Breakfast on the Farm organizers looking for 2013 host farms

Eight Breakfast on the Farm events were held throughout Michigan from June to October, 2012 and it is now time to start planning for 2013.

After the inaugural Michigan Breakfast on the Farm event was held in 2009 at Dutch Meadows Dairy in St. Johns, interest in replicating this event led to four events in 2010, eight in 2011 and eight in 2012. More than 18,200 people attended the eight events in 2012, and more than 40,800 people have attended Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Breakfast on the Farm programs since they began.

Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) gives consumers and farm neighbors a firsthand look at modern food production and the farm families who work hard to produce a safe, wholesome food supply for Michigan communities and the world. BOTF is an MSU Extension program that is guided by a statewide advisory council. Events are made possible through local partners, generous statewide and local sponsors, and many local volunteers.

Breakfast on the Farm showcases a selection of Michigan’s outstanding farms and introduces the nonfarm public to the life and business of modern agriculture through a fun and educational event that emphasizes the importance of environmental stewardship, food safety and good animal care practices. Surveys from past events show that approximately 46 percent of attendees had not visited a modern farm in 20 years or more. This educational program has helped to provide information and experiences for thousands of participants, who have changed their attitudes about modern food production as a result of attending a BOTF.

Host farms are selected by the state council through an application process. In an effort to reach consumers throughout Michigan, the council strives to have events in diverse geographic areas. Information on past events is available at the BOTF website. The application and a checklist to guide interested host farms are located on the “Contact Us!” page.

If you would like MSU Extension to consider your farm for a 2013 Breakfast on the Farm event, please complete the application and submit it to your local MSU Extension educator for approval and submission to the Extension agricultural literacy educators, Nancy Thelen and Mary Dunckel, by Nov. 30, 2012. The statewide BOTF advisory council will review all applications and notify applicants in December of farms selected for a 2013 event. A limited number of farms will be selected. Extension staff members will offer guidance from the early planning stages to the day of the event.

For more information about the program, visit the BOTF website. If you have specific questions or would like additional information, contact  Mary Dunckel at 989-354-9870 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or Nancy Thelen at 734-222-3825 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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