Students Experience Big City, Learn About Cooperatives
By Toby Kane
Each year, several South Dakota Farmers Union youth take part in a Three Year Senior Achievement trip. The trip celebrates their hard work and leadership and offers an opportunity to visit Minneapolis and learn more about cooperatives.
This year’s students departed for Minneapolis on July 26 where they visited Farmers Union Industries, Seward Cooperative food stores and Chateau Cooperative housing near the University of Minnesota.
Besides learning about different cooperatives, there was time for some fun, too. The three-year students enjoyed the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, a trip to an outlet mall and a full tour of Target Field followed by a Minnesota Twins game.
Education Director Rachel Haigh-Blume says the trip is not only about education and sightseeing, but also a chance to introduce students to a larger city. “They get to explore downtown and experience something different than where we’re from.”
Levi Nightingale of White Lake agrees. “It was cool to be in a big city and see how different it is from South Dakota,” says Nightingale. He was also impressed from touring Farmers Union Industries in Redwood Falls. “I liked seeing how you can start from the bottom and work your way up and learn the business.”
Farmers Union Industries operates a number of companies supplying specialized products and services for the ag industry and customer households.
Rachel Gerlach of Stickney was surprised by the different types of cooperatives she experienced. “I didn’t know there were that many cooperatives out there like the housing and grocery stores.” Gerlach also loved touring Target Field and taking in the Twins game. The three-year group returned home on July 28 after an exciting couple days of cooperative tours and fun with friends.