The 2014 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days – set for Aug. 12-14 near Plover, Wis. – will be co-hosted by Blue Top Farms and Feltz Family Farms.
Feltz Family Farms is owned and operated by Ken and Jackie Feltz since 1995. The fourth generation farm was established by Ken’s great grandfather, Peter Feltz after his family immigrated from Poland. The farm continued operation under the direction of Ken’s grandfather, Joe Feltz and later his father, George Feltz. Their son Jared, who recently graduated from River Falls, will carry the farm into the fifth generation. Through the years green beans, sweet corn, and peas have been grown on the farm.
Since 1995 the focus has been on dairy cattle. High priority is placed on cow comfort to ensure quality milk and top production. Through different phases of improvements and expansion the farm has grown to its current form. The 500-cow dairy employs 11 full time employees. The 500 owned and rented acres of land grow alfalfa and corn silage for the cattle.
Blue Top Farms started in 1958 as a partnership between Jim & Delores Zakrzewski and Emeryck & Irene Zakrzewski. Initially, 160 acres of land was purchased for the production of hogs, but by the mid 1970's production was switched from hogs to beef. The beef operation continued to expand through the years, with beef numbers reaching as high as 2,000 head.
In 1997 beef production land was sold, and is now part of the Portage County Business Park. With cattle gone, production became focused on producing grains and vegetables. Today, Blue Top Farms is comprised of 1,200 acres, located throughout Portage County, of which 1,000 acres are irrigated. Crops include field corn, soybeans, green beans and sweet corn. Farm operations are carried out by Jim and Delores' Peter Zakrzewski, son-in-law, Mike Hintz and grandson Jake Hintz with continued input from Jim & Delores Zakrzewski.
Blue Top Farms and Feltz Family Farms are located east of Plover (near Stevens Point), south of Highway HH. Additional land, being used for field demonstrations, is being made possible through neighboring growers; Myron Soik and Sons, Inc. and Greg Kizewski and Sons, Inc.
’Ideal calving pen’ on display
Visitors to Wisconsin Farm Technology Days can take a closer look at the “Wisconsin Calving Pen” that creates the ideal environment to provide cow comfort, worker safety and minimize disease transfer from cow to calf.
Regardless if a farm utilizes traditional, socially stable maternity groups or just-in-time calving, the health of the newborn calf is optimized by birth in the cleanest area possible away from other adult cattle. The Wisconsin Ideal Calving Pen provides space (less than eight hours) for a single calving cow.
The one-time, individual calving pens provide space for individual attention and observation of cows during calving. This well-planned calving pen makes it possible to provide proper handling, cow restraint and treatment while minimizing pathogen exposure to the newborn calf.
Stop by the University of Wisconsin-Extension’s Applied Technology Center to talk with UW-Extension agents and specialists to learn more about the Wisconsin Ideal Calving Pen.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is the largest agricultural show in Wisconsin and one of the largest in the nation. The three-day outdoor event showcases the latest improvements in production agriculture, including many practical applications of recent research findings and technological developments. Each year, it is held in a different Wisconsin county - on a different host family farm.
Wisconsin Farm Technology Days provides visitors the opportunity to see and talk with more than 600 commercial and educational exhibitors in Tent City who are eager to visit with them about their machinery, equipment, facilities, products, and services needs. A wide variety of agricultural products and services used in today's dairy, livestock, and crop production systems in Wisconsin will be on display. In addition, specialists and county Extension agents from the University of Wisconsin and state and federal agencies are on hand to answer questions. Educational exhibits, special interest displays, and field machinery demonstrations provide something of interest for everyone.
Admission is $6. For more information, visit www.portagecountyfarmtech.com.