International Farm Tours

April  10, 2014

      Tour operators from five countries will tour the Quad Cities this weekend. The Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau will try to convince them to organize "agri-tours" to this area and the midwest.

      Dan Gleason, director of sales for the bureau, says for the past nine years the Quad Cities has worked with Champaign County in eastern Illinois to promote farm tours - for students, professors, corporations, farmers, and farm associations. 

      "We customize the itinerary to fit the needs of the client. So if they're looking for corn and soy, we try to get to corn and soy farms. Same thing for dairy, cattle, and hogs. A lot of them want to look at hog confinements, as well as family farms."

      Gleason says this weekend the tour operators will visit the John Deere Pavillion in Moline, and the Deere Wiman House, take a dinner cruise on the Celebration Belle riverboat, and stop at Cinnamon Ridge Farm in Donahue, in Scott County.  Farm owner John Maxwell will show them his dairy operation, his John Deere equipment, and talk about the soil.

      "It's really neat to see an international group out in our farm fields just holding the soil of the midwest, and how rich and beautiful it is. Our soil is just amazing for them. And John does a wonderful job explaining all of that to these people"

      Members of the group visiting this weekend come from Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Norway, and China.