The 43rd Annual Walworth County Farm Bureau Dairy Breakfast will be Saturday morning at the county fairgrounds in Elkhorn. The event features tours of a local dairy farm, breakfast, family friendly activities and more. A boy gets up close and personal with a cow at the farm tour portion of last year’s Walworth County breakfast. (Heather Ruenz photo)

Annual farm breakfasts highlight area agriculture

By Tracy Ouellette

Staff Writer

June is Dairy Month and in Wisconsin that means it’s time for breakfast down on the farm.

Saturday will feature the Walworth County and Kenosha County dairy breakfasts while the Racine County Breakfast on the Farm is set for June 22.

“This is the 43rd year for the Walworth County Dairy Breakfast,” said Kathy Papcke of the Walworth County Farm Bureau. “It’s part of this community’s history and it helps promote the dairy industry which is struggling right now because dairies are getting so large and the little guys are transiting out.”

The Walworth County Dairy Breakfast runs from 6 to 10:30 a.m. Saturday at the Walworth County Fairground, 411 E. Court St., Elkhorn. The event features a tour of a local farm and activities until noon. This year, the farm tour will be at Sugar Creek Dairy, which is owned and operated by Rick and Marleen Adams. Bus rides to the farm are free.

Sugar Creek hosted the annual dairy breakfast in the past, before it was held at the fairgrounds, and also served as a tour farm a few years back, Marleen Adams said.

“This is our third time,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of work to open your farm to a lot of people, but we do enjoy it.”

Hard work is something farmers and farm families know about.

“We work every day to feed the country,” Marleen Adams said. “We get up early, stay up late and work until the work is done … which is never really is.”

“It’s important for people to know where their food comes from,” Papcke said. “Even with education and as much news as there is out there, it’s stunning that people still don’t know where their food comes from.”

Down on the farm

Papcke said many of the smaller, family farms the area is known for, have been closing or selling to larger companies.

“There just aren’t the big families anymore to keep the farms going,” Papcke said. “A lot of the time if there is a generation coming up, they will take the steps to invest and grow, but if there isn’t, they transition out.”

Marleen Adams said Sugar Creek Dairy has about 600 cows and is considered “medium” sized in the industry, large enough to get by but not huge by any means.

“I think we’re down to about 69 farms in Walworth County now and it might be even less than that,” Adams said.

The weather this year hasn’t helped the area farmers much either. With the bitter winter that lasted into April and the heavy rainfalls this spring, many fields are not planted, Papcke said.

“It’s been a tough row to hoe,” Adams agreed. “We just haven’t been able to get into the fields, but compared to Illinois or Missouri, we’re in good shape. Things will get better, they always do.”

On the menu

Saturday’s dairy breakfast in Walworth County consists of scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausage, beverages and ice cream.

“We serve between 2,500 and 3,000 meals that day, which, in a way, is really amazing,” Papcke said. “We serve that many people I four hours with volunteers.”

The event also features a variety of activities, including a craft fair, exhibits, small animal display and entertainment.

“I think everyone should come to breakfast to have some fun and see the new things we have this year,” Papcke said. “This is a great community Event that supports one of our local industries that everyone benefits from.”

The breakfast costs $8 for adults at the gate with kids age 5 and younger eating for free.

Advance tickets for $7 are available at several Walworth County businesses. Visit walworthcountyfair.com for more information.

The Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast is from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m., Saturday, at the Mighty Grand Dairy Farm, 22811 18th St., Union Grove. The farm is in Brighton Township.

Call 262-653-2600 for more information about the ride. For the map as well as registration for the ride, visit dairyairbikeride2019.eventbrite.com

Racine County’s Breakfast on the Farm on June 22 will be at Jasperson Sod Farm, 22901 Burmeister Road, Union Grove.

For more information, find “Racine County Breakfast on the Farm” on Facebook.

 
 

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