Dear Friends of Schumacher Farm,
You are the answer! 2019 has been an incredibly busy year at Schumacher Farm Park. We have hosted numerous workshops and events such as woodstove cooking, cheese making and Monarch butterfly monitoring. Schumacher also staged three major events this year. On June 15th The Wheelhouse Band headlined for our Music Festival. Our Annual Heritage Festival on September 8th demonstrated to the community the reality of 1930's farming. October 26th brought more than 580 visitors to Schumacher to enjoy "Halloween on the Farm". In addition to these major events, after many years in the process, Schumacher Farm park held a Grand Opening for our Center for Rural History on Sunday, July 15th.
The truly amazing part of this year's history is that all this was accomplished with only two very dedicated part-time employees at the park along with some support from Dane County Parks. All of the remaining work which required hundreds of volunteer hours was done by people , like YOU!! Schumacher Farm Park could not exist without you - YOU are the answer!
Thank you for your dedication to the park and please continue to spread the word about all Schumacher Farm has to offer.

Carol Bleifield
President, Friends of Schumacher Farm 
Fall Events 
Heritage Fest

Schumacher Farm's Heritage Fest continues to hold true to Marcella's vision of rural farm life experiential learning, while continually evolving to include some extra surprises. This year all the popular hands-on activities and traditional farm food samples were available, as well as a tractor parade, root beer floats and even more farm animals. Our stellar volunteers are the backbone and vitality of these main events and we so appreciate their participation. Additional guest exhibitors this year demonstrated broom making, carpentry, bee-keeping, hit-and-miss engines, antique vehicles, antique cameras, forage harvesting, and heirloom fruit and veggies. 

Special mention goes out to Waunakee High School FFA, Friends of the Library, Mike Spahn for providing the steam engine and threshing demonstration and to Butch Koltes for donating the sweet corn. 

Hit and miss engines exhibited at Heritage Fest 2019, restored by Dennis Petzke and Aron Kershaw.
Above: Volunteer, Alex Singer, demonstrates a traditional corn sheller.
See website   gallery for more photos from Rona Neri and an overview video produced by Roger Bindl. 


The cool evening and light drizzle didn't stop guests from donning  their costumes and stopping out to enjoy activities during Family Halloween. Everything was handled exceptionally well, thanks to over 75 individual volunteers and core community groups, like Waunakee High School (WHS) Track Team, WHS Family, Career and Community Leaders of America, Association of Women in Agriculture and members of First Presbyterian Church.  Village Center of Waunakee also did another fabulous job faciltiating kids games this year. 

Witches, fortune-tellers, story-tellers, face-painters, magicians and s'mores at the fire were all part of the farmyard fun and  some reptilian visitors provided by Animart were a bonus feature. Spook stations along the wagon ride came to life with help from WHS Pay It Forward group and a good number of creative volunteers. And kudos to Trudi Leder for putting together a great wagon guide script and some goofy, ghostly jokes.

A tremendous thank you to all our volunteers and our diligent board members who contributed their talents and time to these events. Also much gratitude goes to our community sponsors:

Heritage Fest
  • Don Tierney (Kilkenny Farms, Waunakee)
  • Edward Jones
  • North American Mechanical Inc. 
  • Thrivent Financial
  • Town of Westport
  • Village of Waunakee
Family Halloween
  • Diesel Forward
  • Anonymous
  • Edward Jones
  • North American Mechanical Inc.
  • Thirvent Financial
  • Town of Westport
  • Village of Waunakee
  • Waunakee Community Bank
  • Waunakee Lioness Club
  • Waunakee Rotary Foundation
Artifact Corner
This is a transition year for the Schumacher farmhouse. A grant from The Foundation for Dane County Parks, as detailed elsewhere in this newsletter, enabled the site coordinator's office that was in the farmhouse to be converted into a bedroom. When winter arrived, the Schumacher's didn't use the upstairs bedrooms, but instead used the downstairs rooms for warmth. Please stop to see the bedroom and the Busby/Schumacher artifacts from the late 19th century and early 20th century that we have placed there starting in January, 2020. 

Above photo: AJ Dusick

The Accessioning Committee is always looking for unique and interesting acquisitions for the 1920's-30's farmhouse and we found one. It is a restored, working 1936 Zenith radio from Joanne and John Powles of Middleton that John inherited from his father, Harry Powles, who was a  radio and TV repairman from Union Grove WI.  Another outstanding donation for the farm was a restored one-horse buggy from Neil and Sharon Kruschek, Waunakee. Originally it was purchased in 1905 by Neil's grandparents, Cornelius and Augusta Meinholz, Cross Plains, WI.  

We also need help with machinery restoration so if anyone would like to help or has expertise in putting together a DeLaval cream separator (we have all the parts) or a Vac-A-Way seed cleaner or fanning mill (motor repair), please contact our site coordinator, Amy Jo, 608-849-4559 or Dennis Petzke, ph. 608-576-1308.

-Barb Johanningmeier, Accessioning Committee
Roosting Monarchs
Whenever we refer to something roosting at the farm park, it's usually our chickens. But if you follow our Facebook page, you would have noticed some exciting activity happening in late September. Clusters of Monarch butterflies were roosting in several trees at Schumacher Farm Park, gathering to prepare for their fall migration. We estimated there were several hundred of them roosting during just under a week-long period. S ince Monarch butterfly populations have been experienced a general decline for the last 20 yearswe can't anticipate whether this natural phenomenon will occur in future years, which makes it all the more exceptional. We can only strive to continue with our habitat restoration and  butterfly conservation efforts as a means to make a difference in the long term.

Monarch butterflies roosting in an arborvitae tree in the farmyard. Photo: Rona Neri

It was an honor to have these charismatic insects use the farm park for their gathering grounds this year. If you're like to get involved in our Monarch butterfly and larvae monitoring program next year, contact the office phone or email for more information. No experience is necessary and monitoring will begin shortly after the Monarchs return from their spring migration.
In This Issue
Quick Links
Foundation for Dane County Parks grant
Schumacher Farm Park was one of eleven recipients of a new grant released this year from The Foundation for Dane County Parks Endowment.  The grant money will be used to restore the old office space in the farmhouse to a bedroom as it was in the 1920s and 30's. Planning of the project was done by our archivist and docent volunteers to choose appropriate furnishings, textiles and decorative items. Initial renovation has begun and is slated to be completed by spring of 2020. Stop out during out of our spring events to take a look.

The Foundation was created to provide a source of revenue and support to the Dane County Parks friends groups and over 4,000 volunteer stewards. Endowment funds are designed to support special projects and programs, educational opportunities and volunteerism. The endowment is held and managed by Madison Community Foundation.
Dane County Parks Volunteers
With the fall season well underway, it may seem that everything is winding down in the parks. Much to the contrary, volunteer opportunities for Dane County Parks are varied and ongoing, based on seasonal needs. Currently, volunteers are busy cleaning native prairie seeds that were collected in summer and early fall months. Soon they will be weighing, sorting and bagging seed mixes to distribute in future prairie plantings. This is a  great way to learn about native plants and help promote diversity in our prairie ecosystems.

Winter is also the ideal time to remove invasive shrubs and burn brush piles. Schumacher Farm will be doing invasive brush removal and burning piles in early March of 2020. For those who want to do tree felling and cutting, chainsaw training is required (class on Jan. 11th).

If you're interested in getting more involved with natural areas restoration efforts, contact the Schumacher Farm office or Rhea Stangel-Maeier, Volunteer Coordinator: Stangel-Maier@countyofdane.com
Board member highlight 
Dale Otradovec
Dale grew up on a Kewaunee, Wisconsin dairy farm and came to Madison to attend Madison Business College. His career spanned over 40 years in residential, investment property and construction financing real estate in Dane County, the last 18 of those years with US Bank Home Mortgage. He retired in the summer of 2015. 

As a former President (twice) and current member of Waunakee Lions Club, he is a sustaining supporter of the diabetic awareness project and vision screening events. He is also an active member of St. James School Advisory Board and helped to initiate the St. James School Endowment.

Dale and his wife Betty have three children and three grandchildren and enjoy spending time with family in Door County. They are both also very active volunteers at Friends' events.

Dale is a conscientious collaborator and friendly as the day is long. His diverse background and networking skills are a great asset for the Friends board. Give him a big welcome and thank you next time you see him.
Think Spring!!
As you do your house/condo cleaning this year please keep in mind Schumacher's Annual Garage Sale that is held in conjunction with the Waunakee Garage Sale Days. The proceeds from this sale go to the restoration and care of our artifacts. Identifying, locating, properly storing and recording all of our historical items requires not only time but proper equipment.
This year we will accept perennials and house plants as well as have some vegetable plants for sale.
We will also offer a space for others to sell their items. There will be a small charge for this opportunity and space is limited. If you are interested please contact us at:   info@schumacherfarmpark.org. or phone 608-849-4559.

-Rosa Ropers, Accessioning Committee
Membership in Memory and Reminder

A membership renewal to Friends of Schumacher Farm was recently made by Donald & Loretta Holmen in memory of their son, Dalton. 

Member contributions make this organization possible, allowing us to continue existing programming and provide a diversity of community opportunities that align with our mission of preservation, restoration and education. Membership renewal reminders will be sent out before the end the year, so keep an eye out for the email. We couldn't do all we do without your support!
Season's Greetings
As we finish preparing for winter on the farm, we look forward to slowing down a bit.   -Jerry Apps
All photos, except where credited to others, provided by 
Rona Neri-Bergmann of 


Holiday Crafts with Nature: Saturday, Nov. 16th
Make and take holiday cheer, with mulled cider and snacks. All materials provided.

Christmas Teas: Saturday Dec. 7th and Sunday, Dec. 8th
Limited seating. Register soon.

Schumacher Farm Park | (608) 849-4559 |   schumacherfarm@gmail.com |