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No county chosen for FTD 2016 show

April 11, 2013 | 0 comments

Though the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, Inc., board of directors "heard a really great presentation" from a county, members decided they needed more information before they could select a host county for the 2016 show.

John Shutske, chair of the FTD board, said the board didn't feel it had all the information it needed to select a host county at its annual meeting on April 3 in Madison and would make a decision by mid-April.

He would not tell reporters what county or counties had made a pitch to the board to become the 2016 host.

It is traditionally at this April meeting that the board interviews county representatives, hears presentations and announces it selection during an awards luncheon.

Shutske, who is University of Wisconsin-Extension Associate Dean and program director for Agriculture and Natural Resources, said the board felt it needed more time to make the decision after gathering more facts.

The 2013 show is slated for July 9-11 in Barron County; the 2014 show will be in Portage County and the August 2015 show will be in Dane County.

Ron Schuler, the executive director of FTD, Inc., will serve through the Barron show. At this time last year the board of directors began looking at how to replace Schuler and decided to hire an assistant general manager who could shadow Schuler and learn the ropes.

There were 45 applicants and a search committee whittled that down to five candidates, Shutske said. Five applicants were interviewed and Matt Glewen was selected for the job as he retired from 32 years of work as the Calumet County UW-Extension agriculture agent.

He retired from the Calumet County job on Jan. 1, 2013 and went to work for FTD on Jan. 2. "The board felt strongly that they needed some strategic planning and hadn't done any for five years," Shutske said. "The board felt we needed some long-term planning on the future and purpose of the show."

This planning may look at partnerships with other farm shows, financial models and perhaps even frequency of the show, Shutske said. Once this year's show is completed, Glewen will take over that process of strategic planning.


During the Farm Technology Days annual meeting, Schuler announced a number of award winners.

A team of "soil doctors", including Carrie Laboski, UW-Madison associate professor of soil fertility; Chris Baxter, UW-Platteville associate professor of nutrient management; Francisco Arriaga, UW-Madison assistant professor of applied soil physics; John Peters, UW-Madison director of the soil testing laboratory; Matt Ruark, UW-Madison assistant professor of soil fertility and nutrient management; and Doug Soldat, a UW-Madison associate professor of turf grass and urban nutrient management were given the Donald R. Peterson Technology Transfer Award.

They were praised for their high level of engagement and their exhibit at FTD in which they provided information on nutrient management to farmers, homeowners and gardeners at the show.

The Donald R. Peterson Wisconsin Farm Technology Days award was established in honor of Peterson, a UW-Madison professor and associate dean who later served for many years as general manager of Farm Technology Days.

The award is designed to recognize outstanding educational effectiveness and impact via an interactive exhibit and activities at the annual outdoor farm show, which was formerly known as Farm Progress Days.

The award was presented to Peters, who represented the group of soil doctors. In addition to the recognition, the group received $1,000.


Also announced were three scholarships for three youth who volunteered their time to last year's FTD show in Outagamie County.

The recipients were Emily Stille ($500) from Black Creek; Melissa Maass ($1,000) from Seymour; and Joshua Hopkins from Seymour who received $2,000. Each year the FTD board selects scholarship recipients for their involvement in the show in their area as well as school and community involvement.

Hopkins was active in youth-related activities at the show and served as liaison for FFA member volunteers before, during and after the show. He is a captain in the Seymour Fire Department Explorers, volunteers in his church youth group and is involved in a scholastic clay target program.

In high school he has been captain of the track and field and cross country teams and when he finishes his senior year at Seymour High School he plans to attend Fox Valley Technical College, pursuing a Fire Protection and Wildland Fire program degree. His goal is to become a fire jumper, said Schuler.

Maass was involved in the tiling demonstration at last year's show, and has been active in FFA as well as high school soccer and basketball. She has been a volunteer with her local Salvation Army and at an assisted living home as well as Habitat for Humanity, a local food pantry and Adopt-A-Highway.

She is a senior at Seymour High School and plans to attend the Farm and Industry Short Course at UW-Madison and will pursue a career in agriculture.

Stille volunteered in the Youth Tent with the plant and soil science booth and helped with other youth activities. An active 4-Her, she held numerous offices in her club and county. She is currently in her first year at Fox Valley Technical College, pursuing a Horticulture Technician degree.

She hopes to own and manage a greenhouse/landscaping business.

The support for these scholarships is provided by the Wisconsin FTD Board of Directors and members of the board's executive committee served as evaluators for the applicants.

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