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Blue Top Farms, Feltz Family to Co-Host 2014 Farm Tech Days
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/10/2012

The location for the 2014 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days has been announced in Portage County. On Monday, organizers of the state's largest farm show introduced members of the Peter Zakrzewski family, who farms with his brother-in-law, Michael Hintz; and the Ken & Jackie Feltz family, who will co-host the event in August of that year. The farms are located just east of Plover.

Blue Top Farms began in 1958 as a partnership between Jim & Delores Zakrzewski and Emeryck & Irene Zakrzewski. The partners initially farmed 160 acres of land for hog production, but switched to beef cattle in the mid-1970s. The beef herd grew to nearly 2,000 head at its peak until 1997 when the Zakrzewskis sold their animals and part of their land for the development of the Portage County Business Park. The remainder of their farmland was used for producing grains and vegetables. Today, Blue Top Farms grow 1,200 acres of field corn, soybeans, green beans and sweet corn. Farm operations are carried out by Jim and Delores' son, Peter, and son-in-law, Michael Hintz.

Feltz Family Farms is a fourth generation dairy farm owned and operated by Ken and Jackie Feltz. The operation was established by Ken's great-grandfather when his family immigrated from Poland. Their son Jared, who is a junior at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, will carry the farm into the fifth generation. Through the years, green beans, sweet corn, and peas have been grown on the farm. Since 1995, the focus has been on dairy cattle--with high priority placed on cow comfort to ensure quality milk and top production. Today, the Feltz's milk 500 cows and employ 11 full-time workers.

As hosts, the two farms, along with their neighbors, will go to work immediately with the Executive Committee and state Farm Technology Days coordinators to plan crop rotations to fit with the field demonstrations.

FTD Board Chairman Rick Klemme says the area has an ideal infrastructure in place to handle the large number of people who travel to the event.

"Portage County is one of the most diverse agricultural counties in our state," Klemme said. "From canning, to livestock and dairy farming, and of course potatoes, there's plenty to see in this part of the state."

Portage County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent Ken Schroeder will serve as the local executive committee secretary.

Meanwhile, this is the second time that Portage County is hosting the event, as they held Farm Progress Days at the Burns Family Farm in 1982.

This summer, FTD will be held in Outagamie County by the Handschke and Bruette families of Sugar Creek Farms, and the Heideman family from Heideman Farms near New London. That show has been scheduled for July 17-19.

Barron County will be the host in July 2013, being held that year at Breezy Hill Dairy, owned by the Alex and Mary Olson family near Dallas, just south of Rice Lake.

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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