Stops
William Macks Farm
The William Mack’s Farm is a sixth generation farmer who has taken to focusing on conservation practices to ensure future generations can continue the traditions of their family. His agronomy background has played a key part in proposing ideas and working with Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) to bring in crop rotations to this area that are not always common here. One he’s seen great success with is canola.
NRCS is also helping the Mack family plan a rotational grazing pasture system for their sheep flock to add into the mix with the crop rotation. Mack’s oldest daughter has big goals for helping grow that flock as well as caring for the free range chickens with her siblings. While at the farm, attendees also heard from NRCS staff relating the rainfall simulator and soil demonstrations back to the activities they did in the classroom earlier that morning.
Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center
The second stop on the mystery tour was the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center at Itasca State Park. Attendees explored the visitor center to learn more about the park and the role Brower played in the area. At this location, lunch was prepared by Knob and Kettle, a local favorite who works to promote and utilize the farm to table style menu. Lunch was sponsored by R.D. Offutt Farms.
Lake Itasca Boat Tour
After lunch, attendees traveled through the park to Lake Itasca where they boarded the Chester Charles II for a lake cruise. The cruise was narrated by the crew sharing the history of the park, the story of locating the source of the Mississippi River and observing native wildlife and plants. Tour attendees also saw many of Minnesota’s symbols along the way including blooming lady slippers.
Headwater of the Mississippi
The final stop for the day was the Headwaters of the Mississippi where attendees could cool our feet and walk across the headwaters. While visiting the headwater of the Mississippi, educators learned about the Mighty Mississippi and how it plays into Agriculture's past, present and future.
“I chose this tour because the Mystery part was very intriguing to me. I can’t wait to head to the National Conference next and then come back and sort through all this knowledge.”
Evan, Red Lake Kindergarten Educator
It’s Mystery Tour started in the Park Rapids Ag Room with curriculum connections where attendees got to try out Minnesota Agriculture in the Classroom lesson plans and activities in small groups. Educators also got to hear about all the other free resources MAITC offers and opportunities with Farm Camp.