Agri-business leaders introduce Ag Innovation Alley
By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD – A local group of agri-business leaders are introducing a new Dairyfest experience designed to help educate the community on the advancements made in the agriculture industry, while providing an interactive experience.
“The concept of careers in Agriculture expo and then Ag Innovation Alley really started with the Power of Ag Tour,” explained Dennis Bangart, chair of MACCI’s Agri-Business Committee
“(The Power of Ag) started as one of the grant applications that was completed after the 2018 Farm Tech Days show here in Wood County and started with the idea of ‘How do we bring Food For America back to high school kids like we did in fourth grade?’ Not only did we want to show and educate on technology and careers in ag to high school youth, we also wanted the general public to be able to see it too and learn. The intent of Ag Innovation Alley is to show some of the cool technology out there in ag for great purpose and awareness.”
“While the Power of Ag focused on high school sophomores and promoting careers in agriculture; the Ag Innovation Alley will expose all ages to the amazing innovation in the agriculture industry currently being used today. This translates into some great career opportunities as well, due to all the technology being utilized,” added MACCI Business Development Director Karen Olson.
Businesses and organizations will showcase the advancement in their specific industries, including: Insight FS/Growmark, with their sprayer simulator; Pittsville Fire Company, with their grain bin rescue simulator, Mid-State’s Mobile Ag Lab- Millie; and much more.
In addition to industry awareness, organizers hope that the event provides lessons in stewardship, sustainability, and workforce generation as well.
“June is Dairy Month which means promotion and education on Dairy, but in this event it is also that next step of education and promotion of the technology, how it is used as a labor resource and as an approach to be more efficient, especially when it comes to its use to promote environmental sustainability and stewardship for long term benefit,” Bangart added.
“I think it’s important to recognize the efforts of MACCI and the role that a chamber should serve in the health of community as far as programming and development of the vital economics that make it thrive. Marshfield is blessed with the fact that our chamber recognizes the very large impact of agriculture locally to allow an Agri-Business Committee that has it roots in growing similar efforts for the promotional, development, and education of the ag community and its impact on the general economy.“
Olson added that the programs are also intended to showcase or highlight the career opportunities in the agriculture industry.
“To educate and bring awareness….to create a local pipeline. Most businesses are experiencing a talent shortage and MACCI really focuses on that,” Olson stated.
Ag Innovation Alley will take place June 4, noon – 4 p.m., in the BMO Harris parking lot on the corner of West Fourth Street and South Central Avenue in Marshfield.