The “Breakfast on the Farm” event at Sandland Farms went off without a hitch on Saturday, June 13. “The rain held off, making the weather perfect for the day’s events,” stated Toni Schindler, Marketing and Communications Director for Fulton County. The committee estimates that over 3,000 guests enjoyed a free pancake and sausage breakfast. The crowd also toured Sandland Farms, a large dairy farm in Swanton. “Guests were able to visit with the baby calves, tour the milking parlor, take a wagon crop tour and interact with the Brehm family, the owners and operators of the farm,” added Schindler.
This event was made part by the Fulton County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Ohio Farm Bureau Fulton County and The Ohio State University Extension Office in Fulton County, along with Sandland Dairy Farm. The event was supported by and funded by over 65 sponsors and 400 volunteers. “This event would not have been possible if it wasn’t for the generosity of the Brehm family, the sponsors and the volunteers. Hats off to everyone who made this event a success,” noted Amanda Podach, one of the event coordinators and SWCD Educational and Information Specialist.
Breakfast on the Farm was a free family-friendly event that was designed to give the general public a firsthand look at modern food production. Participants were able to enjoy a breakfast featuring an Ohio-grown and produced menu of items as well as a self-guided tour. The tour included opportunities to meet the Brehm family, as well as learn about bio-security, animal well being, grain bin safety, cow nutrition, milk quality and safety, and nutrient management. Others stations that were available were the calf area, milking parlor, breeding barn and cow housing. Tractors and farm equipment were made available as well as a wagon crop tour.
The Brehm family was pleased with the success of the event. “I received feedback that a couple of our guests today have changed their mind about large dairy operations after being able to see first-hand the amount of work and care that goes into the safety our animals and the milk we produce. We hope that there are more guests who now better understand the ins and outs of our operation, and the quality of our work, so they may now be confident consumers,” notes Gary Brehm, co-owner of Sandland Farms.
The mission of BOTF was to provide an opportunity for the community to visit local farming operations, have a close-to-home agriculture experience, and interact with the farm families who provide a wholesome food supply for Ohio and the world. Farmers are instrumental in providing food that is shipped over the entire world. They believe in practicing good environmental stewardship and conservation, and they make a difference in the community and the world.
BOTF was first started at Michigan State University in 2009 in which more than 61,259 children and adults have attended events throughout Michigan to date.
Sandland Dairy Farm, dba Sandland Farms, Incorporated, is a family owned and operated dairy farm. In 1940, Harold and Stella Brehm moved from Wauseon area to begin the family farm. They began their operation with chickens, hogs and 15 cows. In 1960, Lowell and Barbara Brehm purchased the farm and built a loafing area for the milk cows. In 1981, brothers Lowell, Gary and Hal, incorporated the operation. Soon after, they built a new parlor, free stall barn, three cement silos, feed room, treatment room and manure storage. The dairy operation now has over 500 dairy cows.