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BONDUEL -  AgSource Laboratories opened its doors to clients, community members, former and present staff members on  Aug. 16 to celebrate the firm's 50th anniversary.

The open house was held at the 106 North Cecil St. location in Bonduel, where attendees gathered to celebrate and reminisce over five decades of reliable testing services.

The event provided an ideal opportunity for guests to explore a professional agricultural laboratory and get a close-up look at the complex testing equipment.

“We’ve seen agriculture change throughout the last 50 years,” notes Steve Peterson, AgSource Vice President of Laboratory Services. “But AgSource remains dedicated to our clients and the community. We’re proud of our long history and look forward to growing and improving in the years to come!”

Before the building housed a soil and milk testing laboratory, it was home to a general store, selling clothing, boots and other essential items to local farmers. The unassuming brick façade building may look the same as it did in 1967, but the interior has been continually evolving to improve efficiency and changing to keep up with technology.

“We had some visitors today who remembered coming here with their parents when the building was a general store,” says Peterson. “Things look very different inside the building now!”

The lab began as a county extension milk laboratory, but it quickly grew into an agronomy laboratory, complete with nutrient management planning and GPS soil sampling services.

Hand-written reports gave way to computerized spreadsheets and databases, allowing AgSource Laboratories to provide more information with greater speed and serve a larger range of customers.

Laboratory tours highlighted the unique processes for different types of samples and the quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) steps involved in each analysis, to ensure accurate results. 

That first year, the laboratory processed 5,301 soil samples. Today, the laboratory can analyze that many samples in under two days. In addition to soil testing, agronomy services have expanded to include manure and plant tissues testing, VRT fertilizer recommendations, GPS soil sampling and nutrient management planning. Samples come from a variety of crops, as diverse as Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, including potato, cranberry, alfalfa, soybeans, oats, wheat, apples, blueberries, grapes, ginseng and corn.

“Thank you to all our customers, friends and staff!” says AgSource COO Pat Baier.  “We are committed to our employees, our customers and the community, and appreciate their continued support.”

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