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Horseradish grower to host 2020 FTD show

Wisconsin State Farmer
Huntsinger Farms Inc will be hosted the Farm Technology Days in 2020.

The host family of the Farm Technology Days will lend a whole new flavor to the annual farm show when it takes on hosting duties in Eau Claire County.

Huntsinger Farms Inc.and its subsidiary Silver Spring Foods, Inc.— the world's largest grower and processor of horseradish — has been tapped to host the 2020 show. 

The firm was founded by Ellis Huntsinger, who is nationally recognized as a pioneer in Horseradish farming, in 1929. Eighty-eight years later, the business is still family-owned by Huntsinger’s granddaughter Nancy Bartusch and two great-grandsons, Eric and Ryan Rygg.

Huntsinger Farms of Eau Claire is now the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish.

“Hosting the 2020 Eau Claire County Farm Technology Days is a once in a lifetime honor for Huntsinger Farms and the Huntsinger Family. Farm Technology Days will give us a unique opportunity to share our knowledge and experience farming this specialty crop,” said Eric Rygg.

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.

Horseradish roots tumble off a conveyor belt into an awaiting truck.

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.

Harvested horseradish roots are placed immediately in cold storage until processed, bottled, and sold under the Silver Spring brand to markets worldwide. Today Silver Spring horseradish is the number one retail brand for prepared horseradish in the United States.

Founded in 1929, by Ellis Huntsinger, the operation is still family-owned by Huntsinger’s granddaughter Nancy Bartusch and two great-grandsons, Eric and Ryan Rygg,

The 2020 show is slated to run July 21-23. The show was last held in Eau Claire in 1992 when it was hosted by the Cleasby and Schacht families.

D&B Sternweis Farm and the Heiman Family are sharing hosting duties for the 2018 FTD in Wood County. The torch will then be passed to Jefferson County in 2019 where  Walter Grain Farms will serve as hosts.