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Walworth County Looking Forward to Farm Tech Days
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 06/03/2016

A blue sky covered a bare alfalfa field near Lake Geneva on Thursday. But in just over a month, Snudden Farms will be taken over by hundreds of exhibitor booths, and thousands of agriculturists and consumers who want to take in this year's Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Walworth County. During the event's special media day yesterday, the host family opened their doors for reporters to take an early peak at the site of the 63rd annual farm show, which will be held July 19-21.

The operation is owned by Steve Snudden, with help from family members and 20 employees. It has been in Steve's family since 1925, when his grandfather purchased the farm. Steve's parents, Kip and Marilyn, assumed ownership in the early 1960s, with Steve taking over in the fall of 1977 during his senior year of high school.

Today, Snudden Farms is now home to about 4,000 Holstein cows after a recent expansion, which are milked in a DeLaval double-32 parallel parlor. Over 3,000 acres of cropland are all located within a 10-mile radius of the farm, where they grow corn, alfalfa and wheat; in addition to custom farming another 1,000 acres. They have also recently installed a sand manure separator.

State Agriculture Secretary Ben Brancel says the location of this year's exposition will provide a great opportunity to bring in attendees from Illinois, including those who many not be familiar with farming.

"This is our chance to show off an actual operation that's engaged in food production," Brancel said. "We in agriculture take this for granted, but the general public is getting far removed from the farm and they often want to know more about where their food and nutrition comes from."

WFTD General Manager Matt Glewen says the show will again feature its 'Innovation Square.' That's where farmer-inventors and other exhibitors will be showing off their innovations, which will range from new bale wrappers to drones. That area will also include a miniature 'Lake Geneva'--a 300-foot replica of the real lake that will be dug into the ground.

In the Equine Science area, coordinators say several nationally-known clinicians will be coming in to educate horse owners about training, health and behavior techniques. And some of the show's younger visitors will have a lot of things to see. In the 'Youth Village,' kids can try their hands at driving a tractor simulator, participate in the Kiddie Tractor Pull, or learn about gun safety.

Tent City will once again be powered by eight onsite generators this year--producing enough electricity to supply the needs of an 80-home subdivision.

Wisconsin FTD has been held in 36 counties, with some hosting the event more than once. Walworth County is holding the show for the very first time this year.

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