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Pierce group attends WFT media day; planning continues for RF event

A group from Pierce County traveled to Waterloo Wednesday to a media day ahead of the 2009 Wisconsin Farm Technology Days. From left are: Beth Ingli, Spring Valley; Mel Pittman, Plum City; and Bev and Roger Peterson of River Falls -- the 2010 show hosts.

WATERLOO, Wis. -- With just more than a year before the curtain goes up on Pierce County's edition of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days, local organizers traveled to rural Waterloo Wednesday to watch this year's hosts in Dodge County showcase their program to Wisconsin agricultural press.

Organizers reportedly sent invitations to about 250 media people from across the region. A local caterer served a brunch of scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit, pastries and Crave Creek cheeses to about 125 people, many of whom carried either cameras or digital recorders.

"It's about agriculture in general, and we want everybody to know how important farming is to our state," Dodge County publicity chair Gloria Hafemeiser.

"This about agriculture in Wisconsin - not just the Crave brothers," echoed George Crave, the oldest of four brothers who operate the 2,000-cow dairy and cheese-making operation near Waterloo, about 25 miles northeast of Madison.

This year's WFT Days show runs Tuesday through Thursday, July 21-23. For complete details, go to

The town of Portland farm is near the convergence of four counties - Dodge, Jefferson, Dane and Columbia. The Craves operate about 1,800 acres of land, raising corn, soybeans and alfalfa. Their herd of registered Holsteins includes 90 "excellent, very good and good-plus" cows with a breed age average of 107.

The theme of this year's show is "Food, Fuel and the Future," playing on the Crave Brothers' unique vertical integration that takes milk from cow to market-ready product, and a giant on-farm manure digester that generates enough electricity to power 550 homes transforms the remaining byproducts into fertilizer and potting soil.

Attendees from Pierce County included Greg Andrews, Mel Pittman, Roger and Bev Peterson, Jim and Lanette Harsdorf, Mary Brand and Beth Ingli.

The tentative date for Pierce County's media day is Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010.

For more on the story, see next week's print edition.