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See The Best Of Ag Tech At Wisconsin Farm Technology Days

See The Best Of Ag Tech At Wisconsin Farm Technology Days
State's largest farm show kicks off Tuesday in Barron County.

Show organizers promise there will be plenty to see and do at the 2013 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Barron County near Dallas.

The show will feature daily field demonstrations, several theme tents and more than 600 commercial exhibits in Tent City.

This year's show will be held Tuesday, July 9, through Thursday, July 11 at Breezy Hill Dairy in southern Barron County. The farm is owned and operated by Alex and Mary Olson. Alex began dairy farming in 1981 with his parents. Alex and Mary took over management and ownership of the farm in 2001. They steadily expanded their land base and their dairy herd. In 2001, they expanded from 75 cows to 125 cows. In 2003, they built a modern freestall set up and increased their herd size to 300 cows. A fire in 2007 destroyed their flat-barn parlor and some heifer facilities. A new milking parlor was built. Today, the Olsons milk 485 cows and raise 415 heifers on farm 700 acres of owned and rented land.

Visitors will not be allowed to walk through the farm buildings due to biosecurity concerns. They can take guided tours on trams.

"One of the things people will be able to see is the Olsons have installed a new state-of-the-art manure handling system for separating solids from liquids," says Tim Jergenson, Barron County Extension agriculture agent and executive secretary of the 2013 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. "It's a relatively low-cost system. They also installed a leachate control and handling system for their bunker silos. That will be part of the farm tour."

The Olsons and some 1,200 Barron County volunteers have worked countless hours during the past three years to plan every detail of the event, ensuring visitors will see the latest and greatest farm technology Wisconsin agriculture has to offer.

Field demonstrations
The show will feature daily field demonstrations, several theme tents and more than 600 commercial exhibits in Tent City. Lots of experts will be on hand to answer questions about everything from water quality to dairy modernization, says  Jergenson.

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Jergenson says field demonstrations will be held daily from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 200 acres. Demonstrations will include:
*pull-type and self-propelled mower-conditioners
*rakes, mergers and tedders
*pull-type and self-propelled forage harvesters
*blowers and silage baggers
*large rectangle and large round balers
*bale processors and wrappers

Hundreds of equipment manufacturers and dealers from the Midwest will be on site to discuss visitors' needs and available options.

Jergenson says, "One thing we are really excited about is we're going to be the first Wisconsin Farm Technology Days to use primarily biodiesel for all of our field demonstrations. It's a partnership through Sun Power Bio-Diesel and the Wisconsin Soybean Association."

A Ride and Drive area will be located near Tent City. A variety of equipment will be available for test-driving, including autosteer tractors, compact tractors, sprayers, skid-steer loaders and lawn mowers.

"We're also going to have some demonstrations with sprayers out in the field,"Jergenson says.

New this year
Baxter Black, an American cowboy, poet, philosopher, former large-animal veterinarian and radio and television commentator, will be at the show on Wednesday.

"He will make two presentations at 11 a.m. and another show at 3:30 p.m.," Jergenson says. "We're excited about that. It's something unique for Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. He is available through Ranch Equipment."

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Also new this year, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will give demonstrations on tub grinders.

"We're going to be grinding up hay bales in tub grinders," Jergenson explains. "We're going to mount some video cameras above tub grinders so visitors will be able to watch how it grinds and mixes at the same time. It's like a field demonstration, but there will be big screens for them to watch under canopies."

Volunteers make the show
"We have more than 1,200 volunteers," Jergenson says. "I've always heard about the leadership opportunities Wisconsin Farm Technology Days brings to a county and for the last three years, I've been getting to see this work first-hand. We have between 70 and 80 people who are chairs and co-chairs. They are a really diverse group and it is been exciting to watch them learn to work together and grow in their roles. They've received lots of leadership training and I think this will make Barron County a better place to live."

The Olsons have been great to work with, Jergenson notes.

"It's important to have hosts who are flexible and easy to get along with and they have been outstanding," he says.

Cost of admission is $5 per person. Parking is free.

"It will be the best $5 you ever spent," Jergenson says. Children 12 years old and younger will be admitted free.

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