WEAU News 13 - Local farm prepares to host Farm Technology Days in 2020



By Denton Postlewait - WEAU Staff

EAU CLAIRE COUNTY, Wis. (WEAU) - Huntsinger farms have been in operation in Eau Claire County since 1929. Huntsinger Farms is regarded as the world’s largest grower and processor of horseradish.

Eric Rygg is the president of Huntsinger Farms and Silver Spring Foods. He says they are excited to be the host in 2020.

“When Eau Claire County was awarded the show and approached us to be a potential host, we looked at it as a once in a lifetime opportunity for us to showcase agriculture in the area, not just horseradish,” Rygg said.

He says the show gives people a chance to learn about agriculture and gives farmers a chance to learn about better production methods.

“I think the Wisconsin Farm Technology Day's basis for it is to be able to have a cross-section between education, industry and then the farmers themselves,” Rygg said.

At today's tour of Huntsinger Farms, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection secretary designee, Brad Pfaff, got to see the horseradish production process and learn about the farm. He says while Wisconsin is still “America’s Dairyland,” the Huntsinger selection is a way to show Wisconsin as more than just a dairy state.

“We also need to recognize that we are more than just dairy. We are one of the nation's leading producers of vegetables. We grow an awful lot of vegetables in our state,” Pfaff said. “One-in-nine people that have a job in our state have a job that relates to agriculture.”

He says agriculture is a vital part of the story of Wisconsin.

“Agriculture plays an important role in telling the story of Wisconsin, to ourselves but also to visitors of our state,” Pfaff said. “We are people that understand the land. We understand soil, we understand water.”

For Rygg, hosting Farm Technology Days, which will be held in one of their fields, gives people a chance to learn how food gets to their table.

“Having it on a horseradish farm has a unique twist, people can learn about a crop they might not usually learn about,” Rygg said.

As for how horseradish gets it flavor, Rygg says it is a defense mechanism inside the plant. The more you grind, or chew, the hotter it gets

Farm Technology Days is scheduled for July 21st through 23rd of 2020.

Organizers say there will be over 600 exhibitors at the event, including many local family farms. For more information on Farm Technology Days or to volunteer, click on the link provided.

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