SUGAR BUSH - It's an event that hasn't been in Outagamie County in more than 30 years, but Farm Technology Days is on its way. The 3-day event is co-hosted by the Sugar Creek and Heideman Family Farms in Sugar Bush. It's billed as the biggest and most important farming event of the year in Wisconsin.
"Not too many people get a chance to do something like this," said Mike Bruette of Sugar Creek Farm.
The 2012 Farm Technology Days will be returning to Outagamie County in July for the first time since 1981. This year showcasing farming neighbors plowing divergent paths to success and hoping to spur interest in future farmers.
"Mostly educational, trying to get young people to know what farming is all about and hopefully get the interested," said Bruette.
Sugar Creek is a state-of-the-art dairy farm with 1250 head of cows, pumping out more than 100,000 gallons of milk a day.
"We're on a newer style farm here with free standing stalls and parlors compared to their tie-stall barn," said Bruette.
The Heideman family farm is a more traditional farming operation.
"We're pretty much from start to finish the typical cropping operation, from tillage to spraying to custom harvesting," said John P. Heideman.
Both will be featured during Farm Technology Days and so will Outagamie County. In just a few weeks empty fields will be filled with hundreds of tents and thousands of visitors. Bringing notoriety for one of the county's largest industries and a big boost to the county's economy.
"It's a significant amount of work just to bid on this type of event and this is a big win for Outagamie County," said Pam Seidl of the Fox Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Hotels from New London to Appleton will be booked and visitors are expected to spend close to $1 million during the event, now three years in the making.
"This is the biggest event we will have this summer in Outagamie County from a tourism perspective," said Seidl.
An event Heideman is proud to be part of.
"Soak it all in and enjoy it, because it's a once in a lifetime opportunity."
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