The Group Travel Leader

APR 2015

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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18 A P R I L 2 0 1 5 GROUP GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E MISSISSIPPI RIVER FARMING Though most of Iowa's food comes from farms on land around the state, the Mississippi River has provided a source of alternative "aquaculture" for years. On a cruise with Maiden Voyage Tours, groups learn about the history of harvesting seafood on the back- waters of the river. Maiden Voyage cruises are captained by Robert Vavra, a former clammer, who tells passengers about the freshwater clams, mus- sels and other creatures that have been gathered in this area of northeastern Iowa since the days of the Native Americans. Groups hear about the evolution of these primitive techniques into the modern clamming industry and see how pearls harvested from these animals are used to make buttons. In addition to these educational excursions, Maiden Voyage offers Tom Sawyer cruises, bird-watching eco-cruises and Friday- night music cruises. W W W.M A I D E N VOYAG E TO U RS.C O M 3 HIGH-TECH FARMING Near the rural town of Donahue, Cinnamon Ridge Farms is a family-run company with a sprawling 4,000 acres of agricultural land. The staff there has combined centuries-old farming tradition with modern techniques and technologies, raising corn, soybeans, pigs and dairy cattle. Tours of the farm take groups to a specially designed view- ing room, where they can see the modern "wean to finish" pig production facilities firsthand without compromising the herd's biosecurity. From there, visitors see the dairy facility and learn about how the farm uses special robotic machines to milk its herd of Jersey cattle. After the tour, groups can stay for a catered meal on the farm or visit the farm's store, The Country Cupboard, to shop for eggs, beef, bacon and dairy products from animals raised on the farm, as well as baked goods prepared fresh on-site. W W W.TO U RM Y FA RM.C O M 2

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