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Farmers at WPS Farm Show discuss state of industry, get peek at its future

Posted at 6:40 PM, Mar 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-28 20:08:38-04

OSHKOSH (NBC 26) — Thousands of farmers from all over the Midwest gathered at the EAA grounds in Oshkosh to check out new products, discuss the state of their industry, and see what's in store for its future at the WPS Farm Show Tuesday.

Spurred on by new technologies, many farmers like Michael Kolpeck took note of a trend of farms growing larger and larger over the years.

“I was born and raised on a dairy farm," he explained, "we [cared for] 80 cows….[now] there are a couple of farms by us that are 5,000."

While the increasing size of dairy farms can make it hard for smaller farmers to compete, Agromatic, Inc. owner Dean Birschbach sees the growth of big farms as a positive development for the industry.

“Everybody feels that farming is corporate farming, and I don’t look at it as that at all," Hirschbach said, "all the larger farms started off as small dairy farms…It’s a win-win for the whole industry.”

Birschbach added that he believes new technologies on display at the expo—such as automatic milkers and feeders—will allow for more efficient farming, better prices for consumers, and better work-life balance for the farmers themselves.

“There’s benefits to…[creating] more family life and create a farm to be more like an average job instead of being an over-accelerated position," Birschbach said.

The Farm Show is scheduled to continue Wednesday before wrapping up on Thursday.