LOYAL, Wis. — The 2022 Farm Technology Days in Clark County is just under a month away.
The show is being held at Roehl Acres and Rustic Occasions just south of Loyal, July 12-14. Dennis and Suzie Roehl, owners of Roehl Acres, discussed how they got involved with the show, discussed the history of the farm, and some of the events happening.
“If anyone is wondering how this came about, it’s probably because I have too much time in the tractor. I do a lot of thinking in the tractor,” Dennis said. “I came home and said, ‘Hey, what would you think of this?’ And my wife looked at me and shook her head and said, ‘You better talk to your dad.'”
“So, I talked to my dad and talked to my uncle and they all thought it was a good idea. So, I went back to my wife and said, ‘What do you think?’ And she said, ‘If you think we can do this, we can do it.’ And then I got to thinking, ‘Boy, Doug and Kim [of Rustic Occasions] should be involved in this.’ So, I went and I talked to them and they were excited about it.”
“So, we applied and we got it. We’re very excited to have this just to showcase what we’ve done here and what our parents have done. I think it’s very amazing.”
“Just to give you a little history of the farm, my parents bought the farm in 1967 milking 33 cows. In 1973, they expanded to 82 cows. And, at the time, that was a lot of cows. In 1976, they built the house and the shed in the same year, which nobody ever did and mom said they’d never do that again.”
“In 1996, we expanded to 114 cows. I came back home from college and I started farming with my parents and then we expanded into this barn (the current Rustic Occasions barn). I actually milked in the basement of this barn and we had hay upstairs in this barn.”
“So, you can appreciate how much work went into this barn. We had it stacked full. And I mean full, full. Right up to the track. Doug and Kim took everything out, cleaned it up. It is actually amazing how much they’ve done to this place.”
“In 2010, we expanded again and we built a free stall barn. So, we moved our cattle out of this barn and moved everything to the home farm. So, we were still milking in our barn until this may. And now we put in four robotic milkers. They’ve been going for three weeks and everybody asks ‘how are they going?’ They’re working their butts off and so are we!”
“The new technology that these things have are amazing. All the cows have fitbits on them, so we can track all of their activities that they’re running around, how much they’re doing, see if they’re sick. The technology that is out there is absolutely amazing. We have automatic feed pushers. We have automatic scrapers.”
“So, an overview of some of the things we’re doing at Farm Tech Days. We’re bringing back field demos. They haven’t been there for a couple of years. I think that is a very important thing to have, so you can see, not just technology on the farm, but also out in the field because that technology has really blown up over the years.”
“Another thing we’re having is farm tours. Our farm tours are going to be a little unique. Most of the time when you get a farm tour, you get on a bus and that’s it. We’re getting off the bus at the farm. You’ll actually be able to walk through my barn, past the robots, look at the robots, spend as much time as you want there looking at the robots, and then we’ll go through the milk house and then you can feed a calf.”
“I think that’s very important to have too. People just don’t realize what it is to feed a calf anymore. And the kids don’t know what it is. And I think that’s very important for the public to know. So, we’re not going to have a schedule, you’ll need to get back on your bus or a different bus as they come through every 10-20 minutes. And then the buses will come here (Rustic Occasion) and you’ll be able to walk around here. So, I think it’s going to be unique.”
Once again, the 2022 Farm Technology Days in Clark County is being held July 12-14 at Roehl Acres and Rustic Occasions just south of Loyal.
— Wisconsin Farm Technology Days