Every year beginning in 1952 Wisconsin agriculture has had the opportunity to see and learn about the latest products, goods and services at an outdoor show rotating to a different county and farm each year.
Next week, July 23 – 25, Jefferson County and the Walter Grain Farm, Johnson Creek, are hosting the 2019 show — the 65th edition. There will be new equipment and farming ideas a’plenty with company and organizations on hand to answer questions and tell you all about the whats, whens and hows of their offerings. There are seminars and programs dealing with common and not so common subjects.
And perhaps, most important of all, you will meet friends, neighbors and strangers you can talk to about farming, the government, politics and the weather. You can watch the machinery in action at field demos and kick the tires and feel the paint on the exhibitor lots. (But, you won’t see cows — this is a grain farm — those you see at World Dairy Expo.)
A family farm hosts
The Walter family had its start in 1957 when Bernard and Beverly purchased 50 acres in Jefferson County. In 1992, son Mike and his wife Sarah took over the operation and the farm and family grew over the years. Two of their sons have actively farmed with them since they were in high school.
The second and third generations continue the farming tradition started by the late Bernard Walter and his wife Beverly, with the fourt generation coming up fast!
Lots of changes
The farm has changed many times in the last 62 years. For many years Bernard and Beverly milked cows, raised veal calves, feeder steers, and heifers, farrowed 350 sows and sold feeder pigs.
Currently Mike, and sons Brad, and Adam are cash cropping 6,000 acres of owned and rented land.
Interestingly, the family also hosted Wisconsin Farm Progress Days in 1984 (35 years ago) on this same site. Take a look at the official web site www.wifarmtechnologydays.com/jefferson for all the details and make your plans to attend.
Over the years
Over the years my involvement in agriculture has prompted me to attend or closely follow Wisconsin Technology (Progress) Days and to write about them. Here are a few things I remember and have in my files.
Back in 2003, while driving to the Farm Progress Show in Waupaca county I did a bit of pondering about a question asked of me the day before when I was a guest on WPR Radio: One question bothered me–not at the time, but later. A listener asked why dairy farmers were using rBST on their dairy cows to get more milk when she understood farmers were already producing too much milk?
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