Farming in the Desert for 100 Years
Powell Interpretive Agriculture Tours
At the base of Heart Mountain next to Yellowstone National Park, Powell is in northwest Wyoming. Fossils tell us the Basin was once lush with vegetation. The Shoshone irrigation project allows this high desert to bloom again and provide food for our nation.
The Buffalo Bill Dam holds water that releases into miles of tunnels, canals and smaller dams that deliver water to farms in Powell, Wyoming. This monumental effort started construction in 1904. The dam was completed in 1910 as a part of the Shoshone Project, a Bureau of Reclamation venture. The Cary Homesteading Act brought farmers westward to work the irrigated land for four districts: Garland (1907), Frannie (1917), Willwood, (1927) and Heart Mountain (1946).
City of Powell, an Agricultural Town
Powell was incorporated in 1909. It has been an agricultural community ever since. Farmers in Powell are innovative. A robust influence from the University of Wyoming Research and Extension Center as well as the Northwest College agricultural programs positions our large family farms to be leaders in the industry.
Our grass-fed beef is lean, our barley is golden, local foods are just better in Powell, Wyoming. Learn the secrets of farming in the desert and how our local irrigation and farming practices makes your food look and taste better. The Powell Visitor Center hosts agriculture and local foods tours for bus tours, custom tours, and self-guided tours.
Contact the Powell Visitor Center 307-754-3494, [email protected]
- Bus Tour Rates - Contact Powell Visitor Center (May 15 - Sept 15)
- Custom Tours are 3.5 hours and are a flat rate of $300 (May 15 - Sept 15 except Park County Fair week July 23-27)
- Community Tours available through PVCE (May 15 - Sept 15)
- Self-Guided Tours coming soon with our Agriculture and Local foods app John Wesley Powell Agriculture Tour (anytime)
Take a Powell Agricultural Tour today — pick your experience.
Your Base Camp to Explore the Wilds of Wyoming
Do you have what it takes to be a Homesteader?
Imagine, you have traveled by wagon, over mountains and across a high desert made up of dry silty earth held in place only by wiry sage brush. The wind blows the loose earth relentlessly, covering your face and your hands, getting caked in your hair.
Weary from the journey, you arrive at the Homesteading office to acquire your parcel of land, which the federal government has told you that you have five years to make productive. You take ownership of a small dwelling called a sod house. The workers who built the dam and irrigation canals that you rely on once lived in this second-hand structure.
They have moved on, and you remain to bring life to the desert — to grow crops for your family and the nation. You are a Homesteader.
Shoshone Irrigation Project
Powell, Wyoming was a part of the Shoshone Project — a federal Reclamation Project in 1904 that brought irrigation to the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming to expand productive farmland westward. The people who settled here were rugged and hardworking Homesteaders. The town of Powell was incorporated in 1909 and has been an agricultural community for over a hundred years.
Highlight of the Homesteader Museum
The Beaver Homestead is a favorite of visitors from all over the world. In the backyard of the Homesteader Museum in Powell, Wyoming, surrounded by antique farm equipment, there is a sense of extraordinary faith and fortitude: faith in oneself, faith in one's family, faith in the town — the kind of overwhelming faith it takes to toil in the desert.
Visit the Homesteader Museum and take a tour. The Homesteader Museum is the steward of the stories of Powell’s ancestors — the people of our nation who chose to move west.
Way to the Hot Springs
Way to the Big Horns