The third annual Clinton County Breakfast on the Farm will take place rain or shine on Saturday, June 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Jef-Len Dairy Farm, 8592 W. Parks Road, St. Johns.
Attendees will be able to enjoy a home-cooked pancake breakfast featuring Michigan-grown and -produced menu items, including farm-fresh sausage from a Westphalia-area farmer, real maple syrup and fresh fruit. Breakfast will be served from 9 a.m. to noon.
After breakfast, attendees can take a self-guided farm tour featuring numerous educational exhibits hosted by local farmer volunteers. From petting a calf to climbing into the seat of a tractor to watching how cows are milked and learning about all the jobs that must be done each and every day on a dairy farm, there will be lots to see and learn. The local farmer volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions or to share their firsthand expertise about farming. You will easily identify them by their Breakfast on the Farm T-shirts.
The Jef-Len Dairy Farm is family-owned by Jeff and Patty Thelen. Its dairy herd consists of 205 milk cows, along with heifers and calves. The herd average, which is the average pounds of milk produced per cow per year, is 28,500 pounds of milk, or the equivalent of more than 3,500 gallons of milk per year. This is an average of a little more than 11 gallons of milk per day. The Thelens voluntarily implement GAAMPs (the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development's Generally Accepted Agricultural Management Practices) on their farm and prioritize quality animal care.
The event is free, but tickets are required to eat breakfast. Free tickets can be obtained from the following businesses: Scoopy Doo's Ice Cream in DeWitt; Schmitz Service and Party Store in Fowler; Greenstone Farm Credit Services and the Ionia Community Library in Ionia; Dewey's Trading Post in Maple Rapids; the Village Market in Muir; Wood's Deli in Pewamo; Andy T's, Briggs Library, Clinton County Farm Bureau, the Clinton County Michigan State University Extension office and Greenstone Farm Credit Services in St. Johns; and Pohl Oil in Westphalia.
Breakfast on the Farm is a statewide MSU Extension program. The Clinton County MSU Extension office and the Clinton County Michigan Farm Bureau with support from more than 200 volunteers organize the Clinton County breakfast.
In addition to the Clinton County Breakfast on the Farm scheduled for June 18, seven other breakfast events are planned for 2011:
June 25 hosted by Raymond and Stutzman Farm, Morenci (Lenawee County)
July 9 hosted by Circle K Farms Inc., West Branch (Ogemaw County)
July 16 hosted by Pasch Dairy, Mount Pleasant (Isabella County)
August 13 hosted by Daybreak Dairy LLC, Zeeland (Ottawa County)
August 20 hosted by S & M Dairy, Harbor Beach (Huron County)
September 17 hosted by Taylor Creek Farm LLC, Pickford (Chippewa County)
September 24 hosted by Benthem Brothers Inc., McBain (Missaukee County)
The statewide sponsors for 2011 are the Corn Marketing Program of Michigan and the Michigan Corn Growers Association, Dairy Farmers of America, Dairyland Seed Co. Inc., Dairy Marketing Services, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, the Michigan Ag Council, Michigan Milk Producers Association, the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, Pioneer and the United Dairy Industry of Michigan.