Successful Breakfast on the Farm held in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

Over 1,000 people experienced life on a modern dairy farm in Pickford, Michigan.

September 17 was a beautiful day to be at Taylor Creek Farm in Pickford for the 7th Breakfast on the Farm event of 2011. The weather was perfect—64 degrees and sunny—as 1,000 visitors from 76 different communities enjoyed a delicious pancake breakfast and educational farm tour.

Taylor Creek Farm has been John and Julia Kronemeyer’s home since 1963 when they moved to the farm with seven cows, some farm equipment, a bulk tank for storing milk and their first three children.  As the farm continued to grow, their son and daughter-in-law, Jim and Toni Kronemeyer, joined the operation in 1999. Today the family cares for 300 cows.

Breakfast on the Farm gives consumers and farm neighbors a firsthand look at modern food production and the families who dedicate their lives to producing a safe, wholesome food supply for Michigan and beyond. Even in rural Pickford, a small town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, 44% of the visitors who completed a survey at the end of the tour (191) indicated that this was the first time in the past 20 years that they visited a working dairy farm.

After enjoying breakfast, visitors headed out on a self-guided tour of the farm.  Farmers and agricultural professionals were on hand to explain and answer questions at ten educational stations throughout the farm. Visitors were able to talk to a cow nutritionist, veterinarian, conservationist, milk hauler and many farmers. At the nutrient cow station, they could see the entire cycle from feed and water intake to milk production, manure output and the crops that can be grown using the manure as fertilizer. The calf station delighted children and adults as they were able to pet calves and participate in naming two calves. 

As the name implies, the farm is located on Taylor Creek, a picturesque creek that runs right through the farmstead. The Kronemeyers have implemented many conservation practices on the farm to protect the environment. A special conservation station and tour was offered that featured soil erosion control structures, fencing systems, filter strips and a system that recycles the water that pre-cools the milk before it reaches the refrigerated storage tank.

In order to make sure this event was successful, the planning committed recruited the help of 140 volunteers and the financial support from 45 local businesses and organizations. It was a great day on the farm!

To see pictures from this event or to learn more about MSU Extension’s Breakfast on the Farm program visit www.breakfastonthefarm.com.