Along with cookies and milk, this holiday season the local Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (WFTD) Committee continued their work alongside the Chippewa Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) in identifying the location for the 2024 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days show to be hosted in Chippewa County. Recently, they held a press conference at Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative’s (CVEC) office in Cornell, WI to “unwrap” or reveal the host farm and the venue. The committee is proud to announce that it has chosen a date and location. Scheduled for August 13-15, 2024, at the Country/Rock Fest grounds in Cadott, Wisconsin (WI). Set on 360 acres of field, this fitting venue has been hosting events since 1987 and has a history of partnering with its neighbor, Close Farms which the committee has named as the host farm for the event.
“We’re so excited to welcome Wisconsin Farm Technology Days and its guests to the grounds,” Festival Promoter Wade Asher said. “Aligning Wisconsin’s largest outdoor agricultural event with Country Fest, the largest party in a hayfield, just made sense. We’re looking forward to hosting this farmer-focused event and its economic impact for our community.”
“This venue positions the 2024 event very well in terms of planning, public safety, and central locations for additional local farm tours. There is plenty of room for WFTD to continue its tradition of educational, fun, and interesting events which highlights the wide range of agriculture and industry in Chippewa County,” said Arnie Jennerman, general manager of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. “There will be something for everyone, and we’re excited to showcase Chippewa County industry and agriculture as well as the latest in ag technology.”
86 years ago, the Rural Electrification Act of 1936 was passed allowing for the creation of electric cooperatives such as the Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative to bring electricity to farms. CVEC is a nonprofit, member-owned, organization located in Cornell, Wisconsin. CVEC began providing rural electric services to its members on March 17, 1938. Their territory includes most of Chippewa County, in addition to parts of Barron, Dunn, Rusk and Taylor counties and currently provide services to the selected 2024 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days venue. They are proud to be the first announced sponsor of WFTD 2024.
Dean Ortmann – President/CEO of CVEC stated, “As a rural electricity provider, Chippewa Valley Electric Cooperative (CVEC) strongly supports Wisconsin Farm Technology Days and is excited that our member, Close Farms, has been selected as the host farm. Farming traditions have long been a part of our community. In fact, back in 1938, the cooperative’s original headquarters was literally built with the help of farming families. We are proud to see local farms continue to thrive and grow.”
“Since winning the bid to host the 2024 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days event, the Chippewa County agricultural community has been extremely supportive. The WFTD Local Committee reviewed all the applications for potential venues and ultimately chose this venue because of its central location within Chippewa County, its experience in hosting large events, and its tradition of supporting the nonprofit in the agriculture community. Close Farms exemplifies the rural Wisconsin farm,” stated Rob Mooney, Chair of the Local WFTD Committee.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is a three-day outdoor event showcasing the latest developments in production agriculture, including practical applications and recent research and technological developments. This is the only farm show of its size in the United States that is organized and run entirely by volunteers. As the largest outdoor agricultural event in the state, it welcomes more than 45,000 attendees, with more than 500 commercial and educational vendors. The first WFTD show was named Farm Progress Days and was held in Waupaca County in 1954 and the last was in Chippewa County in 2004.
“Volunteers make Wisconsin Farm Technology Days run and 2024’s show will be no exception,” said Charlie Walker, President of Chippewa Economic Development Corporation (CEDC). “Now that the venue and the farm has been selected, the next step will be a call for volunteers to assist the Local WFTD Committee because we have to remember that all proceeds of WFTD benefit the local agriculture community in terms of scholarships. Also, they will be utilized to help improve the Northern Wisconsin State Fair Grounds’ Ag Facilities.”
Chippewa County is home to over a thousand family-owned farms, food processors, and other ag related businesses that are diverse and generate thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic activity for Chippewa County. They all contribute to local income and tax revenues. Milk and grain contribute significantly to the agricultural sales profile of the region. Forage production of alfalfa, hay, and corn silage provides a solid feed base for the dairy and cattle industry as well. The county ranks high in goat and poultry production in the state. Specialty crops such as maple syrup, Christmas trees, and fruits and vegetables also play a vital economic role. The Wisconsin Farm Technology Day events typically generate a positive economic impact of over $1 million to the host counties.