The South Dakota State Agricultural Heritage Museum, Brookings

#6 of 7 in Things to do in Brookings
History Museum · Hidden Gem · Museum
Our Story:

Founded in 1884, the South Dakota Agricultural Heritage Museum began as a zoological collection on campus and evolved to a South Dakota Agricultural College Collection. It wasn't until 1965 that it started to become a formalized museum with a focus on collecting agricultural history. In 1973, the museum was transferred to the Office of Education and Cultural Affairs. In 1976, the museum was renamed to the South Dakota State Agricultural Heritage Museum and moved into the Stock Judging Pavilion where it is housed today. In 1995, the museum was transferred back to SDSU with the continued focus of collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of South Dakota agriculture.

The Building:

Built in 1918, the Stock Judging Pavilion served as the primary livestock teaching facility at South Dakota State University until 1977. For its first 70 years, the Stock Judging Pavilion served as an instructional center for stock judging and meat science and was home of the Little International, a yearly agricultural exposition. The pavilion’s neoclassical architectural style is similar to that of other livestock pavilions built on college campuses and state fairgrounds between 1900 and 1925. The Stock Judging Pavilion was placed on the National Register of Historic places in 1980 and restored to its 1925 appearance.
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The South Dakota State Agricultural Heritage Museum reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
22 reviews
  • This is a very good, clean museum of agricultural implements and other aspects of the local heritage. It is well worth a visit, and easily taken in with the Art Museum literally across the street...  more »
  • This was a wonderful stop on our visit to Brookings. It is filled with machinery and displays that chronicle the history of agriculture in the area. Our favorite part of the museum was an exhibit...  more »
  • The museum presents a lot of information on many subjects: farm machinery, weather, agricultural innovations and more. There is a lot to see and to read. You really need to spend here a couple of...  more »
  • All the updates to this Agricultural Museum look great. It's a necessary part of the our history, displayed nicely.
  • Free! Interesting farm machinery trivia.
  • If you like history, it's a neat place to stop.
  • Great little area for kids to learn about agriculture, including where eggs come from and how grain is moved into bins.
  • It's got good stuff if you're into museums

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