TV show host to visit Waupaca
By Angie Landsverk
Inga Witscher will share stories about farming and filming during a Saturday, April 21, cooking demonstration, at the Waupaca Area Public Library.
Her program will begin at 11 a.m., and reservations are not necessary.
Witscher, host of Wisconsin Public Television’s “Around the Farm Table,” will make a Smörgåstårta.
“It’s a Scandinavian sandwich cake,” she said.
Made with bread and filling and garnished on the top, Witscher describes it as “just kind of funky.”
She loves to hear from the people in the audience as they share their farm stories.
“It becomes a big conversation,” she said.
“Around the Farm Table” highlights Wisconsin agriculture and encourages people to eat local.
It is described as part cooking show, part farming adventure.
Lifetime of farming
Witscher grew up on a dairy farm in Washington state and moved to Wisconsin about 10 years ago.
“Back in the 1990s, a lot of families moved from Washington state to Wisconsin,” Witscher said.
Her family’s farm was about an hour outside of Seattle.
Urban sprawl began.
“Wisconsin is the perfect place to dairy farm,” she said. “I kind of fell into farming by accident.”
Her parents moved to Wisconsin about five years before she did and bought a hobby farm.
“They always wanted to have dairy cows,” Witscher said.
Her parents brought up the idea with her brothers and then with her.
“I was 24,” Witscher said.
She had no idea what she wanted to do, other than wanting to be a hairdresser, and soon found herself in Wisconsin.
“My first milking took eight hours and I was only milking 35 cows,” she said. “After that, I just fell in love with it. It was that thing that filled the gap in my life.”
Both Witscher and her father enjoy visiting farms and talking to people.
That and seeing a British show about a chef visiting a farm became the inspiration for their show.
As Witscher tried to market her grassfed beef, she had friends struggling with marketing their own farm products.
“We just need to do a TV show,” her father said.
Their idea was to go to farms in the state and show how to use ingredients from those farms.
“We found a camera guy, and he starting filming shorts,” she said.
They submitted the shorts to Wisconsin Public Television (WPT).
“They loved it,” Witscher said.
WPT asked for a 26-minute pilot, and they are now filming their sixth season.
“My parents have taught me that anything is possible,” Witscher said.
As Witscher travels around the state, she loves hearing stories from people.
When she started milking cows in November 2006, she was surprised by how much she enjoyed it.
“What I love most about it is I don’t ever feel I have a job,” she said.
Witscher farms near Osseo, and her parents live in Eau Claire.
Her dad visits her often to help her do the things she once helped him do.
“It’s so nice to have a lifestyle where everyone can be included,” Witscher said.
She looks forward to visiting Waupaca.
“One of the nice things about the show is I get to see different parts of the state,” Witscher said. “It is the best place I’ve ever lived. It has the kindest people. It’s just an incredible place to live.”