TOWN OF WOODVILLE
A glorious early summer morning set the stage for what was a record-setting day for the Calumet County dairy promotion committee's annual "Sundae on a Dairy Farm."
This year's Sundae, the 29th in the series, was held at the Schmidt families' Grand View Dairy Farm in the far north central part of the county. It attracted an estimated attendance of about 3,000 with most of the people arriving by bus from the parking lot about 5 miles away at Kaukauna High School.
Continuing in the year's pattern of frequent and excessive rainfalls, showers moved through the area in the pre-dawn hours Sunday, June 29. But the skies began to clear after daybreak, and the sun broke through by 10 am, just in time for the start of the Catholic Mass, which was one of several innovations at this year's event.
That Mass was sponsored by the host Corey and Kathy Schmidt and Bruce and Colleen Schmidt and their families (not by the promotion committee). Beginning appropriately with the hymn "Morning Has Broken," it drew a crowd of almost 400, nearly filling a 100-by-40-foot tent.
The Mass was celebrated by Father Timothy Brandt, the pastor of the Holy Family parish in Brillion where the Schmidts attend services. During his homily, Brandt referred to the farm family traditions of caring for the land and animals, comparing them to the witnessing and community foundation associated with Catholic Church founders saints Peter and Paul, whose feast day was observed in readings at the Mass.
With tractor engines periodically joining in the sounds, other songs at the Mass offered an invitation to "Come to the Feast of Heaven and Earth" and made a call to "Be My Strength This Day." Musical accompaniment for the Mass was provided by the local CaHoots band, which also entertained throughout the remainder of the day.
The early start to the day's activities helped to establish some new records, according to records compiled every year by the committee's secretary and treasurer Lanetta Mahlberg. In line with the event's theme, this year's attendees consumed about 1,925 ice cream sundaes topped with strawberries, chocolate or caramel that were made from a record-high 179 gallons of ice cream scooped throughout the day.
This year's Sundae crowd also purchased 1,012 hamburger and 550 bratwurst sandwiches, along with 560 cheese sandwiches. For the first time, the promotion committee used Havarti cheese for the cheese sandwiches and Gouda cheese for any cheeseburger orders. The addition of a ticket purchasing procedure for the sundaes and sandwiches greatly improved the service.
Sundae attendees also picked up 3,312 cartons of chocolate milk and 328 of white milk from Lamers Dairy — also record numbers for the event. Uncle Bobby the Clown distributed 320 packets of string cheese from Baker Cheese and 450 containers of the new Goyurt product.
BelGioioso Cheese donated 300 pounds of fresh mozzarella balls along with 20 pounds each of Fontina and mild Provolone. Foremost Farms donated 24 pounds of string cheese. Along with 60 pounds of cheese curds obtained from Henning Cheese, the cheese was served in mixed-cup combinations.
In addition, Sundae attendees lined up to sample cubes of cheeses from other manufacturers at booths in the large tent. At those stations, Arla Foods, which buys the milk from the host farm, had 60 pounds representing 6 varieties of cheese, Sartori Foods had 45 pounds from 5 varieties and LaClare Farms brought 15 pounds representing 3 varieties of goat cheese.
Numerous activities appealed to children, including the Bouncy House where about a dozen jumpers were still working off excess energy at the official end of the Sundae. Sixty-seven youngsters competed in the pedal tractor pull this year, winning toy tractor models donated by area farm equipment dealers.
A children's tent featured face painting and a varieties of games and contests overseen by 4-H club members and other volunteers. Calumet County's Fairest of the Fair Erica Lamers lent her hand to help with face painting.
Addie, the life-size fiberglass cow supplied by the Sheboygan County dairy promotion association, was an attraction throughout the day. Live animals also drew the attention of many of the attendees.
In addition to the several animal species in the petting zoo, three young Holstein calves were on display at one end of the free-stall dairy barn constructed in 2012.
Hundreds of visitors entered the east end of the free-stall facility to see some of the cows in the milking herd of 1,200 and to learn more about dairy herd and farm management from representatives of agribusinesses serving the farm.
The representatives included agronomy consultant Brad Holtz of Whitelaw and representatives of Veterinary Associates of Reedsville, All-Tech on-farm nutrition and Talya Water Midwest. Dave Weiland demonstrated the four-chamber cow stomach fiberglass model provided by the Outagamie County Extension Service office.
People of all ages inspected the large scale and antique farm equipment on display around the grounds. Five tractor-driven wagons were busy with loads of riders throughout the day.
In an annual tradition at the event, numerous local organizations linked to agriculture, environmental protection, public health and social service had information booths in the main tent.
The Hollandtown fire department had five of its units on display until leaving, with sirens blaring, to answer a call 10 minutes before the official end of the Sundae event.
Master of ceremonies Bill Jartz, a television station news anchor in Green Bay, introduced the host families. A special presentation to the Schmidts was a Bonnie Mohr painting of top Holstein sires that was given by representatives of North Star Select Sires.
Jartz also greeted Wisconsin's 67th Alice in Dairyland Zoey Brooks, Lamers, junior Fairest of the Fair Hannah Roehrig, and county Farm Bureau Princess Maria Lisowe. He asked them to show how they would wave to the crowds while riding in a vehicle at parade and then declared a four-way tie for having the best wave.
Members of the county's dairy promotion committee were extremely pleased with the support of the area media and the public's cooperation that resulted in channeling a majority of the parking for the day to Kaukauna High School — a parking decision made in the week before the event because of the soggy fields in the vicinity of the farm.