Farmers’ Breakfast Series highlights

Farm Bureau and OSU Extension in Madison, Delaware and Union counties have been partnering to host a series of Farmers’ Breakfast meetings each winter. The Farmers’ Breakfast series began in 2017 and has grown each year. The meetings include a hot breakfast and time to visit and network, followed by an informational presentation from a guest speaker.

One objective of the meetings is to provide information that can improve understanding of emerging trends and issues impacting agriculture, while also providing space for farmers, elected officials and non-farming community members to connect with each other.

Topics have ranged from trends in technology, emerging research, climate patterns, and local and national policy issues impacting agriculture. Programs have been held at the Der Dutchman Restaurant in Plain City.

The programs attract farmers and farm families, but also elected officials, agribusiness representatives, and non-farming community members seeking to better understand public issues that impact their farming neighbors. By attracting audiences from diverse backgrounds, the event organizers hope to improve public understanding of technology that farmers use and issues impacting agriculture.

On program evaluations, 94% of attendees reported that breakfast meetings help them understand current issues in agriculture, and 88% of attendees reported that the breakfast programs provide information that helps make better decisions on farms.

Meeting via Zoom this spring

This spring, as Farm Bureau and Extension offices are seeking to connect with farmers while maintaining social distance during Ohio’s Stay at Home Order, Madison, Union and Delaware counties experimented with hosting a virtual version of the Farmers’ Breakfast Series online via Zoom. Each virtual meeting included a weather forecast from Aaron Wilson of the State Climatology Office followed by guest speakers who could address timely issues related to preparing for planting. While it is no substitute for meeting face-to-face, planners received positive feedback about the opportunity to connect with other farmers and continue learning while social distancing.

Upcoming meetings

The group is planning another virtual breakfast series focused on in-season scouting and pest management to begin late in June as planting winds down. The virtual in-season scouting meetings will include a weather report and an update on weeds, insects, and diseases of concern at the time of the meetings. Meetings will be held on June 19, July 10 and July 24 from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.

For more information about these meetings, please contact Mary Griffith at [email protected] or 740-852-0975.