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Breakfast on the Farm creates connections
by Dwight Beougher
Having a breakfast on a farm where people with little to no farm experience could come talk with and learn directly from farmers seemed like a great idea. Early on, the concept of preparing made-to-order omelet breakfasts in a tent in a cow pasture was met by countless naysayers. But with the experience and advice of a few others, plans began.
The perfect setting
The Kramer Homestead near Plain City, with a 4 ˝- acre cow pasture beside the barn and a large machine shed to house displays and animals, became the perfect setting for our event. The Yutzy family (fifth-generation dairy farmers) agreed to be our hosts.
In addition to being a lot of fun, I found this project to be an amazing challenge. With the farm located just across the Franklin County line in Madison County, we took the opportunity to ask Madison County Farm Bureau to join our effort. Combining the largest city in Ohio with a rural county of 43,000 gave us about 1.3 million people we could invite to breakfast. Wow! It had to be by reservation only and we would cap it at 2,000. The realistic goal became 1,000 attendees for our first event in 2012.
Thinking of what the response could be made for some unnerving days. But through promotion in local newspapers, local businesses, websites, Facebook and emails, reservations started rolling in, and we reached nearly 500 in the first year. Combined with volunteers and walk-ins, we served 600 people. Not bad for a first-time event.
Growing in our second year
The excitement for the second year was that now we had some new goals to shoot for. How could we improve the experience and make it more meaningful? For 2013, our goals were to double our attendance, host a more diverse crowd and improve the educational aspects of the event.
The second event, held earlier this month was attended by 1,100 people...about five guests per one farmer present. Compliments about the food and feedback about the educational value of the event were nonstop. Young and old shared how pleased they were that they had attended. For many, this was their first visit to a farm. Watch the video above to see how it went, and learn more about what we did.
What a satisfying experience it was to put this project together and watch it grow. We have reset the bar and now it’s on to better things. I am already working on changes that will make Breakfast on the Farm an even better event next year.
For information about other upcoming events in the county, visit our website at www.franklin.ofbf.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 614-876-1274. As a bonus, by attending each of our four major events: Breakfast on the Farm, Franklin County Fair, Farm Days at COSI and the Farm Tour, you can get your name entered into a drawing to win a freezer full of meat, compliments of Franklin County Farm Bureau.
Dwight Beougher is president of Franklin County Farm Bureau.