Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival – An Interview with Marietta Reuter – Chair Woman

Wisconsin State Cow Chip Throw & Festival

Talking with Marietta Reuter 

So, what’s your story? How long have you been here in the Driftless, Were you born in the Driftless, What keeps you here in the Driftless?

Born and raised in Sauk Prairie, love it here and don’t plan on ever moving away!  People care about each other here, and I love that!  As far as the festival, What other town hosts an event of this size all on volunteers, and helps so many non pofit organizations as it does it!
Tell us about what you do for work or your business.
The first Cow  Chip Throw started in 1975 as a way for the local Jaycees and Jaycettes to celebrate paying off a park they were working on in Sauk City. Cow Chip Throwing was one of many wacky events there, and that is the one that stuck.
Tell us about a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career with your business. 
Our organization helps other local non profits raise money for their organizations.  For many this is their largest fundraiser each year.  The Chamber does the beer tent, River Arts Inc hosts the art fair, Community Club runs the 5K and 10K Run, etc.
We’re constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. We leverage technology or improve processes. In other words, we strive to do more—with less. Tell me about a recent project or problem that you made better, faster, smarter, more efficient, or less expensive.
This year we are changing our fencing, in the past it was just around the beer garden, this year it will include everything except the art fair.  This will allow people to walk around with a adult beverage as they watch the cow chip throw, all of the entertainment, the volleyball tournament etc.
Tell us about some of the people you’ve met, that stand apart from the rest, while here at your business or workplace.
Our event brings in about 50,000 people each year to Sauk Prairie.  People from all over the world have been to this competition.  We even had a bachelorette party here with girls from CA a couple years ago.  They even dressed up like cow girls for the occasion!
Tell us about someone who has influenced your decisions for yourself or your business.
This event is unique, and we have stayed with that fundamental family environment over the years.  The cost is $1 to come to our event for those 5 years and older.  Very economical for a day of fun!  All of our food vendors are local non profit organizations, great food at an economical cost!
What do you think will change about your business or business process over the next five years?
With the event being one large fenced in area, brings us more in line with what people want in a festival and will help our event to continue to grow.  We have 5 new young people on our committee bring in great new suggestions.
What do you wish other people knew about you or your business?
Did you know that our cows are fed a high fiber diet to create the perfect chip?  No ordinary cow chip will do.  Corn fed would give us a flatter chip, the grass chips are nice and thick and better for throwing!  Regulation chips need to be at least 6” in diameter, and licking your fingers is allowed to help you get a better grip!
If you were to tell a friend to come and visit the Driftless Area, and they ask “Why” … what would you tell them?
Sauk Prairie is beautiful.  We have the Wisconsin River, Prairie, and a great view of beautiful hills all around us.  In the winter we host the Eagles, but in the summer it is Cow Chips that we are famous for! 

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