The 71st Alice in Dairyland Kaitlyn Riley officially started her duties on June 4th. Since then, it’s been a “whirlwind” process of learning first-hand all about agriculture in Wisconsin.
Riley is no stranger to the farm, having worked on her family-owned dairy farm before her election in May. As part of her new full-time position of being Alice, Riley took part in Farm Technology Days. “The diversity of Wisconsin agriculture industry is really our greatest strength. We’re the top producer of a lot of great commodities,” she said.
Besides Dairy, visitors to Farm Technology Days will learn about cranberries and the ginseng industry. “What’s fun is you get to see all sorts of diversity here,” said Riley. “They have animals here for demonstration, there’s a lot of great activities for kids to get hands-on experience, and you can go in a cranberry bog!”
Wisconsin makes about 64% of the cranberries produced in the nation and have many uses, something demonstrated in the food booths at the event. Visitors will learn more about the harvesting process by visiting the bog by Innovation Square. One surprise might be to find out that cranberries don’t grow in the water.
“They’re actually grown in sandy marshes, and then they flood the marshes to harvest the cranberries,” said Riley. “That’s when we get the beautiful visuals that we see today before we get them either with our Thanksgiving meal and with our cranberry cookies, or however we
like to enjoy them.”
Farm Technology Days continues through July 12.