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On-farm breakfast connects local community, agriculture
Franklin and Madison County Farm Bureaus held their first Breakfast on the Farm event Saturday, with more than 500 people attending. The breakfast, a Grow and Know event, was held at the Yutzy family dairy farm, Kramer Homestead, in Plain City. Attendees enjoyed a made-to-order omelet breakfast in the farm’s pasture and were able to get food and farming questions answered.
Upon arrival at the farm, attendees were asked to check in and were then able to visit numerous displays set up in one of the farm’s barns. Farmers staffed displays and mingled with attendees to answer their questions about food and agriculture.
Some of the animals on the farm for the day included dairy calves, piglets, honey bees, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, puppies, a horse and miniature donkey. There also were displays and representatives from local Nationwide Agent Wesley Chapman, Animals for Life Foundation, Tolles Technical Center and Ohio State University College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences. Two local FFA chapters, London and Fairbanks, were also at the event to help park cars and work a table where kids at the event could make a small craft project.
"I've watched the farmers share breakfast in other counties for years, and it is a great idea, but I asked myself how could we do it in Franklin County,” said Franklin County Farm Bureau President Dwight Beougher.
He felt that Franklin County’s large population compared to other rural counties would make it possible for 200,000 people to come to an event that followed the model of farmers share breakfast from other counties. He thought it would be better for Franklin County if the event was by invitation.
The Franklin County Farm Bureau started with Beougher’s initial idea for a breakfast on the farm event and built upon it. They decided to invite Franklin County Farm Bureau members as a start, and then decided to collaborate with Madison County to include its membership, and eventually opened the event to nonmembers as well.
"We had the people step forward, and I asked a lot of questions of people on how much food and how to put some of this together,” Beougher said. “I went to some of our people with a lot of experience."
He also said that his mission for the event was to have fun.
"You've got to go at these kinds of things with the idea in mind that you’re going to plan it, work it and have fun while you’re doing it,” he said. “I don't think you are going to find many (volunteers) here today admit that they aren't having fun."
Fun for all
Attendees were also having a lot of fun. Sarah and Chris Gilligan of Powell brought their young children, Connor and Norah, to the breakfast.
“I get the (Our Ohio) magazine, and looked at the events page and this event looked pretty cool,” Sarah said. “We had never done anything like this before and thought the kids would really enjoy it, and they are having a great time.”
Rep. Cheryl Grossman and Rep. Bob Hackett also attended the breakfast, visiting with many attendees.
Jody Carney, organization director for Franklin and Madison counties, was extremely pleased with the overall attendance at the event.
"I think what really helped was that this was a grassroots event driven by the people (Farm Bureau members), and word-of-mouth was big at getting people here,” Carney said.
Beougher and Carney both expressed interest in holding the event next year, building upon the experiences they had this year to improve the event.
View the Facebook photo album for the Breakfast on the Farm event
Find more Grow and Know, on-farm events throughout Ohio
Read about upcoming Grow and Know events in Ross, Muskingum and Clinton counties