Innovative Technology and Agriculture Practices Showcased at Mid-State’s Farm Tour

Mar 27, 2024

Mid-State Technical College’s annual Farm Tour brought nearly 150 people to the Marshfield area on Wednesday, March 13, to explore innovative technology options for family farms as they look to meet the agriculture demands of the future. 

This year’s tour included a showcase of Norm-E-Lane Farm Inc in Chili, Wis., owned by the Meissner family. In its 80-year history Norm-E-Lane has grown from 80 acres and milking cows by hand to 5,000 acres with 2,500 cows, 2,000 youngstock and high-tech feeding and milking operations. They also capture their methane gas and produce marketable renewable fuel sources.

Participants also toured Seehafer's City View Dairy, LLC, in Marshfield, Wis., owned and operated by Ben, Bruce and Kristine Seehafer, with family ownership going back to 1898. The main focus of Seehafer’s City View is cow comfort, care and cleanliness. They have been able to increase to 270 milking cows with a goal to get to 300+ while focusing on the comfort of the cow. Seehafer’s also has a dedicated maternity and vetting area for cows who need to be vetted or are ready to calve.

The day included opportunities for networking, discussion and sharing of ideas between current agriculture students, agribusinesses and those interested in agriculture. Attendees also enjoyed interacting with different agriculture vendors at the Vendor Show.

The Farm Tour also featured a lunch presentation from the 76th Alice in Dairyland, Ashley Hagenow. As Wisconsin's agriculture ambassador, Hagenow’s talk highlighted the importance of the state's diverse agriculture industry, including its $104.8 billion economic impact on the state’s economy. 

“Norm-E-Lane Farm and Seehafer’s City View Dairy are both great examples of how family-owned farms can evolve, grow and innovate to keep up with the changes in agriculture,” said Mid-State Marshfield Campus and School of Applied Technology Dean Dr. Alex Lendved. “We were able to see a variety of paths that farms can take to improve efficiencies and increase cow care and comfort. The annual Farm Tour is a great showcase of agriculture innovation, allowing farmers to learn from other farmers. We look forward to continuing this event in the future.”

Romadka View Holsteins LLC in Granton, Wis., and Heeg Brothers Dairy, LLC in Colby, Wis., were unveiled as the Farm Tour stops for 2025. Mid-State will also host the annual Wisconsin Technical College System (WTCS) Ag Day celebration next year in conjunction with the Farm Tour.

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