Today, the area formerly occupied by the Stockyards sits empty. That’s why there’s a movement underway to create the Stockyards Ag Experience Barn and Plaza. Individuals, farmers, businesses, ag groups and the City of Sioux Falls are collaborating to plan this unique site.
The 3.7-acre development will incorporate opportunities for history, education and recreation. The design concept walks visitors from “Pasture to Plate,” using original Stockyards remnants including the Morrell’s tunnel entry and Stockyards catwalk, the pump house, Stockyards pen gates, and even the Stockyards iconic pig.
At the entrance to the Plaza, visitors will walk into a beamed open space seeded in native grasses – reminiscent of Ag fields. Just beyond the entrance on the left, visitors will be able to walk through a replica livestock truck drop off. Interpretive exhibits and digital display boards on history of Ag, stockyards, and banking in the region will be found throughout. The original elevated catwalk will let visitors of all ages oversee ‘livestock pens’.
A replica livestock scale that moves into small livestock stage ‘selling’ area will be followed by an interpretive exhibit of a renovated tunnel building leading to meat processing plant across street still in operation.
A picnic shelter and onsite parking makes for a relaxed and enjoyable outing for families and locals who may simply wish to enjoy the Plaza over their lunch hour.
The Stockyards Ag Experience is a demonstration of Ag’s relevance to most everyone, not just farmers and the Ag industry. Individuals, families, schools, various non-profit organizations, and other educational institutions will have the unique opportunity to learn the story right where the story happened.
The Plaza will be free to any and all who visit.