A-MAZE-ing: Local farm entertains community and gives back

By Molly Schecklman —

Twenty-six years ago, John and Julie Govin were operating a dairy farm just outside of Menomonie, WI.  In 2002, they decided to sell their cows and switch to strawberry selling and different types of agricultural tourism.  This fall they are completing the seventh year of their annual, ever-changing corn maze.  This year’s theme: Garth Brooks.

 

“We chose this theme because my wife is a huge Garth Brooks fan,” said John Govin.  Ironically enough, Garth Brooks spent a lot of this year’s maze season in Wisconsin, so the whole idea fell into place.

 

Since the field has to be planted every year, the Govins decided it would be best to make things exciting by having an annual theme. Each maze relates to a different charity organization.

 

Past themes have included St. Judes Children Hospital, Packers vs. Vikings, Boy Scouts, Wounded Warrior Project, 4-H and Alzheimer’s Association.  Ironically enough, “We don’t remember where we put the picture [of the Alzheimer’s maze],” said John Govin.

 

This year’s charity sponsor is Garth Brooks’ Teammates for Kids Foundation, an organization partnering with professional athletes, corporations, foundations, celebrities and individual teammates in order to help underprivileged children.

 

Hundreds of hours go into planning the maze.

 

Preparations begin in February; this requires getting in contact with a maze company and contacting anyone, such as Garth Brooks, that may be featured in the maze in order to get their permission.  After that is all done, the field is cut in the late summer/early fall and usually takes about a half day to complete.

 

“Our favorite part of it all, and what makes the preparation all worth it, is seeing the happy faces,” said Julie Govin.
The corn maze on Govin’s Farm is open Fridays from 4 p.m.- 10 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m.- 10 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 19- Oct. 31 2015, with the flashlight maze after dark.

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