Wisconsin Summer Convention Details

 

 

 

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Documents (PDF): General Info and program; Attendee Info; Attendee Registration form; Vendor Info; Vendor Registration form; Wis. tree contest rules

Google Map link: https://goo.gl/maps/5wvSTMg2JBnggx4ZA

Vendor Listing

 

Convention Schedule

Thursday, August 15, 2019

10:00 AM-noon: Board meeting at fairgrounds: 411 E. Court St., Elkhorn WI 53121.
12:00-5:00: Vendors set up at fairgrounds
1:00 PM: Farm tour, meet at W6488 N Walworth Rd Walworth, WI 53184
5:00 PM: Social Hour and dinner with vendors at fairgrounds: 411 E. Court St., Elkhorn WI 53121.

Friday, August 16

8:00 Registration Opens
8:00 Breakfast and National Report by Paul Schroeder; Wis. annual meeting
8:00 - 11:30 Tree Contest entries register & set up
8:30 Vendors open
9:30 Seminar: Webteam Inc. (websites, social media, advertising online)
10:30 Seminar: Fertilizer
10:30 Concurrent wreath or gift shop topic
11:30 Visit vendors
12:00 pm Lunch, Visit Vendors, Tree Judging begins
1:30 Tree contest votes due
2:00 Seminar: Panel of nursery growers
2:30 Place ribbons on contest trees, take pictures of winners
3:00 Visit Vendors
3:30 Vendors Close
3:30 Directors: Reconvene (including newly elected directors)

Farm Host- Country Side Trees

Country Side Trees is hosting the farm tour during the summer convention in Walworth, WI. Glen and Becky Feltham along with their daughters, Holly and Ruth, invite you over and have written a bit about their farm. We hope it piques your interest.

How it started: Glen learned about Christmas trees from a family friend, Art Frier, who owned a tree farm in Lyndon Station, Wisconsin. Art encouraged Glen to plant his own trees, so Glen planted his first seedlings in 1982 on his father’s farm. Meanwhile he worked as an airline mechanic for many years as he continued to plant and care for his trees.

The first 20 years: Glen & Becky kept growing trees. They sold them first out of their garage and then built a gift shop down the road. “The Lodge” offered Christmas trees, wreaths, garland, hot cider, homemade cookies and fudge, and homemade Christmas décor. Glen’s mom and aunts made most of the baked goods and crafts. They hired many friends and family over the years to bale trees and work cash registers. They went from initially planting 500 trees per year of white pine and scotch pine to 5,000 trees per year and then to 10,000 trees per year of more varieties.

Through the recession: Glen & Becky started a second business, CST Antlers, selling elk antler dog bones. The business came naturally because they raised elk since 2001 and trees were not selling like they used to. They didn’t give up on Christmas trees, though. They kept on planting trees, trying different marketing ideas and believing things would get better. They planted fewer trees, but with a higher success rate by switching to planting trees in an 8 foot grid. It made the cut your own experience more consumer friendly too.

In the last 10 years: We moved the retail location down the road about a mile to where we had been planting trees for years. In 2012, we built a pavilion at that location to keep our employees out of the weather and use it to house our shaking and baling equipment. And in 2016, we built a new gift shop right next to it. We fill it up with mostly our own products and  handmade décor.

Today: Glen & Becky run the farm with the help of their two daughters Holly & Ruth, who were never forced to join the family business, but chose to get involved. The girls plan to take over the farm one day. We’re moving forward as a family, planting more trees instead of slowing down. We sell our elk antler dog bones in our gift shop at the farm and advertising our Christmas tree farm at our pet events. The store is open a few days a week from spring until Christmas season. People can go for a walk through the fields and hopefully see a tree to come back for at Christmastime. Holly is a painter and a beekeeper and sells her art and honey at the store. Ruth’s pig ears for dog treats are now available there too. We hosted Holly’s wedding at the farm in 2014 and we look forward to hosting Ruth’s wedding here in 2020! 

In 2019, we are hosting the Wisconsin Summer Convention at our farm. We hope that you will plan to attend to learn more about our marketing strategies, growing techniques, wreath business, elk antlers, land use and rotation, and value added sales.

As a bonus, Holly will be available to help you with social media. We are calling it, “Technology Tutoring with Holly.” We all have heard at many conventions the importance of online marketing & taking credit cards, but sometimes we need help with the first few steps. They tell us to  talk with our kids or grandkids to help us get started, but it’s hard to get together. Holly will be your “millennial” to help you with:
-setting up a Facebook or Instagram Business Page
-posting on Facebook or Instagram
-creating an ad on Facebook or Instagram
-scheduling so you don’t have to post in real time
-what to post online
-signing up with Square. (This allows you to take credit cards! The only transaction fees are 2.75% per transaction. NOTHING ELSE. Customers buy more when they can pay by credit card.)

Please bring along your laptop/smart phone/tablet and your specific questions you want answered. We will schedule time slots, you can sign up when you register for the convention, so watch your mail for more details.

We look forward to seeing you in August!

Glen, Becky, Holly and Ruth
Country Side Trees
W7015 N Walworth Rd Walworth, WI 53184
www.countrysidetreeswi.com
www.facebook.com/countrysidetrees
www.cstantlers.com (to find out more about our elk antler dog bones)
www.facebook.com/cstantlers

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