No question is too stupid when exploring new advancements in farm-related industries.
The state’s ‘Farm Technology Days’ gets under way in Western Wisconsin. “Courtesy Tours” makes its debut at the annual event that offers agricultural producers an opportunity learn more about new products and services. And the general public can also learn a thing or two. “What we’re really trying to do is offer, as a courtesy, tours to the non-farm public that will attend our event.”
Pierce County dairy farmer Jay Richardson helped to come up with the idea for “Courtesy Tours.” He recalls, while attending last year’s Farm Technology Days, he was happy to be of service after being approached by a man inquiring about a machine. “He was just overjoyed that somebody would take some time out of their time and explain to him what was going on, and I thought ‘Boy, we’re going to have a lot of urban visitors at Pierce County this year, as well,’ and I thought ‘We’re really missing the boat if we don’t have something to offer for the people who are wondering what it is that we do.'”
So, Richardson teamed up with friend, Liz Doorninck, who happens to be co-leader of the American Farmers for the Advancement and Conservation of Technology, or AFACT. They both got out their little black books and recruited friends and colleagues to volunteer their time to do the hour-or-so-long tours. The volunteers are urged to give out their business cards, Richardson says, so if there are any future questions, individuals can contact their “own personal farmer.”
Richardson says they’re really rolling out the red carpet for the non-farmer types attending the event this year, which runs through Thursday in Pierce County near River Falls.
NOTE: About 80,000 people are expected to attend the three-day show. More than 850 exhibitors and vendors will be there — including 240 agri-business vendors. Numerous tours and demonstrations are planned all three days, including a free old-time “barn dance.”