Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is July 23-25 in Jefferson County. The farm show will be held at the Walter family farm, and organizers say there will be plenty to see and do for all ages.
The Walter family hosted the 1984 show on their farm 3 miles south of Watertown, on Richart Lane near County A. Today, Mike and Sarah Walter farm 6,000 owned and rented acres with son Brad and his wife, Kristi, and son Adam and his wife, Heather. They grow corn, soybeans and wheat.
“Over the years, the Walter family milked cows; raised veal calves, feeder steers, heifers and pigs; and now they raise crops,” says LaVern Georgson, Jefferson County Extension agriculture agent.
Showgoers are invited to take to the fields to see the latest innovations in hay and forage harvesting equipment. Demonstrations will be held from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. all three days of the show.
Georgson says showgoers will see alfalfa haylage mowed, merged and chopped each day. After it is harvested, the crop will be delivered to neighboring farms.
“Companies will have several minutes to introduce their piece of equipment,” Georgson explains. “Machinery will then travel over a thousand-foot block. The units will shut off so farmers can walk the field to inspect the machines and their performance. Farmers will get a chance to talk to company reps in the field after the equipment runs.”
FIELD DEMONSTRATIONS: Major farm equipment manufacturers will be on hand daily for field demonstrations during Wisconsin Farm Technology Days.
In addition to forage field demonstrations, showgoers will see wheat combining demonstrations, baling of wheat straw, tiling demos and tillage demos.
New activities for 2019
“New this year, we are introducing theme days for the Future Generations Area youth area. Students are encouraged to attend the show,” Georgson says. “We have an Ag Career Day on Tuesday [July 23]. It’s not only to celebrate agriculture, but it highlights ag career possibilities.
“On Wednesday, we will celebrate farmers and agriculture with Thank a Farmer Day. Thank you cards and materials are sponsored by Culver’s.
“Lastly, on Thursday, we will host Mascot Day to celebrate local businesses in Jefferson County and the surrounding areas.”
On July 24, Farm Tech Days will offer extended hours for the first time in the show’s history.
“It goes until 7 p.m., with reduced admission at 3 p.m.,” Georgson says. “We planned the extended hours for people who want to learn about agriculture, and we know there are a lot of part-time farmers who work and farm and want to come to the show, too.”
Regular daily admission is $8. Youth 12 and under are free. Reduced admission is $5 after 3 p.m. on July 24, providing access to Tent City.
“We’re having a block party on Wednesday [July 24] that will take place in the Jefferson County Showcase Innovation Square area in Tent City,” Georgson says. “There will be a Taste of Jefferson County sampling event featuring some unique foods, including trout from Rushing Waters Trout Farm near Palmyra and deep-fried cheese curds from Crawfish Junction in Milford. We are including breweries, wineries, food and cheese companies from the surrounding area.”
Attendees can register online in advance and pay the $15 fee for the Taste of Jefferson County event.
Comedian Charlie Behrens, known as the Manitowoc Minute Guy, will be at the Block Party entertaining guests from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
“We’re expecting at least 1,000 people for the Taste of Jefferson County. We think a lot of people will also come to see Charlie Behrens while enjoying the sampling,” Georgson says.
SHOW TICKETS: Daily admission to the show is $8 for adults and children 13 and older. Parking is free. On July 24, extended hours will be offered from 3 until 7 p.m. for a reduced admission price of $5 for adults.
Volunteers make the show
More than 150 volunteers have worked countless hours during the past three years to prepare for the 2019 Wisconsin Farm Tech Days in Jefferson County.
“We have 150 volunteers who have helped plan the show,” Georgson says. “We are expecting about 1,500 volunteers to assist during the show.”
According to Georgson, Farm Tech Days has helped many volunteers in the county make new friends.
“The group is working well together,” he says. “There are excellent people taking responsibility for their areas and doing a very good job. We’ve seen a tremendous opportunity for leadership with this show. It’s busy, but it’s a lot of enjoyment to work with so many fine people from around the county.”
Other highlights at the show include:
- Wisconsin’s 72nd Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin will be on hand to meet showgoers all three days.
- “Grillologists” Mad Dog and Merrill will entertain and educate attendees with the finer points of grilling.
- Free water testing will be offered in the Progress Pavilion.
- The Natural Resources Conservation Service will have a soil pit demonstration. It’s a short, interactive walking tour where visitors will learn how soils were formed and about different textures and structures of soil.