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Walter Grain Farms to Host Farm Tech Days in 2019
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/27/2017

For only the second time in the show's six-decade history, a former host family of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will bring the event back to their farm. On Thursday, the Jefferson County FTD Committee announced that Walter Grain Farms, owned by Mike & Sarah Walter, will host the three-day outdoor ag exposition in July 2019. The same operation served as the site of the 1984 Wisconsin Farm Progress Days.

The Walters farm near Grellton with their two sons and their wives, Adam & Heather Walter and Brad & Kristi Walter. A daughter and two other sons also live nearby with their families. The operation grows corn, soybeans, winter wheat and alfalfa on over 6,000 acres. They also own a farm tiling and drainage business.

This is the third time that Jefferson County has held the show. Craig & Laura Beane and Bill & Jan Ward, who farmed near Fort Atkinson, joined forces to host in 1956. Some 28 years later, Mike Walter's parents, Bernard & Beverly Walter, hosted the show. The only other farm to ever hold it twice was Clinton Farms in Waupaca, which hosted in 1978 and 2003.

County Extension Agent Laverne Georgson told Wisconsin Ag Connection that the county's FTD Executive Committee seats are nearly filled and the group is already excited for what lies ahead now that a venue has been chosen.

"We received a number of applications and nominations for potential host farms and felt the Walter's operation seemed to be the most appropriate fit," Georgson said. "They are a well-respected family in our county and obviously they know exactly what to expect."

Often called the oasis between the two metros of Milwaukee and Madison, Georgson says dairy farming makes up the largest part of Jefferson County's farm economy, but corn, soybean and wheat production are also big business.

"In all, agriculture supports about 8,000 jobs here in Jefferson County," he said.

Meanwhile, Kewaunee County will host FTD this July 11-13 at Ebert Enterprises in Algoma. Wood County will bring the event back to central Wisconsin in July 2018 at the Sternweis and Heiman farms near Marshfield.

Farm Technology Days is run by a group comprised of representatives of state and federal agencies involved in agriculture and natural resources, the University of Wisconsin, and the agribusiness-industry and farming sectors.

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