Wisconsin Farm Technology Days bounces back strong from COVID

Dan Hansen
Correspondent
Those attending Farm Technology Days were greeted with partly cloudy skies and comfortable temperatures on Tuesday, July 13, 2022.

LOYAL – Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, like many other events, has faced serious challenges over the past two years, having to cancel the 2020 show and reduced the size of tent city last year.

Opening day of the 2022 show, however, welcomed thousands of enthusiastic attendees from across Wisconsin and neighboring states to a tent city that was mostly back to its normal size.

Not even a heavy rain the previous afternoon could dampen the spirits of the attendees, exhibitors and volunteers who were ready to kick off the the 2022 show at 9 a.m. July 12. Those entering tent city were treated to bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid-60s.

The opening ceremonies at 9:30 set the stage for three days of fun-filled entertainment and lots of educational opportunities.

Longtime farm broadcaster Bob Meyer, who also chaired the Publicity & Media Committee, served as master of ceremonies.

The Loyal High School chorus sang the National Anthem and current Alice in Dairyland Taylor Schaefer led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski noted that the history of agriculture in Clark County dates back to the late 1800s, and that the county has since become one of Wisconsin’s top counties for dairy production. 

“In 2021, Clark County boasted the second highest number of cattle in all Wisconsin counties,” he said. “The area also supports a wide variety of agricultural opportunities  – everything from greenhouses to vegetables that are sold at local stands. Clark County ships dairy products and grain throughout North America. 

Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Randy Romanski praised the agricultural history of Clark County during the opening ceremonies of Farm Technology Days on July 12, 2022.

“The agricultural foundation of Clark County is strong. It’s history is also part of its future, and that’s something for all of us to look forward to,” Romanski said. “This week we have the chance to celebrate this important connection between the past and the future. And it’s the responsibility of those of us in state government to assist wherever possible to keep the future of agriculture bright.” 

“We’ll continue to advocate for dairy and meat processing, county conservation efforts, and farmer mental health and well being,” he assured.

Chuck Rueth, executive chairperson for the 2022 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, introduced the two-dozen members of the WFTD Executive Committee, and also thanked hundreds of volunteers, noting the show’s $2million budget is in capable hands. 

"This the first time in four years we’re having field demos. Also we had six applicants to host this show and each one of them could have done it,” he said.

On behalf of the host families, Dennis Roehl welcomed all those attending this year’s show. “We really appreciate you coming to the show,” he said. “This has been a long, long journey – a lot longer than what I was told it was going to be.

“You know your wife really loves you when she lets you host Farm Technology Days,” he smiled. “People have said that it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a dedicated county to put on Farm Technology Days, and I thank you all for doing this.”

Gov. Tony Evers presented an official proclamation to Dennis & Suzie Roehl proclaiming July 12-14 as Farm Technology Days throughout the state of Wisconsin.

Gov. Tony Evers, left, presents an official proclamation to Dennis and Suzie Roehl proclaiming July 12-14 as Farm Technology Days throughout the state of Wisconsin.

The proclamation stated that Farm Technology Days is the largest agricultural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the country attracting thousands of attendees and hundreds of exhibitors every year. 

“The event offers an opportunity for people of all ages to tour farms, attend field demonstrations, speak with exhibitors and explore careers and agriculture and related fields, and see the newest agricultural innovations in action."