Northwest Ohio hosts Breakfast on the Farm

Erin Robinstine
Farmers Advance
Guests were required to wear “booties” over their shoes as a part of the biosecurity measures of keeping both guests and animals safe.
Youth "milking a cow" at the local Breakfast on the Farm
Over 3,500 guests enjoyed a locally produced breakfast of pancakes, eggs, sausage, and yogurt.
Visitors eating breakfast

FAYETTE, OH --  Henricks & Krieger Dairy opened their farm to over 3,500 guests on Saturday, June 15 for the 2019 Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF). The rain held off which made way for many visitors of all ages to enjoy a free, locally produced breakfast and self-guided tour of a modern day dairy farm. 

“We are thrilled with the way this event came together,” states Eric Richer, OSU Extension Educator. “We owe a huge thanks to the Henricks & Krieger families; our sponsors and over 500 volunteers who helped make this day so successful.”  

Richer stated that this type of event gives the general public a firsthand look at modern food production, especially as the gap between producer and consumer continues to grow.  The goal was to offer the opportunity for the public to experience how farmers care for their animals, how they produce wholesome and safe food and how they care for the land. “I truly believe we accomplished our goal and offered an educational, fun filled day for many families and individuals who visited the farm,” Richer noted. 

The tour included opportunities to meet the Henricks and Krieger families, farmers and other agriculture specialists, as well as to learn about bio-security, animal well-being, grain bin safety, water quality, cow nutrition, milk quality & safety, and nutrient management. There was also children’s activities and the opportunity to interact with commodity groups. 

Catherine Vorst from Waterville, Ohio attended BOTF with her grandchildren and niece and shared “The best part of my experience was seeing a calf after it was born at 10:30pm the night before. The mortality barn made me think about something I had never thought about, which is how animals that pass are dealt with. The cleanliness of the operation was impressive. I was also impressed with the representatives at the GMO table. I did not know a lot on this, but the information was very informative.  My cousins were dairy farmers, but I have not been near their farm in 50 years!” 

Karen James, Wauseon Resident also attended BOTF with her 10 year old son and shared “I was very impressed with how well organized this event was, from start to finish,” she states.  “I came away thinking I could never be a dairy farmer now knowing all that goes into making sure I have the best dairy products.  From the amount of food and water the cows consume, to keeping them comfortable while sleeping or awake, to cutting their toenails, plus a whole lot more!”  James also shared “my son was  most impressed with the big quantities of food and water the cows consume and he also really enjoyed  the wildlife station.”

BOTF donated nearly $1,000 of excess food to the Toledo Gospel Rescue Mission as well as the proceeds from t-shirt sales, which included over $1,000 in cash to the Helping Hands food pantry in Fayette, OH.

"We are so pleased with how this event turned out," states Richard Henricks, farm partner. "We had so many great conversations with guests who were truly interested in where their food comes from and what it takes to run a dairy farm. It was a great day for agriculture and I am grateful our farm had the opportunity to host Breakfast on the Farm."

Henricks & Krieger Dairy, located at 14692 County Road 16-3, Fayette, OH, is a third generation, three-family partnership owned by Richard and Sue Henricks, Phillip and Tara Henricks, and Shawn and Kim Krieger. The family farm was founded 72 years ago by Clifford and Annabelle Henricks in Chesterfield Township, located east of Fayette. The family cares for Holstein cows as well as raises corn, soybeans, alfalfa and wheat. Henricks & Krieger Dairy is a member of the Ohio and National Holstein Association, Farm Bureau and the Fulton County Dairy Association.  

BOTF was first started at Michigan State University in 2009 in which more than 60,000 children and adults have attended events throughout Michigan.  Fulton County Breakfast on the Farm was coordinated by the The Ohio State University Extension-Fulton County (OSUE) along with Ohio Farm Bureau Fulton County (OFB), Fulton Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD), and with a community-based planning committee.  Follow FultonBOTF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for photos and more information.