GreenStone in the Community: Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center
7/13/2018
produce at farmers market
Engaging in local activities is one way GreenStone gives back to places where we work and live. Our employees carry out our passion for community engagement through a variety of activities both as GreenStone representatives and as volunteers – we are pleased to tell their stories here. Watch for upcoming stories of how our employees give back in our Open Fields blog!    

Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center

Today’s farmer has a great story to tell to the many people interested in how their food is grown. Helping tell that story, while providing an enriching family experience, was the spark of an idea of some northeast Wisconsin farmers that has now come to life. On Monday, the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers working to make a vision a reality will open its doors: the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center.

Situated in the diversified farming community of Manitowoc, the center will provide interactive educational activities to engage visitors in the farm to table journey. Through the activities and displays, the center will communicate the rich history of farming as well as convey the impact farming has on the local, state and national communities.

The vision of the center was started by local farmers in the Manitowoc area but quickly gained momentum as state and national interest grew in making the center a destination for families from all over the country. The 29,000- square foot center required investment of over $13 million,  generated through donations from supporters. At the launch, the center has an impressive list of agricultural companies of all sizes invested in their mission, including GreenStone and the other Farm Credit associations in Wisconsin. 

Bringing visitors to Wisconsin, with its diverse agriculture and strong ties to the industry, will give visitors a chance to see firsthand the dedication today’s farmers have to the environment and modern animal care. Through the experience, the center leaders hope to engage visitors in conversations about food, nutrition and environmental welfare and modern production agriculture. 

The discovery center campus houses a learning center, a dairy cow birthing center along with a café and country store featuring local products. Visitors will also have the opportunity to tour neighboring farms.

“Our farmers need help telling their story,” said Laurie Schetter, GreenStone’s vice president of lending in the Manitowoc branch. “This non-profit educational center is the first of its kind in Wisconsin, and it will help farmers tell their stories and engage in conversations with consumers about where their food comes from. We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting project!”

As a native of the area, Laurie is passionate about the vision of the center and has worked with the group since the first idea was brought about. Over the last eight years she has devoted countless hours to see the vision become a reality.

The center will open for a special media and sponsor event on July 16. A grand opening celebration is planned for the weekend of July 28-29 for the first public event. For more information on the Farm Wisconsin Discovery Center, tickets, membership options and ways to support the center, visit https://farmwisconsin.org/.


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