Jefferson Co. welcomes you to Farm Technology Days

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
2019 Farm Technology Days Jefferson County

LaVern Georgson is confident that the current heatwave will be nothing more than a memory when the 2019 Farm Technology Days kicks off next week in Jefferson County.

Now in its 65th year, the three-day outdoor farm show is slated to run July 23-25 at Walter Grain Farms near Johnson Creek. This is the second time the family is hosting the show, first holding the event Oct. 9-11 in 1984. The county first hosted the show in 1956 near Fort Atkinson.

"It's been uncomfortable this week, but a cold front will move through over the weekend and then they're forecast 3-4 days of 75 degree temperature days," Georgson said. "So it's shaping up to be a perfect scenario for us."

With three years of preparation spearheaded by Georgson and his executive committee and satellite committees, the Jefferson County agent is confident that visitors will have a positive experience.

This year's executive committee for the FTD show in Jefferson County includes (front row from left) Katelyn
Broedlow, Linda Wright, Melissa Gerner, Tracy Brandel, Amy Listle, Brent Payne. Not Pictured: Matt Hanson, Christy Strobel, Lloyd Zastrow, and Jeremy Chwala. Back Row (from left) LaVern Georgson, Scott Schneider, Tim Finger, Luke Wiedenfeld, Dale Gaugert, Mark Schnell, Paul Hadler, and Claude Christie.

"By the time the show starts on Tuesday, we will have closer to 1400-1500 volunteers helping in various capacities to make this show run," the Jefferson County Farm Technology Days General Manager said. "The people throughout our organization have been creative, imaginative and cooperative. They really have a desire to showcase Jefferson County and this is a golden opportunity to feature every aspect of it."

Georgson says that each day tens of thousands of motorists pass through Jefferson County on the Interstate without realizing how agriculturally diverse the 583-square mile county really is.

"We're a bit of an oasis between the urbanized and suburbanized areas," Georgson said. "People don't realize that Jefferson County has the largest nursery, fish farm and ethanol plant in the state, as well as the largest pheasant farm in North America."

The county is home to poultry operations as well as a multitude of dairy, grain and equine operations.

Signature events

Georgson said the committee members wanted to put Jefferson County's signature stamp on the event, featuring the businesses and communities and people that make up agricultural fabric of Jefferson County.

One way to share information about those resources was extend the show hours on Wednesday until 7 p.m. and reducing the admission price at 3 p.m. for the Taste of Jefferson County Block Party ($5 admission), featuring Jefferson County and Wisconsin favorites in a sampling event in the Rural Event Center. Participants are invited to sample beer, wine, chocolate milk and many fine foods (using prepaid wristbands) from over 20 local vendors.

Manitowoc Minute's Charlie Berens will be part of the Farm Technology Days Block Party on July 24 from 3:30 - 6:30 p.m.

Charlie Berens comedian and creator of the successful online series "The Manitowoc Minute" will tour Tent City at 3:30 p.m. and return to Innovation Square to help toast and roast...all-things-Wisconsin at 5:30 p.m. 

Georgson said the extended hours will also give more people the opportunity to come and visit and learn about agriculture, especially non-farm guests.

LaVern Georgson

"People depend on food and this is a chance for them to see and learn the unique aspects of that industry firsthand and to celebrate Jefferson County," Georgson said. "Agriculture has had a couple of tough years and it's a chance to celebrate one of the largest industries in Wisconsin."