Food + Farm Exploration Center Now Open To The Public

Photo courtesy of

The much anticipated Food + Farm Exploration Center in Plover is now open to the public. It’s grand opening was this past weekend.

“Everybody, when they come in here, is absolutely blown away,” says Andy Reitz. Reitz is the executive director of the Food + Farm Exploration Center. It’s located on Innovation Drive off of Interstate 39.

At its core, the building aims to connect people to where their food comes from. It showcases the journey of Wisconsin specialty crops from field to fork. Potatoes and vegetables are among the highlighted crops. In fact, you’ll find the world’s largest potato masher outside the building.

The center features 60 exhibits. The building also aims to serve the community of Plover with ample event spaces and a café.

“We want to do a lot of educational programming here, not just with the exhibits, but actual hands-on educational programming with our kitchen lab, makers space, and demonstration fields,” Reitz says.

The center is home to four, one-acre demo fields equipped with a center-pivot irrigator. One field will always have a cover crop on it. The other three fields will rotate through potatoes, carrots, beans, peas, sweet corn, etc. In the field, visitors will be able to dig up a potato plant, for example, and learn about root development and other aspects of growing vegetable crops.

The other component of the Food + Farm Exploration Center’s two-pronged education approach is outreach.

“We’re developing lesson plans and curriculum to get out into the school system. We’ll actually make visits to schools, conduct a lesson for a classroom or a school about agriculture — very basic to all the way very advanced,” Reitz says. “We really want to stress that there is an avenue for a career in agriculture.”

Technology at the center includes tractor simulators and an irrigation exhibit, to name a few.

Reitz says so far, the center has gotten great responses from visitors. You can plan your visit at