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Farm Technology Days Kicks-Off in Marathon County
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 07/12/2011

Thousands of agricultural producers, industry officials and others will be making their way to Marathon County today for the kick-off of the 58th Wisconsin Farm Technology Days near Marshfield. The event is being held at Seehafer Acres--a family-owned 850-acre operation that consists of a modern dairy parlor with freestall housing for their 230 milking cows. The festivities kick-off at 9:00 a.m. with an address by Governor Scott Walker and introductions of the Ken and Karen Seehafer family.

Visitors to the show this week can take part in field demonstrations, educational workshops and have a chance to talk to exhibitors ranging from machinery manufacturers to seed companies. State and local FFA students will be in town competing in the state's annual tractor safety contest and land judging competitions. And camping will once again be allowed near the grounds this year.

"I've been at this long enough to know that we're looking at a good show this year," said 2011 FTD Executive Secretary Mike Wildeck, who held the same job when the county last hosted the event in 1996. "The grounds are beautiful, the location is easy to get to and the weather forecast looks great. I encourage people to come over and check it out."

Tuesday's speakers at the Family Living Tent include Alice in Dairyland Katie Wirkus, who is from Marathon County; Gloria Hafemeister, a farm wife and farm newspaper reporter; entertainer Phil John; and Sandy Chalmers of the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture. Visitors to the Youth Tent will have the opportunity to meet local body builder Carl Foemmel, interact with the four-legged friends of animal trainer Deb Somerfeldt, and have their faces painted for free.

Field demonstrations begin at 10:00 a.m. with mowing/conditioning and hay merging. Chopping, merging, raking and baling applications will also be held during the afternoon hours.

Meanwhile, the Badger State Tractor Pullers will be holding a competition at the county fairgrounds in Marshfield on Wednesday night, which will feature eight Light Limited Diesel Super STock Tractors, 12 640 Diesel Pro Farm Tractors, 10 4x4 Super Stock Trucks and many other machines. And the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association will hold its first-ever live auction at FTD on Tuesday and Wednesday to raise money for future Farm Technology Days events and educational scholarships for students pursuing careers in agriculture.

To get to the show, visitors can simply travel north out of Marshfield on Highway 97 to the farm, or go south of Stratford on Highway 97.

The show runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with daily admission costing $5.00 for ages 12 years of age and older. Children are free.

This is the third time Marathon County has hosted Farm Technology Days.

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