Roehl Family prepares for 2022 Farm Technology Days

Amber Burke
Wisconsin State Farmer

The Roehl family looks forward to welcoming visitors to their farm in Clark County, Wisconsin for the 2022 Farm Technology Days. The show is being held at Roehl Acres and Rustic Occasions just south of Loyal, July 12-14.

Back row from left: Dennis, Jackson, Devon, Kathryn, Suzie 
Front row: Dennis’ Parents Velora and Lowell Roehl

 "Clark County offers the traditional feel of agriculture, but has adapted to many of the new technologies available for use in agriculture," Richard Halopka, Clark County's extension crops and soils agent, said. "We are delighted to host the show with our theme: 'Where tradition and technology meet.'"

Roehl Acres dairy farm is just south of Loyal, Wisconsin and operated by Dennis and Suzie Roehl.

"In 1983, I went to my first Farm Progress Days Show. I was 14 years old and I thought it was the greatest thing I had ever been too. Now, 36 years later I will be the host farm for Farm Technology Days 2022. In a way, I have been preparing for this all of my life," said Dennis Roehl.

The Clark County dairy farmers says his family is excited to showcase the progress they've made have made on their farm and what his parents have done before."

Roehl Acres is an over 500 registered dairy cattle farm, cropping 750 acres. Dennis and his wife Suzie purchased the farm in 2005 from Dennis' father, Lowell, who still helps with fieldwork. Dennis and Suzie's children make the third generation on the farm.

MORE: Roehl family flips barn into event venue

MORE: What you should know before you go to Farm Tech Days

Dennis' parents originally bought the farm in 1967 and started with milking 33 cows. In 1973 they expanded to 82 cows. "In 1996, I came home from college and started farming with my parents (in the barn now home to Rustic Occasions) and we grew our herd to 114 cows. In 2010 we expanded again and built a free stall barn and moved everything to the home farm where we continued milking up until this May when we installed four Delaval robotic milkers," Roehl said.

Joe's Refrigeration in Withee, Wisconsin installed the Delaval robotic milking system on the Roehl dairy farm.

Roehl says milking with the robots is going well. "The new technology is absolutely amazing. All the cows have fit bits, so you can track their activity or notice if they are sick," he explained. The equipment also includes automatic feed pushers and scrapers.

Farm Technology Days is all about celebrating the future and innovation showing how farmers across the state how they can adapt and innovate.

"The Roehls are a perfect example of this and I know Clark County is going to host a great show," Secretary of Wisconsin Agriculture, Randy Romanski said.

Roehls says the farm tours at Roehl Acres will be more unique than in past years, as they intend to provide more hands-on experiences.

"Show attendees will be able to walk through my barn, check out the robots, and simply spend as much time as needed to look around and get ideas for their own operation," he said.

Attendees will then tour the milk house and anyone that would like may feed a calf." People don't realize what it is to feed a calf anymore. And the kids don't know what that is, and I think it's something important for the public to know," Roehl said. 

In addition to the dairy farm, visitors will be transported up the road to Rustic Occasions, an event barn that will host a variety of activities including live music, dancing, food and soap-making demonstrations.

From left to right: Colten, Sabrina, Brynlee, Maverick, Kim, Doug, Bonnie and Erlin Roehl

Lowell's brother, Erlin and his wife Bonnie Roehl, along with their family started the event barn to help bring in additional revenue. The venue, Rustic Occasions, is operated by Doug and Kim Roehl. "Small farms are becoming a thing of the past and people are looking for ways to convert their farms into other forms of income," Erlin said.

In addition to the two Roehl family stops, field demonstrations are back after taking a several-year hiatus. " I think field demonstrations are very important, so farmers can see, the latest and greatest technology available out in the field," Roehl said.

According to Ron Zygarlicke, Marketing Manager for H&S Manufacturing in Marshfield, who is serving as Farm Technology Day's field demonstration leader, "There will be a variety of all the latest and greatest equipment providing raking, baling and mowing hay techniques. I am very excited for the educational opportunities the field demonstrations will provide to everyone in attendance."

There are many other opportunities available at the show including children's activities and entertainment, safety and innovation exhibits, "tent city," livestock, resting stations, agri-businesses, music and food favorites from across Wisconsin.

For more details, ticket information or simply to plan out your trip, visit:   https://www.wifarmtechdays.org/2022.