Huntsinger Farms welcomed over 52,000 farmers, families, and neighbors to the 66th Wisconsin Farm Technology Days in Eau Claire. The three-day show July 20 -22 shattered attendance projections. “We built it and they came,” declared Mike Gintner, Chair of the Eau Claire County Executive Committee for the show. “We are still tallying all the numbers, but the early reports exceeded even our aggressive expectations. We are so grateful for the huge support from our attendees, exhibitors, volunteers, and sponsors – this show will have a big impact in Eau Claire County and the greater Chippewa Valley for years to come.”
Gintner added, “The Rygg family and all of the people of Huntsinger Farms and Silver Spring Foods went above and beyond to host the show. We are so appreciative of their generosity and support.” Initial estimates are that over 52,000 visitors attended over the three days of the show. Over 18,000 people attended the first day. 1,532 volunteers made the show possible, with people donating their time in every aspect of the show. The show featured 520 exhibitors from 26 states showcasing their latest products, implements, tractors and technologies. 16 buses shuttled at least 3,837 people for entertaining and educational tour of Huntsinger Farms Horseradish Farm, Nellie’s Holsteins Dairy Farm, and Ferguson’s Orchards.
At the Opening Ceremony Governor Tony Evers presented Mike Gintner with his official state proclamation commending the show to the people of Wisconsin. Secretary Designee of the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection Randy Romanski spoke to the big crowd gathered. State Senator Jeff Smith presented the Rygg family with a State Senate Citation of Service for hosting the show, and Bob Bosold presented Huntsinger Farms and Silver Spring Foods with the 2021 Breakfast in the Valley Friend of Agriculture Award. Julia Nunes, Alice in Dairyland 2020-22 led attendees in the pledge of allegiance.
The Youth and Career Discovery Zone led by Chippewa Valley Technical College, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and 4H, was a huge success for kids of all ages – more than 10,000 youth and families walked the chip trail through the exhibits learning about the different areas of agriculture, ending their educational journey writing a postc ard thanking Chippewa Valley farmers. Each youth that completed an activity tracker earned a free scoop of custard from Culver’s.
20 teenagers from across Wisconsin competed in The Wisconsin FFA Tractor Driving Contest. The winners are:
Brandon Jakobi: Loyal FFA- 1st
Aaron Dukelow: Abbotsford FFA- 2nd
Kyle Wepner: Manawa FFA- 3rd
Issac Jakobi: Loyal FFA- 4th
Clayton Blasel: Abbotsford FFA- 5th
Other highlights of the show include:
Chris Kroeze played three acoustic concerts to a standing-room only crowd in the Rural Events Center
Due to insanely popular demand the Food Tents sold out of The Big Rygg specialty sandwich every day – over 10,000 of the hamburger, pulled pork, cheese, bacon, coleslaw and horseradish sauce sandwiches were eaten over the three days. “We sold a ton of pulled pork,” said Jason Meyer, owner of Big Stack Meats and Catering. “Literally a ton – over 2,000 pounds of our signature pulled pork. The Food Tents also served 14,000 hamburgers, and 15,000 each of brats and hotdogs.
The Superior Fresh Kale tripped at the finish line to edge out the Silver Spring Foods Mustard and win the first ever Innovation Square Mascot Race on Thursday. The Chippewa Valley Kidney Bean, the Ferguson’s Orchards Apple, and the Marieke Gouda Mouse came in third, fourth and fifth respectively.
“Our family is so proud that Huntsinger Farms was able to host Farm Tech Days this year after it was cancelled due to the Pandemic in 2020,” said Eric Rygg president of Huntsinger Farms and Silver Spring Foods and host family for Farm Tech Days 2021. “It’s been amazing to work with so many farms and companies in the area to showcase Chippewa Valley’s diverse and world class agriculture ecosystem.”
Gintner added, “It’s amazing what we were able to do to get to the show. The entire Executive Committee and their committee members – over 250 people – have been double and triple planning for over a year for the different scenarios for large events in order to be prepared to make the show happen. We stuck together and kept moving forward and it paid off.” The 2022 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days show will be held on Roehl Acres of Loyal in Clark County, July 12-14, 2022.