Professional Tours

    Professional Tours

    Professional improvement tours are scheduled for Thursday, July 13, 2017. Northern Utah is normally hot and dry during July, but there is always a chance of a late afternoon rainstorm. Check the latest weather forecast and be prepared. Keep in mind farm tours may have uneven terrain so wear sturdy shoes. Water and snacks will be available on buses and lunch will be provided.

    Tour Day Dinner

    Tour day dinner on Thursday evening will be held at This is the Place Heritage Park at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Salt Lake City. The menu will be famous Sanpete County barbeque turkey with all of the fixings. Extension Agent Matt Palmer and his crew have years of experience preparing this delicious meal for 4-H conferences. At the park, our venue will be The Garden Place building with air conditioning and the rustic elegance of a mountain lodge. There is a beautiful patio with a waterfall and majestic mountain views. The dinner is sponsored by Norbest Mountain Grown Turkeys, Inc.

    Photos of The Garden Place


    Tour # 1. Traveling Through History--The Golden Spike Monument, Orbital ATK’s Rocket Display, Bear River Bird Refuge and Box Elder County’s Historic Farms

    Sponsored by Utah Farmers Union

    We will travel to Box Elder County in Northern Utah where within an 8-mile radius, you will experience one hundred years of transportation history by visiting the Golden Spike National Historic site, where the transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, then we will visit Orbital ATK’s rocket display where scientists helped put a man on the moon exactly 100 years later in 1969! Lunch will be at the Holmgren Historical Farm which was homesteaded in 1896 and is on the National Register of Historic Places due to its unique barn and farmstead. It will include Lyle’s famous barbecue pork ribs, with all the homemade fixings which will be served, of course, in the barn! On the return trip, we will visit the Bear River National Bird Refuge, home to millions of migrating birds that stop in its freshwater marshes. Finally, we will explore Utah’s historic Fruit-Way with its many farmer-owned roadside stands selling locally grown fruits and vegetables.


    Tour # 2. USU Dryland Research Farm, Drip Irrigated Onions, and Alfalfa Hay Exports

    Sponsored by SARE

    Box Elder County is well known for innovative dryland wheat production which is used for livestock feed and pasta production. This tour will visit the Utah State University Blue Creek Dryland Research Farm and the LDS Blue Creek Crops 12,000 acre no-till dryland wheat farm. Local research and innovative practices have enabled yields of 40 bushels per acre in an area that only receives twelve inches of precipitation per year. Dry bulb onions are a major crop that is sold nationally. Fowers Farms are using the most of their irrigation water and improving onions yields at the same time with drip irrigation. Utah produces about two million tons of high quality alfalfa hay each year. The crop is used locally for beef and dairy production and is also compressed into small bales for export to foreign markets.

    This tour will leave early due to the longer travel time.


    Tour # 3. Irrigation Research and Space Dynamics Lab

    Sponsored by SARE

    The tour will travel through several large irrigation projects in northern Utah. Visits will be made to Fowers Farms, space-dynamicsIntermountain Irrigated Pasture Project, Pepperidge Farms, Space Dynamics Lab, Utah Water Research Lab, and Aggie Ice Cream Store. Fowers Farms has subsurface drip irrigation of onions in Bear River City. The pasture research project focuses on forage (grasses, legumes, and forbs) management, irrigation, fertility, and varieties that are viable under an intensively managed grazing system in Lewiston. Pepperidge Farms is a major baker of cookies and snacks in Richmond. The Space Dynamics Lab solves technical challenges of military, space exploration, science, and industry in Logan. The 50,000 square-foot Water Research Lab is adjacent to the Logan River and solves interdisciplinary water-related challenges in Utah and more 70 countries. We will enjoy some delicious ice cream at the Aggie Ice Cream Shop before returning to Salt Lake City.


    Tour # 4. Dairy and Animal Science

    Sponsored by SARE

    dairy-animal-scienceThe USU Dairy teaches students in the Dairy Science Program with hands-on learning and a large classroom right at the dairy. A water flush system clears manure and magnetic ear tags monitor feed intake. Plans are underway to install robotic milkers. Goosner Foods is an innovative factory that manufactures Swiss cheese and UHT milk. Lunch will be at Beehive Grill in downtown Logan. Munk Dairy is an innovative producer with a modern carousel parlor. For an afternoon break, we will visit the Aggie Ice Cream Shop on the USU campus. The USDA Poison Plants Lab researches ways to reduce the impact of poisonous plants on western rangeland.


    Tour # 5. Beans and Bread—LDS Church Welfare Farms and J&J Garden Center 

    lds-beansWelfare Square in Salt Lake City is one of the flagship facilities for the LDS Church welfare program. The Square includes a bread bakery, cheese factory, food cannery, and a retail store where those in need can receive food. The Deseret Mill and Pasta factory makes flour for bread, pancake mix, and pasta for the welfare program. Grain for the mill is grown on farms in northern Utah and southern Idaho. Lunch will be at the USU Botanical Center in Kaysville where you can visit the new edible, water-wise garden and recently expanded arboretum. Several hundred acres of green beans are grown in the Layton area for the welfare program. They are processed at a cannery in Ogden and then shipped world-wide for humanitarian purposes. J&J Garden Center is one of Utah’s largest producing nurseries and grows bedding plants in their large greenhouse range and has several acres of trees in a field nursery. The field nursery irrigation system was recently upgraded to drip irrigation to save time and water. You will see the specialized equipment that is used to dig and transport the large field-grown trees.

    Limit of 30 participants due to limited space at some stops.


    Tour # 6. Where the Deer and the Antelope Roam--Antelope Island and the Great Salt Lake

    antelope-island Antelope Island is home to over 500 head of buffalo with a unique gene pool that is highly valued in the buffalo breeding world. Many range improvement and weed control projects have been completed to provide more food for the buffalo, deer, antelope, and other wildlife on the island. Lunch will be at the Buffalo Grill on the island. The Great Salt Lake (GSL) Shorelands Preserve provides a wooden boardwalk to take visitors out in the GSL marshes for bird watching and to enjoy the scenic views of Antelope Island and the Wasatch Mountains. During the summer, cattle graze on the invasive phragmites plants to reduce their spread. Utah Wildlife Resources has made a concerted effort to provide fishing opportunities close to where people live with improvements and fish stocking at ponds located at Jensen Park, USU Botanical Center, and Bountiful Pond.


    Tour # 7. Minerals, Tomatoes, Raspberries, and More 

    mineral-azomiteParticipants on this tour will travel to five unique operations. The first stop will be to the Azomite Company. Azomite is a uniquely natural material, mined in Central Utah. The material contains a broad spectrum of over 70 minerals and trace elements. The 100% natural product is used for agricultural and horticultural purposes and is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute for use in certified organic production. Houweling’s Tomatoes newest 28-acre greenhouse operation, opened in 2015, will be the second stop. Situated next to an existing natural gas power plant, Houweling’s utilizes state of the art technology to harness previously wasted heat and CO2, two key inputs for growing delicious greenhouse tomatoes. The next stop will be a delicious catered lunch served along the tour route. Rowley’s Red Barn, the ultimate stop for farm fresh food and country fun, will be the next stop. The Red Barn provides homemade ice cream, orchard fruits, home grown produce, and world class dried cherries. It has the characteristics of a family owned, working farm. Cornaby’s Specialty Foods is the next stop. Cornaby’s is a family owned business that is dedicated to bringing natures’ best flavors (especially raspberry ones) from their field to your home. Cornaby’s started out as a 20-acre raspberry farm and has blossomed into a specialty food processor with dozens of products that are sold across the United States. The concluding stop will be a tour of the Jordan Valley Conservation Garden Park. The six-acre botanical center demonstrates how a homeowner can convert traditional yards to more water efficient landscapes and still maintain a lush landscape. Learn why a company that sells water promotes water conservation.


    Tour # 8. Wine, Wool, and Trout in Sustainable Systems

    Sponsored by SARE

    wine-emigrationThe tour will start out retracing the pioneer footsteps up Emigration Canyon. TIFIE Ranch, located in the high mountains of Morgan County (by East Canyon Reservoir) focuses on sustainable production using greenhouses, solar energy, and wood-fired boilers for heating. They have demonstrations of durable housing that have been provided to people in third-world countries. Albert Wilde collects mink and other animal carcasses from around the county and composts them to produce a valuable pasture amendment. Plant material is composted for the nursery industry. He has also developed a pelletized wool business that is working hard to keep up with demand from nursery growers wanting to include it in their potting soil mix. Lunch will be at a favorite local restaurant, The Spring Chicken Inn, in Morgan City. Cold Springs Trout Farm, a vertically integrated fish farm, is one of the best fishing holes in the state of Utah with seven catch-out ponds stocked with feisty rainbow trout. Their water source comes from cold Rocky Mountain springs at the base of nearby Cold Water Canyon. A new addition is a green living aquaponics greenhouse to provide year-round fresh vegetables. The Hive Winery is Utah’s artisan winery specializing in fruit and honey wines using local products. The winery provides an important marketing outlet for several local fruit growers and uses fruit that otherwise might not be marketable.


    Tour #9. Where’s the Beef

    Sponsored by SARE 

    where-beefRich County is home to many large beef cattle operations with over 30,000 mother cows. Learn about the Three Creeks Allotment where three ranches have pooled their grazing land in order to provide the optimum rotational grazing practices. Rangeland improvement projects have included fencing, reseeding, and livestock watering areas. Recent work with GPS collars on cows has enabled better management of rangeland resources. All projects have been tied to improved habitat for the endangered sage grouse bird. This project was done in consultation with the grazing improvement program (GIP) which is managed by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. Deseret Land and Livestock is owned by the LDS Church and operates over 200,000 acres of grazing land with 3,500 mother cows. They also operate a popular fee-based hunting program which offers a chance to pursue a trophy deer or elk.

    This tour will leave early due to the longer travel time.


    Tour # 10. Rooftop Gardens to Family Roots. Guided Walking Tour of Downtown S.L.

    temple-squareVisit the LDS Family History Center, which provides training and computer access enabling people to search for their ancestors at their own pace. The library houses over 2 million rolls of microfilmed genealogical records and 356,000 books containing records from every continent. The 21,000 seat LDS Conference Center’s expansive rooftop garden includes aspen and spruce, shrubs, a two-acre wildflower meadow, fountains, and waterfalls—all designed to mimic Utah’s varying landscapes. Hear a 30-minute recital on the 11,623-pipe organ at the world famous Tabernacle, which was built in 1864 using wooden pegs and rawhide to secure its domed roof. Walk through the City Creek Center Mall and see its innovative retractable glass roof, and see how the mall manages the recreated City Creek waterway with live fish. The historic Cathedral of the Madeline, built from Utah sandstone in a stunning neo-Romanesque architectural style, regularly hosts community events and musical performances. At nearby City Creek Park, learn how irrigation was implemented by Utah pioneers ‘to make the desert blossom like a rose’ and about USU Extension’s educational programs that encourage water-wise landscaping.

    This tour will include moderate walking on level terrain.


    Tour #11. Summer Wildflower Walk and Utah’s Winter Olympic Park snowbasin

    This tour will take you up Little Cottonwood Canyon, one of the most famous wildflower areas in Utah. Start by riding the Snowbird Ski Resort chair lift to the top of 11,000 foot Hidden Peak where you can see forever. Take a short walk through a tunnel to view the beautiful wildflowers in Mineral Basin. The next stop will be the Winter Olympics Legacy Park in Park City to see the luge and bobsled runs from the 2002 Olympic Games. At the bottom of the ski run you can watch athletes practicing their acrobatic moves and landing in a large swimming pool. The last stop will be to stroll through the beautiful gardens at the University of Utah’s Red Butte Garden. Red Butte features over 150 acres of gardens and natural areas. The Garden features spectacular floral gardens, children’s garden, and an orangery that houses exotic and fragrant flora.

    This tour will include moderate walking at high altitudes.


    Tour # 12. Urban Farming

    urban-farmingHalf of Utah’s population lives in Salt Lake County. This urban interface is home to small urban farms and producers that have unique markets. The New Roots Program teaches refugees how to grow vegetables from their native country. The garden at the Salt Lake County Jail teaches inmates how to grow vegetables which they sell at the downtown Farmers Market. The Green Urban Lunch Box program teaches a beginning farmer program that is focused on growing fruits and vegetables and developing a business plan for the small farm. Lunch will be at Wheeler Historic Farm which includes an Extension demonstration garden, historic farm buildings, and farm animals. Luke Peterson grows vegetables, has a retail store with locally grown produce and meat, and hosts a popular Food Truck Friday program. This program offers a choice of several food trucks for dinner and shopping for local produce at the retail store. Frog Bench Farms is a unique urban farm with a small vineyard and vegetable production areas in a large greenhouse and in outside raised beds. Produce is sold mostly to local restaurants and is also used in their upscale garden parties.

    Limit of 30 participants due to limited space at some stops. 


    Tour # 13. Turkeys, Fish, and Wildland Seed 


    Norbest has developed a model system for dry climate turkey production. They have approximately 43 growers and a modern processing plant in Moroni, Utah. They are also well known for their Nutrimulch product of composted turkey manure which is widely used on gardens. Their modern feed mill in Levan is one of only a few mills that produces steam flaked soybean in addition to steam flaked corn. Along the way, we will visit the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources fish hatchery in Fountain Green which is a state of the art facility. The Great Basin Seed facility in Ephraim collects, cleans, and stores seed that is used extensively in wildland fire restoration.

    This tour will leave early due to the longer travel time.


    Tour # 14. From Beetle Kill to State of the Art Buildings--Forestry in the Beautiful Uinta Mountains 

    forestryThe tour will start with a stop at the Blazzard Sawmill in Kamas, then we will proceed up Wolf Creek Pass to look at mountain pine beetle damage and discuss forest and fire ecology. Lunch will be prepared by The Cutting Board Café in Kamas. Depending on the conditions of the season and roads, we will try to visit an active logging operation. The tour will include a stop at Euclid, a timber frame company specializing in using beetle kill lumber to create interlocking cross laminate timber products (ICLT).

    This tour will include moderate walking at high altitudes. Limit of 26 participants.


    Tour # 15. Diversified Agriculture and Olympic Sports Park

    llamaSummit County is unique with very diversified, rural agricultural operations on one side and the very popular Park City ski area on the other side. Blue Moon Ranch Alpacas is a full service ranch with animals and fiber for sale. Learn how they use fiber, roving, batts, and yarn to produce finished products. The Kamas State Fish Hatchery produces rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout and grayling fish. The fish are used to stock high mountain lakes, reservoirs, and rivers in northern Utah. The hatchery produces over 1.3 million cold water fish annually. Rees Fur Farm is the largest mink ranch in Summit County. Learn about this unique industry and the challenges they face in raising mink for fur products. The tour will include stops at one of their live mink sheds and processing plant. Visit the Olympic Park built for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games. During the games, the park hosted bobsleigh, skeleton, lug, Nordic ski jumping, and Nordic combined events. Today, the venue is an active official U.S. Olympic training center for Olympic and development level athletes.


    Tour # 16. Fishing, Hunting, and River Otters

    fishing-huntingThe Lee Kay Shooting Center provides hunter instruction and shooting ranges for archery, rifle, and shotgun. Adjacent is a Utah Wildlife Resources fish hatchery which raises tiger muskies—a sterile cross between a true muskie and a northern pike. These giant pike are stocked in Utah reservoirs to control problem forage fish. Skretting Company is one of the largest fish food manufacturing companies in the world. We will tour their modern factory in Tooele County. A watershed improvement project conducted by the Utah Department of Natural Resources in the Vernon City area has provided vegetation treatments on approximately 1.3 million acres. The project has benefitted wildlife, cattle, and sheep and improved the overall watershed. The Provo River reclamation project in the Midway City area re-established several miles of prime fishing habitat and is also home to a new group of river otters.


    Tour #17. Salt Flats to Alfalfa

    salt-flatsVisit the world-renowned Salt Flats, a salt processing plant, Bonneville Raceway, the Enola Gay hangar, the Donner Party route, and a forage processing facility. Visit Standlee’s state-of-the-art forage processing facility just west of Salt Lake International Airport. Standlee compresses hay from the intermountain region and ships it by land and sea around the world. From Standlee, travel to the Cargill Salt Plant which produces salt in large evaporation ponds along the shore of the Great Salt Lake. See how salt and other minerals are harvested. Travel across the Salt Flats which are world renowned for their stark beauty and are a popular site for advertising, wedding photos, and movie filming. See the route of the Donner Party and artifacts they left behind on their ill-fated trek. Visit the famous Bonneville Raceway where land speed records are attempted and set. In late summer, the flats are the site of Speed Week where a straight line course of 12 miles is used to attempt land speeds records for cars and motorcycles. Enjoy lunch at the Wendover Airport in the recently restored Officer’s Club. Tour the Enola Gay Hangar, atom bomb loading pit, and learn about Wendover Air Field’s top secret role during World War II.


    Tour #18. Utah’s Own--Commercial Tree Fruit and Vegetable Production


    Utah County is home to the largest concentration of tree fruit production in the state of Utah. Primary crops include tart cherries, apples, and peaches. Visit McMullin Orchards tart cherry processing plant where cherries are pitted and processed. Additionally, see how tart cherries are harvested using a large mechanical shaker. Cherry raisins are a popular product that is sold nationwide. Rowley’s Red Barn sells locally grown fruits and vegetables in a prime location right off Interstate 15. We will see their apple cider press and leave time for browsing through their unique gift store and ice cream counter. Olson’s Greenhouses grows a large variety of bedding plants for local stores. Their Salem facility covers several acres, and in total, Olson’s are among the largest growers of bedding plants in the nation. Harward Farms is among the most innovative vegetable growers in Utah. The owner is a successful young farmer who specializes in the grow-local movement, where he sells produce at over 20 roadside stands, as well as distributing to many local grocery stores.


    Tour #19. Silicon Slopes and Thanksgiving Point Gardens 

    silicon-slopesVisit the beautiful Thanksgiving Point Gardens and Museums and also see the new water-wise demonstration garden by the garden visitors center. Next, go across the street to visit Adobe Systems—a major software development company--one of the many high tech companies in the Point of the Mountain area that make up Utah’s so-called Silicon Slopes. Since 2010, the Slopes area has provided 40% of all the new jobs in the state. Lunch will be at the Garden Room overlooking the expansive Thanksgiving Gardens. Then onto Cook’s Greenhouses where they grow bedding plants and have a well-known retail garden center.

    Limit of 40 participants due to tour size limits at some stops.


    Tour # 20. Powder River Panels and Sundance Ski Resort 

    power-riverPowder River, founded in 1938, makes a variety of metal panels and beef handling equipment. This tour will showcase their modern manufacturing facility in Provo and then take participants to their working ranch in Heber City to demonstrate how the equipment works. A delicious Dutch oven lunch will be provided. Along the way, we will stop at Sundance Ski Resort and ride one of their chairlifts to see the beautiful mountain                scenery.

    Note: Limit of 25 participants and must be at least 18 years old.


    Tour # 21. Water and the West--Provo River Restoration and Midway Fish Hatchery 

    provo-riverThe Provo River Restoration Project restored several miles of prime fishing habitat that was displaced by construction of Jordanelle Reservoir. The Midway Fish Hatchery grow fingerling fish that are planted in near-by lakes and rivers. They have been a leader in combating whirling disease virus. Lunch will be at the Soldier Hollow Grill overlooking the Wasatch Mountain State Park and the Wasatch Mountains. The Central Utah Water Project provides culinary and irrigation water with a series of reservoirs and rivers. The Wasatch County hay farm uses water from a nearby treatment plant to grow high quality hay.


    Tour #22. Uniquely Utah Products--Elk, Cheese, and Milk

    elk-farmsThe Marriott Elk Farm raises elk for meat and antlers. The elk provide quite a site as you drive past a large pasture full of elk. The Wade Dairy is one of the most progressive in the area. They grow much of their own alfalfa and corn for feed and milk on a modern, large carrousel. Lunch will be at the Union Grill in Ogden where you will see the historic railroad locomotives and visit the Browning Arms collection. Intermountain Farmers Association provides livestock feed via three feed mills and has 24 country stores that sell feed, seed, chemicals, plants, and clothing. A stop at their Ogden Country Store will showcase the wide variety of products they carry for the farm and home yard. Beehive Cheese is a gourmet cheese producer with several award winning flavors. Walk through their large ripening room and visit their gift shop. Compass Minerals produces potassium sulfate fertilizer and other minerals in huge evaporation ponds along the shore of the Great Salt Lake.


    Tour # 23. Super Seminar Train the Trainer Farm Tour

    This tour will visit local farms to implement principles learned in the “Reading the Farm” Super Seminar sponsored by the Sustainable Ag Committee. The goal is to take an in-depth look at working farms and make recommendations to make the farm more sustainable.