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National Convention Tours

Please Choose Between Tour 2 or 3

Convention Tours and Activities at a Glance -

Pre-Conv tour

Tuesday, June 26 - Lake Taneycomo Water Adventure
Floating or Trout Fishing on Lake Taneycomo
**Trout Fishing Registration Deadline - June 1**

Option 1: Float Scenic Lake Taneycomo

floatingEnjoy a relaxing, 4-hour float trip on scenic Lake Taneycomo. Lake Taneycomo sits below Tablerock Dam and maintains an approximate year-round temperature of 50o F. The swiftness of the current, and hence, the length of the float trip, depends on whether electricity is being generated on that day.

floating Floaters may choose from a canoe, or a single, double, or triple kayak. For more information, please visit Lunch Included.

All participants must sign a waiver
prior to setting out on the lake

trout fishing

Option 2:
Lake Taneycomo Guided Trout Fly Fishing
(14 person limit)
**New Registration Deadline of June 1**
Team up with a friend or make a new acquaintance as you take part in this 5-hour, guided fishing trip on one of the premier trout hotspots in the country. Set out in a western style drift boat (no motor) with your guide and another participant in pursuit of rainbow and brown trout at this year-round, tail water fishery.

Whether you are a novice or a seasoned fly-fisherman, your guide will instruct you on how to pursue that trophy trout. While fly fishing gear is provided, all participants must bring eye protection (glasses, safety glasses) and headgear (hat, cap). Participants will be able to obtain a Missouri fishing license and trout stamp the day of the tour (the price for both are included in the ticket price). Because of the uncertainty of the currents from the electricity generating dam, wade fly fishing will not be available on this tour. fishingFor more information, please visit

The tour will leave the hotel at 6:00 am on Tuesday and drop off the fishermen first, then drop the floaters. Everyone will be picked up by 1:00 PM and receive a Barbecue lunch. You will return to the hotel by 3:45 PM.

Wednesday, June 27 - Heart of the Ozarks Tour

Stop 1: Dairy Farmers of America Research and Development Facility, Springfield, MO

DFA A development and testing facility for customers throughout the country, utilizing state-of-the-art technology to make shelf-stable consumer products, including sport drinks, coffee-based flavored drinks, cheese powders and flavors, infant formula, sour cream and cheese dips for well-known brands.

Stop 2: Best Sunrise DairyBest Sunrise
Best-Sunrise Dairy
is located in South Central Missouri at Houston, where "A Passion For Breeding Good Cows" has been a lifelong goal. Best-Sunrise is owned and operated by Richard & Shirley Best along with their son, Michael.

The Best's milk 100 Registered Holsteins with deep pedigrees that have produced the PBR award for 15th years, National show winners, All-Missouri winners, Distinguished Dairy Cattle Breeder Award, and the Gold Star Dairy award. Best's current BAA is 107.0. A highlight of our dairy was Feature story on cover page of Holstein World in 2002.

Best's have developed and bred many Excellent cows and have sold top quality animals in National and State sales. The ongoing ET program focusing on building cow families has helped to fuel their merchandising opportunities. Many cows in the herd produce well over 200,000 lifetime milk. Sons have also been sent to bull studs and cattle and embryos overseas.

Best's insist on feeding the best forage to the herd and raise the majority of the feed themselves. The herd is not feed a TMR or uses any BST. Cows are turned out onto grass as often as possible. Best's also have another passion for breeding Registered Border Collies. At Best Sunrise Dairy they've continually put more and more emphasis on breeding from good cow families.

Stop 3: Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum
Little House Books

In 1894, Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder, with their daughter Rose, settled on Rocky Ridge Farm near Mansfield, Missouri. They established a successful farm, built their own home and settled down permanently in the Ozark hills.

In 1932, Laura Ingalls Wilder published the first of her beloved Little House books, which described the pioneering of the Ingalls and Wilder families during the 1870's – 1890's. All nine manuscripts for these famous books were penned right here on Rocky Ridge Farm. For more information, please visit

Wednesday, June 27 - Precious Moments/Pythian Castle
Walking tour (suggest comfortable shoes)

This tour will begin at Precious Moments and include and then tour the Historic Pythian Castle in Springfield. Guests will return to the hotel around 3:30 PM.

Stop 1: Precious Moments
Precious MomentsIt all began more than thirty years ago, when Precious Moments® creator Sam Butcher began drawing the endearing teardrop-eye children he called "Precious Moments" as gifts for family and friends. Today, his Precious Moments artwork is among the most recognized art in the world, sharing messages of loving, caring and sharing with collectors from around the globe.

In 1984, Sam made a decision to settle somewhere where he could devote himself to what was truly important to him – his family and his art.

For many years Sam had dreamed of building a chapel where he could share his faith and spread the word of God with anyone who wished to visit. He was originally inspired by the sight of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in Rome. Sam's dream became a reality when he moved to Carthage. There, he was finally able to tackle the challenge of building the chapel he had envisioned for so long.

Today the Chapel is a stunning sight. Around every turn are murals, angels, stained glass, and other bits of Sam's artwork.

The beautiful grounds that surround the Chapel have been named Precious Moments Park. Over the years, Sam has added much to see and do – all reflections of his faith. The Fountain of Angels, Wedding Island, The Gallery and Gift Shop all make the Park experience an unforgettable one.

"It is my prayer," Sam says, "that through my work in the Chapel, I might share my faith with others and that the Spirit of God might touch the visitors' hearts and bring them to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, our Lord."

Stop 2: Pythian Castle
Pythian CastleThe castle was originally built by the Knights of Pythias as an orphanage and senior citizens home for its members and their families in 1913. It was called the Pythian Home of Missouri.

In 1942, the US military acquired the property by "Order of Immediate Possession" for use as offices and service club for recovering injured veterans from WWII. It became part of O'Reilly General Hospital. An invitation to 1943 Christmas Party here list all personnel working here at that time. The military maintained ownership of the property until 1993 when it was sold as "surplus".

Family Night Classic Cars & Family Fun Fest: Wednesday, June 27
**All ADULT & JUNIOR participants must sign a waiver**


Cruise through classic Chevy cars as you enter Hammons Field, home of the Double A Springfield Cardinals, for an evening of food and fun as we take over the field and facilities. Don't forget to vote for your favorite car. There will be separate voting for men, women and juniors.

You can dine on a buffet of classic stadium food from 6:30 to 8 pm. Have you ever noticed that everything tastes better at the ballpark?

This is your chance to feel like a major leaguer. Try your luck in a home run derby, take swings in the Cardinals' batting cage or just have your picture taken in the dugout with the mascot.

Hammons Field Off the field, there will be fun tucked into every corner of the ballpark. Try out the mechanical bull, the obstacle course or other big league entertainment options. Go inside the Cardinals' training facility to make your own music video with your friends. You will receive a copy of it on a complimentary disk to take home. The younger crowd has their own children's playground to enjoy. Behind-the-scenes tours of the facility will also be offered. If nothing else, you also can sit back, visit and watch the evening's highlights on the big screen. You never know who you might see up there bigger than life!

Bring your glove along and get ready to play!

Click here for Family Night Waiver. ALL ADULT & JUNIOR participants must have a signed waiver submitted.

Host Day
** Tour 1: Closed as of 6/6/12**
Please Choose between Tour 2 or 3

Tour 1: Century Farms Tour:
Robthom Farm, Groves-View Dairy, College of the Ozarks and Showboat Branson Belle

Tour 2: Country Attractions and Robthom: Bass Pro Outdoor World, Robthom Farm, PFI Western Wear and Showboat Branson Belle

Lunch and Dinner included on Tours 1 & 2.

Tour 3: Silver Dollar City: Spend the day at this unique park.

Lunch included at Silver Dollar City.

(See details of each tour stop below)

Robthom FarmRobthom

Robthom Farm is a family operation, with the fifth and sixth generations now on the farm. The focus is on breeding sound high type cows that last and produce well. Since the death in 2010 of Robert (Bud) Thomson, Jr. and son-in-law Alton Ling, the farm is operated by grandson Eric Ling, daughter Janice Ling, and son Mark Thomson, with other family members helping out.

Deep pedigrees, show winners, and high production have given Robthom cattle worldwide recognition. Foundation cow Robthom Bess Segis (VG-87 GMD) heads 10 direct generations of VG or EX Gold Medal Dams, as well as many additional Gold Medal descendents. Included is 8th generation GMD and All-American Nominee, Robthom Ivory Mark (2E-94) a Queen of the Breed finalist. She is the dam of 7 Excellent and 4 Very Good progeny, including Robthom Integrity (EX 96-GM), internationally known AI sire whose daughters were Grand at National Shows in five different countries. Another widely used AI sire and descendent is Robthom Moscow (EX 94-GM).

From the same family is Robthom Suzet Paddy (3E-95) EEEEE GMD-DOM, a former World Record Milk producer with 365d 5-09 2X 59,300m 3.9 2297f 3.4 2038p. Lifetime: 283,980 4.0 11,285 3.5 9,836. Suzet's last daughter, Robthom Sophie Integrity (4E-93) still in the herd at 12 years, was Reserve Grand at the Missouri State Fair in 2010. She has at 11-01 365 29376 4.0 1178 3.1 896.

One of the current favorites is Robthom Carolina Boss (2E-94, 95 MS). In 2010 she was Missouri Cow of the Year, the first Aged Cow, Best Bred and Owned, and Grand at the Missouri State Fair. In 2011 she was Grand at Ft. Worth Livestock Show. Another favorite Robthom Jiana Outside ET (2E-94) has 4-1 365 40,838 4.1 1668 2.8 1171. She was Reserve Grand at the Ft. Worth Livestock show and Reserve Grand at the Southern National in 2011. Robthom Lilah Lou (VG-86) a promising young cow, was the Intermediate Champion at both shows.

The Robthom crew would be pleased to have you visit and look over their herd in 2012.

Groves-View Dairy

groves Groves-View Dairy located in Billings, Missouri, was established in 1913. It is currently owned and operated by Lonnie and Donna Groves, along with their sons Brad and Todd. Brad’s wife Gail, and their children, Taylor and Kiera and Todd’s wife Sheila and their children Brittany, Grant and Bailey, also operate the dairy.

This 500-acre dairy is home to quality registered Holstein and Brown Swiss cattle. They currently milk 190 head twice a day in a double-six herringbone equipped with a DeLaval ALPRO system to monitor milk production. They currently have a rolling herd average of 23,824 4.3% 1022 3.2% protein 759. Cows are fed a TMR. Maximizing cow comfort is crucial which is apparent in their facilities. Groves’ also grow corn, wheat and alfalfa, and produce grass hay to feed to heifers.

Type and production are big players in the genetics of Groves-View cattle. They strive to develop elite cow families that can do well in any dairymen’s herd. Some major cow families that are at the heart of their breeding program include Groves-Vu Nation Lotus-EX 94, Fly-Higher Mac Mycca ET- VG 87, Regancrest Breya ET-VG 88 and many more. Their elite genetics has gained the interest of many breeders across the nation, and even China. They have several bulls under contract in A.I., and they have a strong embryo market.

Groves-View’s elite cow families, as well as their production levels have led them to numerous achievements including the Progressive Genetics Award for ten executive years and the Progressive Breeder Award in 2010 and 2011. Their biggest achievement to date was received last summer when Brad was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Young Holstein Breeder Award. This proved to the Groves family that anything is possible.

The Groves family is excited to host one of the farm tours of the 2012 National Holstein Convention. They are honored to have the opportunity to show their cattle and farm to fellow Holstein breeders. The Groves hope you enjoy your stay in Missouri and look forward to meeting with you.

More information regarding Groves-View can be found at

College of the Ozarks

College of the OzarksStudents at College of the Ozarks (originally called The School of the Ozarks), located at Point Lookout, MO, have been milking cows since the institution's beginning. In 1907 the first farm superintendent, B.F. Hall, was hired and The School purchased its first cow. For 104 years, students have operated an on-campus dairy to provide fresh milk for the dining hall.

It was not until the 1940s that the college milked registered cattle. The first registered cattle were Jersey and eventually referred to as the "Hyer Jersey Herd." In 1963, Nettie Marie Jones donated the W. Alton Jones dairy herd. This donation included outstanding registered Holsteins, tractors, farm equipment, and funds to build a new dairy facility.

C of O students are provided with the opportunity to graduate college debt-free through the College's work-study program. Rather than paying for tuition, they offset the cost by working campus jobs. Through this unique program they not only learn class room knowledge, but also gain work experience. Currently, C of O students milk between 50-60 head of 100 percent registered Holstein cows. Students also milk a small herd of Guernsey College of the Ozarks Milk Bottlecows. The December 2010 classification of the herd resulted in a B.A.A of 103.6 percent. The dairy is managed by full-time Dairy Farm Manager James Penn and Assistant Dairy Farm Manager Tammy Holder. During the school year, 28-32 students work at the dairy. Students play a vital role in the dairy's success. They are responsible for milking, conducting health checks, treating cows/calves, vaccinating, feeding, processing milk, handling milk sales and various other daily chores.

C of O dairy facilities include a modern 60-cow free-stall barn and a rotational grazing system. During September through May cows are milked three times a day. During summer months, dairy staff manages cows through the rotational grazing system. These two distinct styles of management broadens students work experience and education. The dairy has student-led monthly meetings, which help to keep everyone goal oriented and inspired to achieve excellence.
Mission: The mission of College of the Ozarks is to provide the advantages of a Christian education for youth of both sexes, especially those found worthy, but who are without sufficient means to procure such training. Vision and Goals: The vision of College of the Ozarks is to develop citizens of Christ-like character who are well-educated, hard-working, and patriotic.

Showboat Branson BelleBelle Deck

Take your family on a fantastic lake cruise aboard the magnificent Showboat Branson Belle in Branson, Missouri! Journey past lush Ozark Mountains on the crystal clear waters of Table Rock Lake during your 2-hour lake cruise where you'll experience fabulous Branson dining and the best in Branson shows. The Showboat is like no other paddle boat: 78 feet wide and 265 feet long makes it very stable. In addition, Table Rock Lake is very calm and winds are minimal. You will notice very little movement on board the vessel as it moves through the water.

Your 2-hour lake cruise across beautiful Table Rock Lake includes a delicious 3-course meal prepared fresh daily onboard the ship. The Branson dinner show features all-new acts. The all-new show FUNNY FIDDLE features the world-class comedy and fantastic music of Chris Pendleton! Chris combines her love for music with a comedic outlook. This fresh,Belle Show funny, one-of-a-kind show is perfect for young and old alike, and will keep you smiling long after you disembark!

Encore!, features not one but two headlining acts! First, see Janice Martin, the world's only aerial violinist, as she soars high above the stage exhibiting aerial acrobatics and violin virtuosity. Her high-flying and graceful stunts as well as her musical artistry will leave you breathless!

Encore! also features The Show Men, a six-member all-male vocal group performing an impressive variety of selections from contemporary hits to song book standards and more. Dynamic vocals combined with amazing range make this ensemble a musical powerhouse. Join us for an unforgettable musical journey!

Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World
Bass Pro
In 1971 young Johnny Morris, frustrated by the lack of tackle in local stores, rented a U-Haul trailer and took off across the country filling it with the newest premium fishing tackle he could find. When he returned home to Springfield, Missouri, Johnny started in the fishing business with eight feet of space in his dad's liquor store which became a popular stopping-off place for local and out-of-state fishermen on the way to the Ozark's famous bass lakes.

A number of these anglers started calling when they got back home wanting Johnny to send them some of his specialized Bass Pro Shops tackle. In 1974, in response to this demand, he printed and mailed his first Bass Pro Shops catalog. Today, outdoor enthusiasts around the world look forward to opening the mail and getting their favorite Bass Pro Shops catalog, while many enjoy visiting and shopping In 1978, Johnny introduced the first professionally rigged boat, motor and trailer fish-ready package. The Bass Tracker boat "package" revolutionized the marine industry. Bass Pro Shops today isn't just fishing. It is an outdoor retail leader in hunting, camping, nature gifts, outdoor cooking, and much more.

PFI Western Wear

PFI Western Store originated in 1975 as Preferred Farmers Incorporated, a dusty livestock feed and farm supply business.

Though its means were modest an evolution into western wear is where the store ended up. Randy Little grew up on a dairy farm not far from Springfield and eventually created PFI Western Store.

Real horses can often be found in the parking lot, trying on a new saddle (more than 300 saddles are always on display) or being fit for a custom-made saddle by one of PFI’s skilled saddle makers. In either case, the PFI secret to saddles is deceptively simple:Always make the horse and the customer happy.

Inside PFI, the “anything but ordinary” theme continues. The entire retail center has an undecidedly un-mall-like feel. Instead of metal clothes racks, fashions hang on rustic wooden displays, where a customer is likely to look up and see a bobcat peering down at him. But of course it’s the jaw-dropping array of boots that puts the Western in PFI Western store. (Even Kenny Rogers once sent a limo to PFI pick up 15 pairs of cowboy boots.)

PFI also has an adjacent Wine and Cheese store that is home to hundreds of varieties of wine, wine accessories, gift baskets, coffees, cheese, meats, dessert mixes, dips, sauces, spices, and specialty food items.

Camp Barnabas holds a special place in PFI’s heart. The Purdy, MO based camp is a place where children suffering from disease and disability can experience the kind of outdoor adventures – swimming, camping, creating crafts for Mom and Dad – most of us took for granted as children.

PFI building

Tour 3: Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City
At Silver Dollar City, you'll discover the best Branson shows, attractions, and entertainment. The Culinary and Craft School features seasonal cooking and craft classes. Experience 30 thrilling attractions and rides. Visit over 60 unique craft shops. Enjoy live entertainment featuring more than 40 shows daily. Watch and learn from Branson Craftsmen demonstrating skills in pioneer crafts.

While receiving an admission fee that cannot be matched, each ticket holder will be receiving a $10 meal ticket to purchase a meal during their stay in the park. There are too many different selections to mention but if you want it, you can surely find something to please your taste. The only problem--finding time to eat!

Marvel CaveSilver Dollar City theme park evolved around the entrance to one of nature's greatest wonders, Marvel Cave. When visiting Silver Dollar City, a tour of Marvel Cave is always included with your ticket, with tours departing approximately every half hour, weather permitting. Marvel Cave is a wet limestone cave, complete with formations that are still alive and growing! To begin, you will travel 300 feet below the surface and enter the Cathedral Room. The breathtakingly beautiful Cathedral Room is the largest cave entrance room in the United States. A trained cave guide will host your journey.

America's Biggest KidsFest! ALL-NEW - Half Dollar Holler, the million dollar addition that's all about big adventure for little explorers! This woodland wonderland with treetop fun houses, climbing nets, sand play and more. Plus, our hand-carved carousel returns! Half Dollar Holler is designed especially for kids ages 3 - 7.

Silver Dollar City Stunt DogSee spectacular National KidsFest shows designed with your family in mind! The Fabulous Wallendas, legendary Guinness World Record High Wire Walkers & Winners of the coveted Silver Clown Award. NEW LUMA - an en-LIGHT-ening production using high-tech illumination techniques for a three-dimensional show centered around The City's own Marvel Cave! NEW Gazillion Bubbles featuring amazing masterpieces of bubble artistry on the grand stage with lasers and spectacular light effects! Everyone's favorite Cartoon Characters return to meet and greet your kids!

Silver Dollar City has over 30 rides & attractions with something for every member of the family. Spine-tingling, super-swooping, multi-looping thrills await aboard rides like The GIANT Swing, WildFire®, PowderKeg® and more! And, soak your summer in fun with wild water rides including RiverBlast, Lost River of the Ozarks.

additionalWant to attend another tour on host day?

You can purchase Silver Dollar City tickets at our great prices that will include the meal ticket and be able to use them for seven days following the convention. That way you can attend one of the other Host Day Tours. Extend your stay in Missouri and spend time with the whole family after the convention and visit Silver Dollar City from Sunday, July 1 - Saturday, July 7. You can attend another host day tour and play at Silver Dollar City after the convention with your family. It's up to you!

Remember: If you want to attend Silver Dollar City following convention you would still need to purchase a Host Day tour ticket for a separate tour on Thursday.

NEW Independence Day Celebration July 4, 2012! Silver Dollar City will be open until 10pm celebrating this national holiday with a special opening ceremony and morning salute to veterans, an old-fashioned ice cream social, AND FIREWORKS!

Non-Delegate Tour Friday, June 29 -
Ozark Scenic Railway and Shopping with Patty and Betty
(100 Person Limit)

Stop 1: Branson Scenic Railway
TrainRide with us on a 40-mile round trip excursion thru Ozark foothills and tunnels. Dine on the train as you enjoy a delicous breakfast. You will learn the history of the area as you cross bridges and trestles. Relax and get away from it all.

Experience the luxury of rail travel from yesteryear. Choose from dome cars to coach seating aboard vintage equipment for the 40's & 50's. Stroll through the train to see the unique features of the different cars. Concessions available on all excursions. For more information visit

Stop 2: Lunch and Shopping at Branson Landing

Branson Landing Then we will travel to Branson Landing - a waterfront shopping, dining and entertainment adventure. Walk the boardwalk along the lake and view the magnificent $7.5 million water fountain spectacular, synchronized to light, sound, music and fire!

Lunch will be on your own and you can choose from over 24 restaurants raging from steak, fish, seafood, Irish, bar be que, sweets, burgers, bar and grills. There is definitely something for everyone!

You can then take a seat near the lake and take in the beauty of the Ozark Mountains and valley or stroll through over 61 shops including Belk Department Store and Bass Pro Shops. The quaint setting is as beautiful as it is modern.

The tour will leave the hotel at 7:00 AM on Friday and return to the hotel by 3:00 PM. Enough time for you to relax and get ready for the National Convention Cattle Sale that evening!