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Farm Technology Days postponed to 2021

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
Huntsinger Farms of Eau Claire, known worldwide for its horseradish, has agreed to host the 2021 Farm Technology Days in Eau Claire County after the impact of the coronovirus postponed this year's show initially scheduled at their operation.

EAU CLAIRE – A second major farm show in Wisconsin has deferred to the widespread impact that the coronavirus impact has had across the state.

The Executive Committee of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2020 Eau Claire announced its decision to push back this year's event to July 20-22, 2021. This year's host farm, Huntsinger Farms, has agreed to host the show in 2021 in Eau Claire.

Eau Claire will fill a gap year in the FTD schedule, as there was no show planned for 2021.

The decision was made by the Executive Committee after discussion and input from the Eau Claire County officials, sponsors, volunteers, and exhibitors.

“The health and safety of all our attendees, volunteers, and exhibitors is our primary concern, and we felt we could not proceed with 2020 plans based on the ever-changing Covid-19 situation,” said John Leary, Executive Chair Wisconsin Farm Technology Days 2020, Eau Claire. “We are grateful to the Rygg family for their extraordinary offer to host the show on their Huntsinger Farms Eau Claire property in 2021. Collectively, the committee and the Rygg family are committed to building on the exciting plans we already had in place for this year to make next year’s show even better.”

Eric Rygg, President of Huntsinger Farms and its Silver Spring Foods subsidiary added, “While we’re disappointed that the 2020 show won’t happen, we’re excited that we’ve been able to accommodate shifting Farm Technology Days to 2021. I know it’s going to be an awesome event that shows both the resilience and the promising future of the Wisconsin Ag community.”

Huntsinger Farms and its subsidiary Silver Spring Foods, Inc. was founded by Ellis Huntsinger, who is nationally recognized as a pioneer in Horseradish farming, in 1929. Still family-owned by Huntsinger's granddaughter Nancy Bartusch and two great-grandsons, Eric and Ryan Rygg, Huntsinger Farms is now the world's largest grower and processor of horseradish.

The family uses a five to seven year crop rotation of 1400 acres of corn, 2100 acres of soybeans, and 310 acres of snap beans, to support the production of 700 acres of horseradish. They are vertically integrated with Silver Spring Foods, Inc. and grow and harvest over 7.5 million pounds of horseradish per year. Crews harvest horseradish in the spring and fall after plants have been in the ground about 12-24 months. 

The Executive Committee will reconvene this summer to pick up the plans already in place and start augmenting them for 2021.

“The silver lining is that with all of the great plans for this year already in place, we will be able to produce an even better show for next year,” added Leary.