Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Eau Claire County is set to host Wisconsin's largest agricultural show, Farm Technology Days, in year 2020.
The last time Eau Claire county hosted was in 1992 at a farm near Augusta. After speaking one-on-one with producers and agriculture business providers, working within a the UW-Extension Education Committee and putting together a resolution that was passed by the Eau Claire County Board, the state board officially offered the event to Eau Claire County on Wednesday.
"We are very enthusiastic about extending the offer to us, and we accepted," said Mark Hagedorn, Eau Claire County UW-Extension agriculture agent.
Hagedorn said the county will provide $20,000 in seed money to help put the show together, which will be repaid after the event. The economic impact is expected to be between $1.2 and $1.8 million as visitors will spend money at hotels, restaurants and more. Hagedorn said youth and non-profit organizations can also benefit financially from services provided during the show.
Based on past year's figures, potential profits have been anywhere from $100,000-$175,000 -- with $80,000-$120,000 going towards groups who organize food sales and $20,000-$55,0000 to general county activities distributed at the direction of the Farm Technology Days Executive Committee.
Hagedorn said while the economic impact is huge, it also provides and important opportunity to provide a learning experience for people with or without any knowledge of agriculture.
"This is going to be a platform where you can come out and see anything and everything because it is going to go from back in 1953 when we first hosted that National Plowing Contest here all the way through ultra-precision, global position, satellite-directed equipment that is just on the horizon of just being utilized now," Hagedorn said.
Hosting Farm Technology Days will be no simple task. Hagedorn said they will need 1,500 volunteers to make the event possible. They are currently working on developing an executive committee and finding an executive board director who will be the in charge of the numerous committees involved. From there, organizers will reach out to farms in the community to see if any are interested in hosting.
Anyone who is interested in volunteering can contact the Eau Claire County Extension Office at (715) 839-4712.