After three days, the Executive Committee for Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days 2017 is proud to report the event at Ebert Enterprises was an overall success.
Kewaunee County is the first to host Wisconsin Farm Technology Days and have more individuals attend the three-day event than the county’s total population as far as records show. In the first two days alone, the show nearly attracted the number of the county’s residents.
Additionally, organizers were excited to learn the first day of the show attracted over 10,000 visitors, the highest attendance on day one in several years. The official Opening Ceremony had a record-breaking 550 attendees, including Governor Scott Walker and Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Secretary Ben Brancel.
Along with welcoming visitors, vendors, exhibitors and people from across the Midwest, there were a number of interesting stories to come out of the week.
-An all-time record of nearly 1,900 volunteers from Kewaunee County and the surrounding areas came together to work on 18 committees and subcommittees over the three-day show to make it a success.
-All 1,000 of the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days commemorative toy, a Gehl 800 Forage Harvester, were sold out completely before the show opened. The last time the commemorative toy was sold out was 2012, when Outagamie County hosted the event.
-A fundraising goal of $500,000 was exceeded from in-kind donations alone due to the overwhelming support of local businesses and families of the 2017 show. Additionally, with final numbers still pending, the show is expected to exceed the net profit goals of the Executive Committee.
-Over 567,000 people were reached with information about the show on Facebook before the show started from the three main promotional videos. Views are still being added up.
-Algoma was rained on heavily in the early morning of day two, and the show still opened on time due to the pre-planning and quick decision making from the Grounds Committee and volunteers. These individuals worked three vacuum tanks to soak up water and spread wood chips to ensure visitors had dry roads to walk on.
-Tram rides to tour Ebert Enterprises farm were enjoyed by over 50 percent of attendees. Nearly 1,500 tram rides were provided for field demonstrations, which only ran for half of the show due to weather conditions.
-15,000 hamburgers and cheeseburgers were served over the three-day period, including 11,250 bowls of ice cream.
-The ice cream purchased for the entire event was sold out before closing time on opening day, and ice cream on hold was brought in that afternoon.
-Children under the age of 12 were admitted for free, but the Youth Tent recorded over 1,700 youth passports turned in from those who took advantage of all the fun kids activities.
-On Monday before the show, the Executive Committee and volunteers participated in the first Wisconsin-based Leukemia and Lymphoma Society “Random Act of Light” event. A 5-year-old leukemia survivor named Isaac was invited to the grounds to ride his favorite kind of John Deere tractors. Isaac was able to be a farmer in John Deere’s largest tractor and chopper with help of a licensed driver, get a private tour of the farm and grounds and take home his own push-pedal tractor.
-The Heritage lot was set up on eight acres, a record-setting amount of space, with over 150 antique tractors and equipment, along with demonstrations of wood stove cooking, cordwood sawing and building and blacksmithing.
-The grounds of the show were made beautiful thanks to the Greenscapers committee who planted 289 flower pots and floral displays.
-For the first time in show history, two world-renowned and highly talented equine clinicians, Chris Cox and Dan James, performed and taught attendees about horsemanship each day of the show.
-Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days was supported by 67 Landmark Farms located in Kewaunee County and surrounding townships in Door, Brown and Manitowoc Counties. The Landmark Farms were not just dairy-related, but included beef, hog, crop and other kinds of farms.
-This was also the first year a county incorporated a Farmer’s Market, with sellable goods and food/drink tastings.
Executive Committee chair Amber Hewett and host farm owners Randy and Renee Ebert have expressed their overall satisfaction with how the show went this week. They are excited to learn new friends were made and the grounds were a true place of networking and connection for those involved and interested in agriculture.
“The Kewaunee County brand is “Everything Grows Better Here,“ and with the permission of the Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation, we incorporated that tagline into the Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days logo and marketing. Through the three years of planning and executing the show, it is abundantly clear that everything does truly grow better here in Kewaunee County, most importantly, our relationships.” Hewett said.
Tent City will come down over the next few days and preparations will continue for the 2018 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days show in Wood County.