What is Innovation Square?
Innovation Square will be an exhibit at the center of Farm Technology Days featuring five innovative Western Wisconsin farms who all represent different types of agriculture and farming in the Eau Claire area. The agriculture represented will be apples, kidney beans, cheese, greens, horseradish, and salmon. Let's get to know who all these exhibitors are and what you can expect when you visit Farm Technology Days this year in July 2021!
Meet The 2021 Exhibitors
1. SILVER SPRING FOODS
The world's largest grower & processor of horseradish
Silver Spring Foods, the world's largest grower and processor of horseradish, operates right here at Huntsinger Farms in Eau Claire. In fact, this very farm will be the host of 2021's Farm Technology Days! The farm's history goes all the way back to 1929 including four generations of family farmers who have committed to making fresh horseradish each day. Today, the farm is owned and operated by founder Ellis Huntsinger's granddaughter and her two sons. At Innovation Square, you will get to see a horseradish crop from the field, learn about everything that it takes to grow, harvest, and process this crop, and get a pictorial view of their company's history tracing all the way back to 1929. After learning all that goes into producing horseradish, you'll get to enjoy the fruits of the farm's labor! Silver Spring Foods will be offering horseradish taste tests, product sampling and featuring virgin Bloody Marys! You'll also get put to the test with some horseradish trivia so you can walk out with some prizes. Finally, you'll be able to take a tour of Huntsinger Farms, see its custom farming equipment, water retention pond, and newly installed solar power system that generates about 18% of the farm's power year-round.
2. FERGUSON'S ORCHARDS
One of the Midwest's largest commercial apple growers
During the autumn months, you can expect Ferguson's Orchards to be busy every day with people of all ages running around enjoying their attractions and apples. Ferguson's is also located right here in Eau Claire and is one of the city's main attractions from September through October each year. They have approximately 300,000 apple trees with 21 different varieties of apples! At Innovation Square, you will be able to speak with the apple growing experts themselves and get some yummy samples. You will get some insight on the high density apple growing techniques, trellis systems, and state-of-the-art irrigation they use to grow their apples. Plus, the kids are bound to have some fun here experiencing some of their favorite attractions from this beloved farm!
3. PENTERMAN FARM
An international award-winning cheese company
There's no way Eau Claire, WI could host a farming event and not have a dairy farm in attendance. Next on this list... CHEESE! Penterman Farm, located in Thorp, WI, is a 350-cow dairy farm that is the home of Marieke Gouda. This award-winning cheese company uses farm-fresh milk from its Brown Swiss and Holstein herd to create fresh, raw-milk cheese every day. At Farm Technology Days, their dairy farmers and experts will teach you about the cheese making process and give you the latest and greatest information on dairy farm practices. And of course, you'll be able to taste the different flavors of Marieke Gouda's award-winning cheese! Now talk about a "GOUDA" time!
4. CHIPPEWA VALLEY BEAN COMPANY
The largest kidney bean processor & exporter in the world
Do you like beans?! Chippewa Valley Bean Company is located in Menomonie, WI, just a short drive southwest of Eau Claire, and is the largest kidney bean processor and exporter in the world. They are on the leading edge of nutrition trends providing an efficient, plant-based protein. If you don't know much about the life-cycle of a kidney bean, Farm Technology Days is where you will learn. Chippewa Valley Bean Company will also talk about the long history of the Doane Family and how their farming and processing techniques have changed as the years have gone by. To give you a little sneak preview, Sylvester Doane and his 9 kids moved from Sheyboygan County to Dunn County in 1858. Then, in 1931, Russel Doane, who is the founder of Chippewa Valley Bean Company, was born. The rest... you'll have to attend Farm Technology Days to find out! They will have their different modern farming equipment on display along with different bean plots in various stages of maturity. You can't step away until you've tried some of their kidney bean dishes; they are guaranteed to be unlike any kidney bean dishes you've had before! If the kids tag along, they can test their bean counting skills too!
5. SUPERIOR FRESH
The world's largest aquaponic farm
The 5th and final farm making up the Innovation Square at Farm Technology Days is Superior Fresh. Located just over a half hour south of Eau Claire in Hixton, WI, Superior Fresh is the world's largest aquaponic farm that specializes in organic leafy greens, Atlantic salmon, and regenerative agriculture to restore the environment on its land. Superior Fresh grows their organic greens year-round, regardless of weather, and never fails to provide Wisconsin and its neighboring states with fresh, locally grown lettuces. At Innovation Square you will have an up close experience with the aquaponic farm's fish and green's operation and get to have a conversation about what the company is doing to restore their farmland. There's some taste testing to be done here too! They will have their different organic greens for you to dig your forks into. The future of farming is bright... "LETTUCE" celebrate it!
FIND THE FARMS ON THE MAP!
About Farm Technology Days
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days will take place over the span of 3-days from July 20-22, 2021 at Huntsinger Farms in Eau Claire. This outdoor event will showcase the latest developments in production agriculture featuring applications, recent research, and technological farming advances. Fun fact! This is the ONLY outdoor farm show of its size in the whole country and is completely run by volunteers! Each year, it welcomes over 45,000 visitors and more than 600 commercial and educational vendors to Wisconsin. This 67th annual event won't be Eau Claire's first time hosting; Farm Progress Days was hosted in Eau Claire County back in 1992. Visit the website to find out more about the show! >> LEARN MORE