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Amherst's Heartland Farms Field named winner of Home Field Pride Contest

10/26/2021, 8:30am CDT
By Travis Wilson

Amherst High School's Heartland Farms Field has been selected as the best football field design and construction provided and installed by Midwest Sport & Turf Systems after a statewide vote on

Heartland Farms Field emerged from a group of 31 nominees to receive the recognition, garnering 11,331 votes in the finals of the contest, out-pacing the 8,063 votes for runner-up Calder Stadium in Menasha. There were a total of 27,367 votes cast in the finals of the Home Field Pride Contest by the nine nominated schools.

Amherst will receive a $1,000 donation from Midwest Sport and Turf Systems for winning the Home Field Pride Contest, with a presentation ceremony to be announced soon. However, that amount will increase substantially due to the generosity of the Amherst community.

Soon after the contest semifinals began in early October with Amherst announced among the entrants, local donors began calling the Amherst school district to pledge additional financial support to help drive voting interest.

“Within 24 hours from the start of the contest, we received a call from a Falcon Pride donor who wanted to make a $1,000 pledge,” said Gregg Gutschow, the Tomorrow River School District's Director of Marketing, Communications, and Fundraising. “We posted something on our Falcon Pride Facebook page about the pledge, and it just snowballed from there. As the contest was concluding I couldn’t keep up with the requests to donate. Donations continue to come in today. We’re well over $20,000 right now and, given the generosity of this community, I really don’t know how high the number might go. Amherst is a special, one-of-a-kind place.”

The Heartland Farms Field football and soccer stadium was completed in September 2019 with a turf surface installed by Midwest Sport and Turf Systems, and is particularly unique in that it has no running track around the turf surface. This was done to provide an unparalleled experience for Falcon fans to be especially close to the football and soccer game action. This is just one of the distinguishing factors of the striking stadium, which also includes an impressive main gate and entry plaza as well as first-class press box all designed, built and donated by Amherst’s Blenker Construction. In all, more than $2 million has been raised through private donations.

The multi-use MWSTS turf field allows the district to hold K-12 physical education classes, band and color guard practices, graduation ceremonies as well as untold practices, games and events on the surface annually. Prior to that, the old grass field was seldom used in order to protect the surface for late-season games.

“Truly incredible,” said Amherst district administrator Mike Richie. “The excitement and energy among our K-12 student body, faculty, parents, community and alumni was off the charts. We were fully engaged in this contest because Heartland Farms Field and our outdoor athletic complex are truly a joint venture between the school district and community. More than half of the cost to build it was funded by private donations. We love our athletic complex, our school and our community. Falcon Pride is flying high.”

A huge thank you to all the schools, students, administrators, and supporters who voted in the Home Field Pride Contest over the last four weeks. More than 52,000 votes were cast in total, which is an absolutely incredible number.

A Midwest-based company specializing in sports construction and synthetic turf related projects, Midwest Sport & Turf Systems has provided, installed and serviced many of the turf fields that have become increasingly popular at schools around the state. To highlight these communities and their investments in their young people and student-athletes, WSN and MWSTS will selected 31 MWSTS football fields to be featured as part of the Home Field Pride campaign.

These 31 incredible athletic fields installed by MWSTS were split into three groups, and each week on, fans voted on which field design and construction they think is the best. After the three preliminary rounds, the three vote-getters in each round moved on to the finals for a shot at a $1,000 cash donation from Midwest Sport & Turf Systems.

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