The treasurer of the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days 2017 committee said Tuesday that the three-day agricultural exposition July 11-13 was a great success.
Jim Smidel said the show drew 26,200 visitors to the exhibition grounds at Ebert Enterprises outside Algoma, with 1,900 volunteers donating their time in the days, weeks, months and years leading up to the event.
Advance publicity placed the potential crowds at 30,000 to 45,000 visitors. Randy Ebert said during the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corp. annual meeting in March that he expected the influx to be at the lower end of that estimate because with the Door Peninsula to the north and Lake Michigan to the south, most of the visitors would be coming from only two directions – west and south. And a morning thunderstorm July 12 kept the second-day crowd down for the first few hours.
“The vendors and exhibitors were very happy,” Smidel told the County Board at its monthly meeting.
Presentations were being made to the nonprofit organizations that served food and concessions, more than $100,000, at a gathering Tuesday evening at the Ebert farm, he said.
Work is underway in the Wisconsin Rapids area for next year’s Farm Technology Days hosted by Wood County.
The board also heard a report from Steve Hanson, director of the Kewaunee County Land Information Office regarding the role his office played in the site selection, site design and site layout for Farm Technology Days.
Hanson’s office generated maps of the property that were used to place the tent city and parking areas in optimal locations, using geographic information system (GIS) software, aerial photography, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data. and a two-foot contour layer with remarkable precision.
“I only spent half a day at the show itself and I spent most of that time walking around looking at the ground inside the tents, and I was also looking at the lay of the land outside of the tents,” Hanson said. “And it was pretty amazing to see that every little dip inside the tents and every little hill was exactly where my GIS contour layer said it was going to be.”
Hanson said the process was “probably the most satisfying project that I’ve done since I started doing GIS work in Kewaunee County.”
The Land and Information Office plans in 2018 to do a bedrock probing project and an inventory of bedrock in the road ditches in the county’s karst areas, with the help of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and the county Land & Water Conservation Department, Hanson said.