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MARSHFIELD - Jonah Rombalski, 7, and his sister Gracie, 12, were having a great debate while sitting on tractors and self-propelled sprayers on the opening day of Farm Technology Days in Marshfield on Tuesday afternoon.

Jonah and Gracie took sides over whether old or new tractors are better, as their dad Jake snapped another picture. Jonah was on the new side; Gracie on the old-school Oliver tractor side. 

Three generations of Rombalskis were on hand from near Independence as the siblings' dad and their grandfather, Bernard, looked on. Jake took over the family cash crop farm from his dad and made the 90-minute trip to Farm Tech Days for the day.

The 65th annual Farm Tech Days, hosted by D&B Sternweis Farm and the Heiman Holsteins, runs through Thursday. The event is in the Marshfield area for the first time since 2011, when Farm Tech Days was hosted by Seehafer Farms. 

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Despite getting there bright and early, the Rombalski family said they were having difficulty seeing everything Farm Tech Days has to offer in one day. Families like the Rombalskis packed the event, and cars were parked as far as the eye could see on the southwest side of Marshfield. 

As for the hosts of the event, the Heiman family has had its hands in multiple facets of the dairy industry for more than a century and runs Nasonville Dairy and Weber's Farm Store.

Ken Heiman says he's happy the event is here.

"This is a culmination of all the people that put in so much work to make this possible," he said. "We wanted to do this because, look around — the economic impact. Seeing everyone come out and the collaboration that it took and how it turned out, we are just very happy. God blessed us with some nice weather, too."

Children and adults could put on boots and wade in a miniature cranberry bog; take a tour of the host family farms; children could play in a playground comprised of hay bales and plastic tunnels; there was a plethora of heavy machinery to climb inside; and, of course, a bevy of food to enjoy.

Daryl Seefeldt, who was honored for being the longest-running Farm Tech Days attendee with this being his 55th show. He first attended the show in Wood County in 1960.

But for others, like kindergartner Lucas Schreier of Edgar, it was one of his first farm shows. Lucas' parents, Joe and Joanne Schreier, run a roughly 90-cow dairy farm near Edgar called JJ's Cassel View Dairy. Lucas was taking in all of the sights, he said, as well as the food. 

"I liked the grilled cheese with ham," he said. "The tractors were neat, too."

There is no shortage of either the next couple days in Marshfield, and that's exactly what Heiman says was the goal.

"We are smack-dab right in the middle of the best of the best," Heiman said. "Wood, Marathon and Clark counties have the most dairy farmers in Wisconsin. This isn't about (the host families), it's about all the farmers and showcasing Wood County and the special farmers that are nearby."

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