By Kris Leonhardt
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – At the May 15 meeting of the Wood County Board of Supervisors, members of the 2018 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days Executive Committee presented to the board on the planning and economic impact of the event, to be held just west of Marshfield, July 10-12.
Executive Committee Chair Dennis Bangart said that 300 volunteers serving on 20 different planning committees are completing an organizational process that took three years to carry out. Bangart said the volunteers come from all different demographics from business owners to the fire department.
“(We) pulled them all around the table to make this happen,” Bangart said.
Committee member and Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Scott Larson said that while the event is costly to run, the economic impact will pay dividends to the Wood County area.
“The cost to run a show like this is about $2 million,” Larson said.
“The average daily expenditure of a day tripper is $58… Hotels all around the county and Central Wisconsin will be full.”
Larson and Bangart said that this is a nice way to highlight Wood County’s significance in agriculture. One in nine of the world’s cranberries are grown in Wood County, while 25 percent of Wisconsin’s milk is produced and processed in Wood County.
The county has not hosted a Farm Technology Days event since 1960, when it was held at the Marshfield Ag Research Station site.
The 2018 event will be held at the Ken & Joellen Heiman and Kelvin & Marilyn Heiman family farm and the Daryl & Brenda Sternweis family farm.
Bangart said that plans for the 2018 event include: two interactive cranberry beds, an autonomous skid steer, modern logging equipment, educational tours, virtual tours, a future generations area, and field demonstrations.
For more on the July event, visit www.wifarmtechnologydays.com/wood