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Eau Claire County Gets the Nod for 2020 Farm Tech Days
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 04/06/2017

Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will be hosted in Eau Claire County in three years. On Wednesday, the WFTD Board of Directors accepted the county's application to hold the annual event in 2020 after local supervisors adopted a resolution supporting the show last month.

County Extension Agent Mark Hagedorn says the county is excited to showcase its diverse agricultural industry.

"Agriculture in our area consists of a lot of dairy and beef farms, but we also have orchards, vineyards and organic crop production," Hagedorn said. "Now that we have the green light to go forward, the next step will be to put together our executive committee and start the process of searching for a host farm."

Hagedorn is no stranger to organizing Farm Technology Days, as he served as the executive secretary of the 2008 show when it was hosted by Brown County.

Eau Claire County last held the show in 1992 when Farm Progress Days was co-hosted by the Dick & Donna Cleasby Farm and the Dennis & Tami Schacht Farm near Augusta in September of that year. Unfortunately, it has since gone down in history as a one-day show after heavy rains forced organizers to cancel days 2 and 3 after a nearly perfect first day.

Wisconsin Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel said it takes a special group of people to offer their farms for such an undertaking.

"This is such a unique opportunity for farms to open their doors and showcase what they have to offer," Brancel said. "If you think about it, they allow thousands of people to come in and pack down their grounds that they work so hard to preserve; and do it for no financial benefit. Yet, they do it with a smile because it's the right thing to do."

Also on Wednesday, the WFTD board presented its annual Donald R. Peterson award to the University of Wisconsin IPM and Nutrient and Pest Management program for their innovative and interactive display at last year's show. The award was established in honor of the late-Don Peterson, a former UW-Madison College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Professor and Associate Dean who served as a long-time general manager of Wisconsin Farm Progress Days.

Meanwhile, Kewaunee County continues to prepare for the task of hosting this year's show, which is slated for 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. And in 2019, FTD will be held in Jefferson County at Walter Grain Farms by Grellton, which also hosted the exposition in 1984.

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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