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Wash-out doesn't discourage Pierce delegation to Wisconsin Farm Technology Days

The Pierce County edition of Wisconsin Farm Technology Days is still 23 months away but the countdown took on fresh urgency last week when local volunteers traveled across the state and saw firsthand, the work to be done.

Six members of the Roger Peterson family and committee members boarded a charter bus late Tuesday and traveled 250 miles to Green Bay for the night, then headed out early Wednesday for the farm extravaganza sited at Country Aire Farms, about 30 miles south of the Packer mecca.

Their mission was to see, touch, learn and ask questions of their Brown County counterparts to help shape planning for the Pierce show, scheduled for Tuesday-Thursday, July 20-22, 2010 on 800-plus acres about two miles south of River Falls.

The show is billed as the largest agriculture exposition in Wisconsin--a three-day outdoor event that showcases the latest improvements in production agriculture. Each year, it is held in a different Wisconsin county--on a different host family farm.

Unfortunately, they also witnessed the risk of hosting a mega-event outdoors here.

About 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, the show was abruptly cancelled due to the threatening weather. Light rain began to fall and lightning flashed as thousands of vehicles began to exit the grounds. Within hours, more than two inches of rain had accumulated and Brown County officials were forced to cancel the third and final day of the show.

"I want to reassure all of you that this is not the first time cancellation has occurred. However, this is a very rare occurrence and from Brown County's perspective, the show is not a loss," said Greg Andrews, UW-Extension agricultural agent and executive secretary for the upcoming Pierce show.

Committee members will staff an informational booth in the Round Barn during the Aug. 7-10 run of the Pierce County Fair. They'll be looking for hundreds of volunteers to help with preparations and assist with food service, field demonstrations, traffic direction and logistics during the 2010 show.

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Read more about what the Pierce delegation learned and see pictures from their visit in next week's print edition.