2018 Ag Tour - 9/11
Ag Tour 2018, presented by Del Monte Foods and Okray Family Farms is set for Tuesday, September 11th from 8:30AM to 2:30PM. Planned by the Agri-Business Committee of the Portage County Business Council, you and your business associates are invited to attend.
The theme for this year's event is "Farm to Fork". The event will begin with a tour of Okray Family Farms, 3001 River Drive, Plover. Okray Family Farms has been in business since1905, and they have evolved through the years to keep up with changes in the industry. We will hear about the challenges the business faces and how they are working through them. Participants will get a look at their entire process, from harvesting potatoes to the final packaged product.
Harvesting and storing potatoes is a very complex operation. Once their potatoes are done growing, it is a race against time. They have to work with weather, equipment, and labor challenges to get their product safely into storage before the freeze. They will discuss the details of deciding when to harvest, and how they keep their potatoes in good condition through the winter and into the following summer.
Throughout the year, they wash, grade, and package potatoes that are shipped across the country. Their packing shed recently went through a major renovation to increase their efficiency and productivity. Attendees of this event will get a close look at some of the industry's latest technological advancements that help potato packers deal with changing industry standards and labor challenges. There is a lot of work needed to get potatoes into grocery stores, and Okray Family Farms is excited to share the process with us.
After the Okray Family Farms tour will we head back to Wisconsin Public Service for lunch and guest speaker presentation.
A buffet style lunch consisting of grilled hamburgers, brats, potato salad, calico beans, chips, dessert and refreshments will be available. Our guest speaker will be Shannon Ruffalo, Vice President of Plainfield Trucking, Inc., and his presentation is entitled "Transportation Changes & Challenges".
After lunch we will be heading to Service Cold Storage, 5700 EM Copps Drive, Stevens Point. Participants will tour their 425,000 spuare foot, state of the art freezer and cooler storage that will freeze and store over 20,000 pallets of local agriculture production this year alone. The facility is fully controlled by an ammonia refrigeration system with wireless RF access points to give visibility to customer product no matter where it is located within the 55,000 pallet spaces of the facility.
Service Cold Storage started in 2014 with a dream by a group of local entrepreneurs who are now building their third expansion onto a 100% temperature controlled facility. Priding themselves on providing best in class service levels combined with technology exceeding the industry, have enabled them to partner with fortune 100 customers allowing them to continue to grow. They are a fully paperless facility with an IT infrastructure that directs the employees using a wireless task driven WMS system. They receive and ship an average of 100 truckloads of product a day and during harvest season that number can increase up to 150 truckloads.
Placing product 46 feet in the air pooled with exceeding industry technology, it is a very frigid, must see sight in central Wisconsin! As of June 1, 2018, Service Cold Storage was acquired by Lineage Logistics - the 2nd largest temperature controlled facility company in the world opening the growth potential even further.
The entire event includes tour stops, bus transportation, a picnic lunch & guest speaker, socializing and education.
Ag Tour 2018 Agenda:
8:30AM - Registration at Wisconsin Public Service (WPS)
PLEASE NOTE: All vehicles will be left in the WPS parking lot
8:45AM - Bus Departs for Okray Family Farms
11:45AM - Lunch and Guest Speaker Presentation at WPS
12:45PM - Tour of Service Cold Storage
2:30PM - Return to WPS for vehicle pickup / Event Concludes
Special thanks to our Presenting Sponsors of the Event:
Please note TOUR RULES / DRESS CODE:
-- Casual wear
-- Bring a jacket for tour of Service Cold Storage (temperatures will range from 70 to 34 to -10 degrees)
-- Comfortable shoes (ABSOLUTELY NO sandals, flip flops or high heels)
-- No jewelry (such as facial piercings, earrings or necklaces)
Click on photo gallery below to see some of last year’s visits.