Spring Newsletter| Schumacher Farm Park
May 2016

I know it is sometimes hard to believe with the temperatures fluctuating like they do, but there are signs of Spring all around.  At Schumacher Farm Park we hear and welcome the summer birds once again, witness the lovely spring prairie flowers, say good bye to maple sap collecting and start planning for the heirloom gardens.  Spring is a busy time of year, but oh so welcomed after winter!
Recently we elected three board of directors at our annual meeting.  Jim Ableidinger was re-elected and continues as our Vice President and Chair of the Rural History Museum Committee.  Sheryl Schroeder, with skills in business management will be an asset in the area of marketing, organizational needs, and committee work.  Jess Vaughn, who is educated in historical preservation and project management (with her master's thesis focused on barns and their role as community resources) will be an asset to our grant writing team.  All three of these individuals bring different and important skills to the board.   
Janette Hermanson and Bob Forbess will be stepping down from the board after several years of serving.  It was great working with these individuals and their input will be greatly missed.  We all thank them for the efforts, that they gave so generously, to Marcella's legacy and to this Friends Group.  Happily, both Bob and Janette plan to continue volunteering at the farm.

President's Letter continued below...


Saturday, May 14 (12-6pm) 

The Waunakee Tourism Commission and the Vienna Tourism Commission are getting behind the Friends of Schumacher Farm as they bring "Beer and Bluegrass" to this popular Dane County Park in Westport, on Saturday, May 14th (12-6pm).
Truman's Ridge is traveling across state lines to share their original Chicago-style bluegrass, followed by Madison's own Spare Time who have been playing for over twenty years! Bluegrass bands including Milkhouse Radio and the Soggy Prairie Boys will perform on an outdoor amplified stage with festival seating, while Bluegrass bands including Down from the Hills and Northern Comfort will perform acoustically inside the Schumacher barn, built in 1908. 

$20 Admission goes towards farm restoration projects and educational programming. Free parking and tractor-drawn wagon rides to festival grounds. Concessions and Beer will be sold on-site.  This is a rain or shine event. 

Antique Farm Machinery
 by Robert 'Bob' Forbess

The Friends of Schumacher Farm have been given some 40 items of farm machinery and tools - most of which are stored off-site due to lack of storage space. One item of interest is the 1912 Rumely "Oil Pull" tractor that could be used to power a threshing machine during our Heritage Festival in the fall. Right now it resides in a shed at the Badger Steam and Gas Club's headquarters near Baraboo. There was a rumor that this old tractor could no longer be started, so Board member Jim Koltes and Bob Forbess decided to check this out last Saturday, April 24th. After some preliminary cleaning and testing, and with the help of Steve Roudebush (who brings his beautiful steam engine to the Heritage Fest each year), we succeeded in starting the tractor and heard its distinctive exhaust sounds once again.
This tractor played a pivotal role in replacing steam-powered tractors with gasoline-powered tractors for the many new implements that were developed in the 1920's-30's. When our proposed Farm Machinery Museum becomes a reality we plan to display and demonstrate many of these items for all to enjoy.

Update from the Capital Campaign Committee

Capital Campaign Fund (as of April 30, 2016) 
Cash Balance... $152,163 
Outstanding Pledges... $50,550
Current Total... $202,713 
Grant from Dane County... $200,000
Grand Total... $402,713
Campaign Goal...$725,000

We have reached 56% of  the  campaign goal after only seven months! Thanks to the support of Westport, Waunakee, and our surrounding communities. 

The planning phase for the Center for Rural History (red barn) is still underway. Considerable site preparation must be completed before work on the building can begin.  

Please feel free to contact a Friends officer if you have any questions and watch for future updates from the Capital Campaign Committee.  

Volunteer Appreciation
The Friends of Schumacher   Farm's  staff & Board members grilled brats and burgers to show their appreciation for the many friends and neighbors who collectively logged more volunteer hours in 2015 than any other Dane County Park! 

Volunteers not only worked during our many events, but also took care of the chickens, worked in the gardens & prairie, accessioned our artifacts, and taught workshops. Thank you all so much!

The Friends took this opportunity to honor retiring Board members Robert "Bob" Forbess and Janette Hermanson. 

Volunteer Program Leaders were recognized: 
Bob Bennin (Chicken Wrangler)
Rosemarie Hodulik (Accessioning Artifacts)
Barb Johanningmaier (Accessioning Artifacts)
Ken Kokesh (Heirloom Garden),
Mike Shucha (Prairie Restoration)

Outstanding Volunteers were recognized: 
Jim Becker,  Roger Bindl,  Jean Elvekrog,  Aaron Harper,  Ken Kokesh,  Rona Neri- Bergmann, and  Mike Shucha

We are so very appreciative of each and every one of our amazing volunteers! Thank you!

President's Letter continued...
Schumacher Farm Park has come a long way in thirty years, but we continue to strive towards better programming, higher quality experiences for visiting families and school groups, and increased accuracy of this historic farmstead for all to enjoy.  The Friends of Schumacher Farm, working with Dane County Parks and the WI Historical Society, invite you to come and see what life was like on a 1920's farm.

It is my hope that you will partake of the many activities that will be offered this year.  Whether you stop by for a picnic, a walk in the prairie, check out our gardens or feed the chickens, we hope you spend some time with us. 
On May 14 we are planning our first ever Bluegrass Festival.  Quality musicians have been invited, tents have been reserved, and refreshments will be served.  It is being planned for rain or shine.  Mark your calendars and plan to spend an afternoon at the farm with us.  Tickets can be purchased online or at the gate.
Please check out our website and connect with us on Facebook. Also check out the Capital Campaign Silo Gauge at the park's entrance.   Working together we can fill it to the top.

Looking forward to seeing you at the farm this year!  
Rosa Ropers
Friends of Schumacher Farm

In This Issue
Quick Links
Annual Calendar 2016
Board and Trustees

Garage Sale May 5-7

Last year, because of your donations, we were able to raise almost $700 at Garage Sale Days.  Won't you do your part to help preserve Dane county's rural heritage and donate your gently-used items appropriate for re-sale? 

Please drop-off donations at the farmhouse Mon-Thurs (10a- 2p). 
No clothing or old electronics. 

If you have questions regarding a donation, please call Rosa Ropers at 608-260-5335.

Special Thanks to our
Spring Bluegrass Sponsors!

TITANIUM:   Village of Waunakee

PLATINUM:   Town of Vienna

SILVER: Edward Jones
                    Qual-Line Fence
                    State Bank of Cross Plains
                    Town of Westport
                    US Bank

BRONZE:   Ace Hardware
                       Elvekrog Family
                     Kuehn Law Offices
                       Midwest Dental
                       Southern WI Bluegrass                                  Music Association

IN-KIND:   96.3 Star Country

Chickens Return to Roost!
This year the Hellenbrand family of Lodi has graciously agreed to provide us with nine hens and one rooster, including some of the chicks we hatched last year!

We are currently accepting applications for volunteer "Chicken Wranglers" to help take care of the chickens. Each volunteer individual, family, or group will be responsible for one day of the week.
Responsibilities include feeding and watering the chickens and gathering the eggs, which the volunteer for that day takes home for good eating.
Volunteers are encouraged to let the chickens out of the coop to free-range. This free-ranging fun time is best done an hour or two before sunset, so that they head back inside on their own. 

Anyone interested in being a "Chicken Wrangler" this summer, please call 849-4559 or email 

Nature Photography 
Workshop & Prairie Walk

Back again by popular demand, the only photographer featured on the Friends of Schumacher Farm's website and Facebook page, Rona Neri-Bergmann will teach a Nature Photography Workshop on Thursday, May 26th (4-6pm).

Rona will discuss nature photography techniques, light, composition, and what to look for on the prairie and farmstead. Participants are encouraged to bring their camera equipment and a spirit of collaboration as we explore the beauty of Schumacher Farm Park together. 

Child's Rocker is a Mystery
Notes from our Accessioning Volunteers...

The original Schumacher house inventory lists the rocking chair as "Marcella's wooden child's rocker."   

Marcella was born in 1910 and the chair was probably used by her between 1912 to 1918.  This is all we know about the chair.  We may never know if Marcella was the first to use the rocker or if the chair came as a hand-me-down from a relative.  

We think it may have been re-caned and refinished. If anyone has any additional information please contact us at info@schumacherfarmpark.org

Save the Date: 
Old-fashioned Ice Cream Social 

Sunday, June 19 (12-4pm)
Father's Day 

This 2nd annual community event will again feature all the ice cream sundaes and root beer floats you can eat, along with a live animal petting zoo, kite building, wagon rides, and free parking! Brats & dogs will be sold.

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