Family farming for the future showcased at Mid-State’s annual Farm Tour
Approximately 130 people turned out for the Mid-State Technical College annual Farm Tour on Wednesday, March 15, where they explored viable options for family farms to innovate as they look to meet the agriculture demands of the future.
This year’s Farm Tour included a showcase of Marshland Dairy in Spencer, owned and operated by Josh and Sarah Moga. Since taking over the dairy in 2015, the Mogas have modernized the farm through gradual budget-minded investments, including installation of automatic alley scrapers and a used robotic milker in repurposed existing buildings. They also converted to all Jersey cows and began breeding and selling cattle to increase profitability.
Participants also toured Bells’ Runway Acres, a 1,250-acre corn and soybean farm in Marshfield, co-owned by Josh and Ken Bell. Converted from a dairy farm in 2015, the Bells showcased their move to a dedicated grain operation, with all aspects of the business performed in-house, including soil management, planting, harvesting, grain drying, storage and trucking.
As always, 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 75th Alice in Dairyland, Taylor Schaefer of Franksville. During the lunch presentation, Norm-E-Lane Farm in Chili and Seehafer’s City View Dairy in Marshfield were unveiled as the Farm Tour stops for 2024.
“This tour was a great showcase of what a family-owned farm can do to keep up with the changes in agriculture,” said Mid-State Marshfield Campus Dean Dr. Alex Lendved. “The farms we toured took different paths, yet both demonstrate tangible opportunities for family farms to innovate their practices for long-term success.”
For information about Mid-State’s agriculture degree opportunities, visit mstc.edu/programs.