Toy collectors will find a 'two for one' deal at Clark Co. FTD show

Gloria Hafemeister
Correspondent
Souvenirs of the show have always been popular and this year's show features a 1:64 scale each show comes up with a different idea of what to offer.  The idea of selling a commemorative farm toy Meyer 8126TR Boss Forage Box set.

LOYAL – Farm Technology Days is not immune to the problems folks everywhere – including farmers – have had with supply chain issues.

Hospitality Chairperson Sharon Rogers says it has affected the large outdoor farm show just as it has affected others. It is the very reason show officials were unable to secure samples of this year's commemorative collector farm toy to take to area promotional events in advance of the Clark County show.

“We would normally have had the toy by early June in time for media day and other events, but the supply chain issues have held up delivery,” she said. “We had the same problem getting our souvenir hats and T-shirts that volunteers wear and are sold at the show.”

Souvenirs of the show have always been popular with attendees. Each Farm Technology Days host county comes up with a different idea of what to offer. The idea of selling a commemorative farm toy dates back to 1994 when Columbia County offered the first toy for sale at their Farm Technology Days event. Since then the practice has been well accepted.

Meyer’s 8126RT Forage Box set includes a forage trailer and truck-mounted box. The commemorative boxes reflect Clark County-based Meyer Manufacturing Corporation.

In honor of this year's show theme "Where Tradition and Technology Meet" and Clark County-based Meyer Manufacturing Corporation, collectors will be able to purchase a 1/64 scale special edition Meyer 8126RT Boss Forage Box set. The set includes two toys: a forage trailer and truck-mounted box.

Located in Dorchester, a small community 26 miles northeast of the FTD showgrounds, Meyer Manufacturing Corporation was founded in 1944 by Alvin Meyer. In 1951, Meyer patented the False-Endgate box which was later redesigned to become what is believed to be the first-ever self-unloading forage box. Today the 8100RT BOSS can be seen in farm fields across the country.

“Meyer Manufacturing is a longtime established business in our county and has been very supportive of the event," Rogers said. "We are grateful that they donated the engineering that went into designing these toys especially for the show.  Their chopper boxes are at work all over the Midwest and the toys will be unique.”

Rogers says this toy is more affordable than in years past at $90 for the set. The toy isn't the only souvenir you can take from the show. Rogers has more items for visitors to take home.

The Holstein spotted hats with the Farm Technology day’s logo and dates, are expected to be very popular. For those who don’t want the traditional cow spots, there will also be plain black hats with the date and logo.

T-shirts, she says, are always in demand. The show orders thousands of them because volunteers will need them and visitors always seem to like T-shirts as a souvenir of the event they attend. They will also offer glasses with the Farm Tech Days logo stamped on them, and cooler bags.

Sale of souvenirs and fundraising events leading up to the show are just a few of the ways that volunteer groups earn income to finance putting on a show like this.          Those who have ever attended a FTD show and walked through Tent City can appreciate just how much money it takes to operate an event of this caliber.

Jim Mild Brand co-chairs the Fund Development Committee for the 2022 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Clark County. The show will be held at Roehl Acres Farm & Rustic Occasions, N7779 County K, Loyal, Wis., July 12-14 – the very same days when the county last hosted the show in 2005 at Malm’s Rolling Acres, near Loyal.

Mild Brand says the price tag for this year's event is roughly $2.7 million in cash and in-kind donations. He says they are nearly there thanks to fundraising events and generous donors.

The organizers, however, are hoping to come out ahead when the show is over and realize some profit. Extra monies will be returned to the community and scholarships for youth of the county. 

“We want to leave a legacy – a reminder in the community of the show and the importance of agriculture to our community,” Rogers said.