Group Tours

Dig In! Iowa's Ag Innovation Tour


posted on Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Last month, I represented Waterloo in promoting Iowa Ag Tours at IPW 2015 in Orlando, Florida. Put on by the U.S. Travel Association, IPW is the travel industry's premier international marketplace and largest generator of travel to the U.S. - it is NOT your typical tradeshow.

In just three days of intensive pre-scheduled business Iowa Ag Tours Mapappointments, more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from every region of the USA (representing all industry category components), and over 1,300 international and domestic buyers from 70+ countries conduct business negotiations that result in the generation of more than $4.7 billion (that's billion with a B) in future Visit USA travel.

So you may be wondering...what exactly is Iowa Ag Tours? Iowa Ag Tours is a collaborative effort between four communities in Iowa: Ames, Dubuque, Quad Cities, and Waterloo. Iowa Ag Tours is a customizable, agricultural-related tour across the state of Iowa.

Here is one of the routes groups can take:

  • Land in the “Windy City”, Chicago, Illinois, and take a motor coach to Dubuque, Iowa, where you will visit the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, the majestic botanical gardens, and take a river cruise.
  • After spending a night in Dubuque, travel to Waterloo, Iowa. Here, you will tour several John Deere facilities, including the John Deere Tractor Cab Assembly, the John Deere Engine Works, and the new John Deere Tractor & Engine Museum. End your day dining under the breathtaking Sistine Chapel at Galleria de Paco, then stay the night at the Isle Casino Hotel.
  • Next stop is Ames, Iowa. In Ames, visit several research farms and Iowa State University facilities. Stay a second night in Ames and travel to the Central Iowa Expo Site for the Farm Progress Show. Spend two days exploring the grounds and enjoying your Iowa agricultural experience. The Farm Progress Show is the nation’s largest outdoor ag event.
  • On your way to your final destination, stop at Kinze Manufacturing’s world headquarters, manufacturing facility, offices, and training center. Finally, arrive at the Quad Cities. Here, you will be able to explore the past, present and future of agriculture at the John Deere Pavilion and Store, tour a John Deere Factory, and visit a local farm for an up-close look at agriculture in the heartland. Your group will marvel at the process of loading grain for export on a barge at River Grain Gulf. Include a sunset dinner cruise or two-day Mississippi River cruise before returning to Chicago.

Iowa Ag Tours GatorThis was Iowa Ag Tours' third year attending IPW. We had a lot of successful appointments, and it was great visiting with both new and returning delegates. In addition to our fantastic booth location, this year we had a John Deere Gator at our booth. The Gator was a hit to say the least! Delegates had the opportunity to take a professional photo on the Gator, which we then emailed to them as a momento of their experience at the Iowa Ag Tours booth.

If your group is interested in booking an Iowa Ag Tour, please contact Erin Schmitz at the Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau for more information.

- Erin Schmitz, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau

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