Breakfast on the Farm welcomed visitors to the Judge Dairy Farm in Isabella County

In spite of rain, and more rain, the Breakfast on the Farm event went off as planned in Isabella County.

Isabella County Breakfast on the FarmIt rained for days, but that didn’t affect Michigan State University Extension’s Breakfast on the Farm event in Isabella County. An incredible crowd of 2,000 people took the rain in stride as they boarded busses that transported them to the Judge Dairy Farm in Shepherd, Mich.

Parking was originally planned in the farm’s adjacent alfalfa field; however after several days of rain that resulted in a very soggy parking lot, the planning committee took action and found a more suitable and paved parking area at a school half a mile away.

They also worked their magic to find bus drivers who wanted to do nothing more than drive bus on a Saturday morning. This was truly representative of a community who wanted to come together for the benefit of educating consumers about modern agriculture.

Spirits were not dampened once on the farm. Donned with umbrellas and rain gear, visitors enjoyed a delicious, farmer-cooked breakfast of locally-made sausage, pancakes with local syrup, hot coffee and milk. After leaving the cozy and dry tool shed, visitors eagerly embarked on the self-guided tour which took them to see the housing for calves, commodity storage, cow housing, milking parlor, chemical storage and mixing/loading facility and equipment line-up. The sun broke in the late morning and ice cream was had by all as the young ones enjoyed climbing up and digging in a huge pile of sand complete with digging tools, buckets and tractors.

Since 1936, the Judge Dairy Farm has had a commitment to quality, family and community. The farm has facilities and management practices in place that qualifies it to be verified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Program (MAEAP) and they are recipients of numerous quality awards from their milk cooperative. They are stewards of the land in their community; taking care of more than 1,200 acres of land and taking time to adopt a stretch of road for the Adopt-A Highway program.

The Judge Family is among a group of Michigan farmers who model the way of producing safe, wholesome and nutritious food; providing care for their animals and protecting the environment. Since 2009, 21 families have opened their farms for Breakfast on the Farm events in order to give Michigan consumers a first-hand look at modern agriculture. Transparency is the key to building consumer trust and through Breakfast on the Farm events, 40,865 consumers have gotten a glimpse of farm life.