For a group of dairy farmers, the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center has been a vision for over eight years. A dedicated group of board directors, staff, and volunteers whose passion is to educate consumers have planned, fundraised, and built the 10,000-square-foot exhibit.
Julie Maurer, Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center board president, shared that if Farm Wisconsin never came full circle, she would still be striving to educate the public. “The fact is that many Americans don’t always understand the great responsibility farmers have to feed communities and how diligently we work to find the most productive, efficient, and safest way to do just that.” Maurer should know. Not only has she worked tirelessly to get Farm Wisconsin off the ground, she is a dairy farmer and part owner of her family’s dairy, Soaring Eagle Dairy.
Now, Wisconsin farmers will have some help educating the public. The Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, located right off Interstate 43 in the northeastern part of Wisconsin, will be an epicenter for consumer information about all things farming in the state.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and Secretary of Agriculture Sheila Harsdorf, along with other dignitaries, were in support of this project. The government awarded the center a $5 million nonstate grant.
At a preview event and ribbon-cutting ceremony held last week, Secretary Harsdorf explained how critical agriculture is to the state’s economy and why this educational center is essential to maintaining that thriving relationship.
Governor Walker said a few words about agriculture’s vast amount of job opportunities. He commends Farm Wisconsin for not only teaching young people about where their food comes from but also about careers they may be interested in pursuing. More comments by Maurer, Harsdorf, and Walker can be viewed in this video.
The center includes six displays that address dairy farming, Wisconsin’s diverse agriculture, field to fork, the environment, technological advances, and the people of agriculture. A birthing barn that will show about five live births a day along with a tour of the neighboring Grotegut Dairy Farm is a part of the experience as well.
Along with the exhibits, the center will also have a Wisconsin-themed café along with a catering business. There is also space for farmers and others to utilize the facility for workshops, meetings, and so forth. It is located at 7001 Gass Lake Road in Manitowoc, Wis., and the grand opening is on July 28 and 29 from noon to 6 p.m.