It seems that local ag retailers, crop consultants and professional farm managers could lend even more of a helping hand in educating the general public about how food is produced by participating in or planning events like “Breakfast on the Farm.”

The agriculture community of Fulton County, Ohio, is hosting Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) in Northwest Ohio on Saturday, June 13thFulton Soil and Water Conservation District, the Ohio Farm Bureau Fulton County and The Ohio State University Extension Fulton County Office along with Sandland Dairy Farm is hosting this event, which will be free to the public.  The event will be held at Sandland Dairy Farm, in Swanton, Ohio, from 9am-1pm.  Nearly 2000 guests are expected to attend this event.

The Breakfast on the Farm is an idea that spread from Michigan to Ohio. BOTF was first started at Michigan State University in 2009 and more than 61,259 children and adults have attended events throughout Michigan.

It appears to be an idea that could be fruitful for other states to use in teaching the general public about modern agriculture and where food comes from. I think more than Ohio and Michigan are conducting similar events, but in general there seems to be too few such events.

I remember the dairy operation at the small town of Avon, N.Y., holding its own similar activity. It seems centering such events around dairy farms is the most popular.

Anything that can be called a free family-friendly event that gives the general public a firsthand look at modern food production is a good event. 

The BOTF participants will be able to enjoy a breakfast featuring an Ohio-grown and produced menu of items as well as a self-guided tour.  The tour will include opportunities to meet the Brehm Family, the owners and operators of Sandland Dairy Farm, as well as learn about bio-security, animal well being, grain bin safety, cow nutrition, milk quality and safety, and nutrient management.  All the dairy operations will be open to visitors, tractors and farm equipment will be lined up and, as important as anything, will be the crop tour.  Children’s activities are promised, too. Others stations to visit will be the Calf Area, Milking Parlor, Breeding Barn and Cow Housing.  Volunteers, including those from commodity organizations, will be available to answer any questions that participants may have.

Sandland Dairy Farm, dba Sandland Farms, Inc, is a family owned and operated dairy farm. The dairy operation now has over 500 dairy cows. 

The advertising and publicity for such events is mandatory to reach city populations. The Ohio organizers note that the event is free to the public but registration is required, which only makes sense considering the need to prepare meals. The registration is set up to be easy with a website, www.fultonohbreakfastonthefarm.com, and tickets printable after web registration—all of which seems well thought out.

I’d like to see every state through cooperation of the numerous ag organizations putting together several such events every spring and summer. It might be some really well spent money to educate the non-farm public.