A lot has been written about our past 2014 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. These days I'm not a reporter, so I'm just going to give a bit from our little corner of the great event.
Like everyone else associated with FTD, I started planning way in advance. We made arrangements with our son Rob, who lives in Plover, to spend two nights with him. Our house/dog/cat/chicken sitter was contacted for three days of tender loving care for our home and critters. An assortment of clothing for hot/warm/cold/wet weather was packed. We were all set, ready for anything.
Rob called the night before we left. It was raining like crazy at his house but would clear by morning. We were lucky to get some of that rain, too. It had been extremely dry on our farm, but of course I was wondering how things were in Plover.
Even though I didn't have to worry about speaking this year, I didn't sleep much that night. As always I was afraid of forgetting something — purse, camera, books, meds … Bob. I threw extra stuff into the car, just in case we would need things. We could always bring things home after all.
Up long before my alarm clock went off, I was soon ready to go. Bob needed only a little prodding to get moving that morning. A soaking rain here on the farm was a great sound to wake up to. We were out the door early, as planned, so we could get to FTD by 8 a.m.
Everything worked just as I had hoped. Rain on sandy soil in Plover wasn't an issue. The fields were perfect for parking. We picked up our pass from the Wisconsin State Farmer, so we were able to park close and haul in a bag of my books to sell and chairs for resting. We even got a lift to Tent B from a volunteer, so Bob didn't have to carry so much.
The booth was up, and Trey was there ready for a great day; and that's exactly what we had — a great day. People from all over Wisconsin and even Michigan came to visit. We talked and talked all day long and were exhausted by the end of the first day.
On Wednesday, after spending the evening with Rob, we arrived even earlier. That way we could walk around the Heritage Farm display before visitors arrived.
Bob kept pointing out tractors he had owned or used through the years. Allis Chalmers WC was the first tractor my husband bought when he was in high school. Like the one we saw, Bob had to use a crank to start it. He remembered buying it at an auction for $86, and then he sold it four years later for $80 — or the other way around — a great deal. Now he wishes he had it again. Bob also saw a 1950 Minneapolis Moline Z at the show. It had been another used tractor for the Manzke farm back in the old days.
The second afternoon, Rob dropped off his sons Ethan and Seth to get a look at the new and old farm machinery. Grandpa Bob took them around the event.
The boys learned more about old-time farming from Bob than they did about the big modern equipment and had a great time with their grandfather.
I remained at the booth to meet readers. We all had fun.
After taking the boys out to a chopper demonstration, Bob brought them back and sat down for a while before heading out again.
The weather for the three days couldn't have been better. I didn't keep track of everyone who came to visit, but I know I had people from all over: Clintonville, Ladysmith, Janesville, Sheboygan, Iron Mountain, Michigan and all points in-between.
We came home happy and tired. Sunny, our dog, was very happy to see us. He missed his evening rides on the cart to look for deer.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2014 was a wonderful time for the Manzkes. We look forward to next year when it will be in Dane County near our daughter Rachel's home.
FTD 2015, here we come!