After 32 years of working as the Calumet County Extension agriculture agent and six years as ag program liason, working with new ag agents around the state, Matt Glewen has a new job. On Jan. 6, the 56 year old began work at the general manager of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days.
Ron Schuler, who became general manager in 2009, will continue working and helping train Glewen until July 11 when the 2013 show in Barron County concludes and Schuler retires. Schuler took over for Glenn Thompson who was general manager of the show from 1991 to 2009.
Glewen had the opportunity to serve as the executive secretary when Calumet County hosted the show in 1993 at Schneider Brothers farm near Hilbert.
"I really enjoyed it when we hosted the show," Glewen explains, "not that it wasn't somewhat stressful. I enjoyed having all of the movers and shakers in our county working together. It was amazing to see how much could get done and how quickly it got done. In a rural community the whole community gets involved."
A Fond du Lac County native, Glewen grew up near Dotyville and graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in animal science. In December 1980, he completed his master's degree at UW-Madison.
Glewen admits the show has changed a lot in the past 20 years. "It's a lot more complex than it used to be," he says. "It seems like every aspect of the show has more layers and more details."
The 2013 show will be held in Barron County July 11-13 at Breezy Hill Dairy owned by Alex and Mary Olson. Portage County will host the 2014 show and Dane County will get their turn in 2015.
"In April, we'll announce the county who will be hosting the 2016 show," Glewen notes.
Glewen says he has two goals as Wisconsin Farm Technology Days general manager.
"Obviously, the simple goal is to keep the show healthy and viable and as long as the counties are hosting it, that will involve supporting them," he explains. "However, the needs of exhibitors are constantly evolving and we need to be open to the changes that may dictate.
The other goal is a bit more complicated.
"We always taught how much leadership development occurs when a county hosts the show," he says. "I think that could be improved on. I think we could be a lot more effective in developing the leadership capacity of a county by building a leadership development program that we could offer to a county as a real benefit of holding a show."
Glewen believes the ag sector is really underrepresented in county government today.
"I think that is going to come back to haunt us," he says. "In this county in the past 10 years we only have had a couple of people on the county board who have any tie to agriculture."
Glewen is working out of his home near Chilton. He and his wife Shan have two grown sons. Will, 28, has a PhD. in mechanical engineering from UW-Madison and works for a firm in Washington state that does research and development. Their son Daniel, 24, graduated from UW-LaCrosse in 2012 with a bachelor's degree in physical education and coaching and is looking for a teaching job.