Farm Families,  Photography

Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days 2017 in Photos

I’ve had this feeling that I have been hoarding photos. These photos are special to me and I think they will be special to a lot of you. So, about eight months later I’m FINALLY sharing my absolute fave photos I took at Kewaunee County Farm Technology Days in July.

GO TO FULL GALLERY: http://alyssabloechlphotography.pass.us/farm-tech-gallery-2017/

You may have seen some of these shots before, as they were shared during the week of FTD, but there were so much more I wanted you all to see! I truly hope you enjoy them, and if you do, please let me know!

For those of you who don’t know, Wisconsin Farm Technology Days (FTD) is a premier traveling farm show hosted by different Wisconsin farm families in different counties every year. Basically, tractors, animals, equipment and a lot of other cool displays are set up in the middle of a giant field. There are kids events, learning opportunities, presentations on every topic imaginable, entertainment and amazing food. Oh yeah, and tons of ice cream.

2017 was super special, as it was in Kewaunee County, where I worked for over a year as a journalist back in 2013-14. During that time, I was privileged to meet an amazing number of people, so I was right at home acting as the event’s official photographer. Plus, this little county south of Door County, and just north of Lambeau Field sits along Lake Michigan and is home to some of the most beautiful dairy cattle in the whole state. (As some of you know, cows are close to my heart.)

Kewaunee is small in comparison to many of the other counties in America’s Dairyland, but it is a huge community of agricultural enthusiasts. There are many kinds of farms in Kewaunee County including, dairy, beef, tree, horse, and vegetable, some are organic, some conventional. There are vineyards, fruit orchards, plentiful fishing, parks, rivers and an abundance of excellent people who live and care for all of these things.

2017 was the first year this wonderful community was honored with the task of hosting WI Farm Technology Days. This event is no small thing. It took over 1,900 volunteers on 18 committees and sub-committees to plan, problem solve and execute the three-day event in July.

Hosted at Ebert Enterprises, owned and operated by Randy and Renee Ebert and their children Jordan, Whitney and Britney, the show was an amazing success, attracting people, businesses, and families from across the Midwest. It was a celebration of agriculture, community and advancing technology.

The Kewaunee County show was a perfect example of how a community can truly come together to do brilliant and amazing things together. Thousands of people attended the event and learned about agriculture in a multitude of ways including through different educational booths like UW-Extension, by riding along on farm tours (attended by about 50 percent of attendees), visiting historical Heritage displays and demonstrations and even by eating some of the amazing locally sourced food prepared and served by awesome volunteer groups. (AKA over 15K hamburgers and cheeseburgers and more than 11K bowls of ice cream.)

On a little bit of a softer note, the show was about family and doing good things for others.

One of the Ebert’s daughters, Britney, passed away before the show, but she was present during every single step of the planning and entirety of the show. Britany loved her family and her farm, and she could be found throughout the show in old family photos, every single good thing that happened and on the minds of the whole group of committee members. A special butterfly release was held in her honor and a road in Tent City was dedicated to her. These moments allowed her parents and siblings to keep her close as they toured their fields and greeted visitors to their home.

To add to the goodness of this week, the show hosts made the dream of a little boy come true. Before the start of the show, FTD Executive Committee members 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 brand of tractors, John Deere. Isaac was able to be a farmer for a few hours, riding in John Deere’s largest tractor and chopper on site with help of a licensed driver. He and his family also got a private tour of the farm and grounds and he took home his own push-pedal tractor.

I was incredibly honored to be this event’s primary photographer and member of the Public Relations Committee. I hope to continue sharing the good news of Wisconsin agriculture and the goodness that comes from it in the future. (P.S. The PR committee was the most efficient, driven and organized groups of people I’ve ever tackled a project with. And this was no presentation in front of a class. Miss you pals.) Good luck to Wood County in 2018!

Thank you to every single volunteer, every visitor and every person who was in any way involved with this event. You made it memorable.

And remember… “Everything Grows Better Here.”

Here is a sampling of photos, but to see the full 700+ photo gallery visit: http://alyssabloechlphotography.pass.us/farm-tech-gallery-2017/

Would you like to document your family farm with heirloom photos and a written history to share with your family, friends and future generations? Contact photographer and writer Alyssa Bloechl for more information at abloechlphoto@gmail.com or call at 920-445-8727.

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