When the Randy and Renee Ebert family and their Ebert Enterprises were announced as the host family of the 2017 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (FTD), there were 1,001 days until the huge exposition was scheduled to open.
Now that the July 11-13 trade fair is just 40 days away, Terrilyn Hastreiter says everyone’s a whole lot busier.
Hastreiter, chairwoman of the FTD Publicity Committee, gave a sneak preview of the big show Thursday as keynote speaker of the Kewaunee County June Dairy Month Kickoff Breakfast on Thursday.
“I know there are those of you right now who are dreaming about Farm Technology Days because it’s getting so real and you’re so busy,” Hastreiter said, addressing the FTD executive committee members in the audience.
The Eberts want the expo to be about the Kewaunee County community and agriculture, not their farm that employs 50 workers and milks 3,000 cows, she said.
“They are the most gracious, humble individuals to be hosting Farm Technology Days,” Hastreiter said. “They have such a passion for agriculture and their community.”
She also unveiled the third and final promotional video for the show, this one listing “Top 10 Reasons to come to Farm Technology Days.”
Among the features Hastreiter highlighted were the central Tent City, 60 acres with 500 to 600 exhibitors in what she described as a “Dreamland of Agriculture,” and Innovation Square, an area that will include a Kewaunee County Farmers Market of locally made products.
The Youth Tent will give young people a chance to learn where pizza ingredients come from, to make the butter to decorate cookies, to take a “farm chore challenge,” and to try their hand at driving a tractor in a simulator.
The Family Living Tent will be the site of the opening ceremony, at 9:30 a.m. July 11, and will feature entertainment from the likes of Mad Dog and Merrill, Let Me Be Frank Productions, and Bobby Rivers.
The Equine Arena features renowned horse trainers Chris Cox and Dan James, who each will host two shows daily all three days.
The Heritage Committee is arranging old-time threshing demonstrations and has restored a Hamechek pea viner, and the event will feature displays of farm equipment that was manufactured in Kewaunee, Hastreiter said.
Tours of the Ebert farm from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily and field demonstrations are also part of the biggest annual farm exposition in Wisconsin. This is the first time that the show has been hosted in Kewaunee County.
Traditionally FTD attracts about 45,000 visitors from all over the state of Wisconsin as well as surrounding states, she said.
“The opportunities go beyong 9 to 4 for Kewaunee County right now,” Hastreiter said. “This is our opportunity to have them in the area, explore those tourist areas, get out on the trails, do some shopping, see our beaches … Our goal is to get them to stay once, treat them as well as we can, wine and dine them, and they’re going to come back again with more families.”