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Published June 06, 2009, 12:00 AM

WFTD 2009 preview: Crave Brothers Dairy

With Pierce's show just a year away, some committee members attended 'Media Day' in Dodge County


Cows are still king -- or queen -- of Wisconsin agriculture. Crave Brothers Dairy currently milks about 1,000 registered Holsteins three times daily. Average production is 94 pounds daily.

  • Cows are still king -- or queen -- of Wisconsin agriculture. Crave Brothers Dairy currently milks about 1,000 registered Holsteins three times daily. Average production is 94 pounds daily.
  • Glenn Thompson, executive director of the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days organization, welcomes media members and other guests to Crave Brothers Dairy.
  • Next month's show hosts, Crave Brothers dairies, produce both fluid milk and cheese for the retail market. The four brothers built a cheese factory in 2001 and make 'Les Freres', a washed rind cheese; 'Petite Frere', a soft, ripened cheese; fresh mozzarella, Farmer's Rope string cheese; Mascarpone, a silky desert cheese; and a braided cheese especially for the Hispanic market.
  • Pierce Extension agent Greg Andrews ladles eggs for next year's WFTD host, Roger Peterson.
  • A group of attendees from Pierce County enjoyed brunch. Clockwise from left are, Roger and Bev Peterson, Mary Brand, Jim Harsdorf, Sue Dzubay and Mel Pittman.
  • Greg Andrews, Pierce County UW-Extension agent, gobbled a Crave Brothers curd while awaiting the first tram for a farm tour Wednesday.
  • Roger Peterson, co-host of next year's show, visits with Ken Seehafer, a Marathon County farmer, who will be hosting the WFTD show in 2011.
  • A reporter with Madison NBC affiliate channel 15 compares notes with a producer ahead of an interview with farm co-owner Charlie Crave, Wednesday morning.
  • Rick Klemme, a professor of Agricultural and Applied  Economics, who was recently named director of UW-Extension’s division of Cooperative Extension, speaks with Pam Jahnke of WTDY radio of Madison. Janke, who calls herself "Farm Babe", acted as emcee for Wednesday's activities.
  • Pierce committee members Lanette Harsdorf, left, and Mary Brand, right, joined 2010 farm host Bev Peterson over breakfast at Wednesday's media day in Dodge County. Crave Brothers farm is located near Waterloo, about 25 miles east of Madison.
  • Dodge County show organizers assemble for a photo Wednesday.
  • Pierce County visitors listen as Mark Crave describes the housing and feeding practices used on the farm. Two brothers acquired their first farm in 1978 and started milking 70 cows near Mount Horeb. Most of the buildings were constructed in the past 10 years.
  • Mark Crave, left, and nephew Carl, describe the waste-handling process that includes a 10 million-gallon storage lagoon that captures run-off from the entire farmstead.
  • A few dozen of the Crave Brothers' 2,000 Holsteins peer from a pen as visitors pause near their loafing barn Wednesday.
  • Dodge County hosts are offering a variety of  apparel for sale to help cover costs of hosting the 2009 show. Pierce County has also created embroidered shirts and hats. The items can be viewed and ordered at www.piercefarmtech.com.
  • Pierce Farm Tech committee members visit with a reporter Wednesday. From left are Beth Ingli, Jim Harsdorf, Roger and Bev Peterson, Mel Pittman and Greg Andrews.
  • Radio reporters gather sound bites ahead of formal remarks at Wednesdays media day. Foreground, a Dodge County committee member and at right is Glenn Thompson, executive director of the WFTD organization.
  • Digester<br /><br />Carl Crave is a nephew of the Crave family and employee of Clear Horizons, the Milwaukee firm that built twin digesters that turn manure from 2,000 cows into electricity to power the farm. Crave describes the process that takes about 25 days.
  • A special lawn ornament has been created near the office building on Crave Brothers' farm in honor of next month's show.
  • Placards were on display, depicting the location of the 'tent city', test- and demonstration plots for the 2009 show. Hundreds of acres will be used.