Breakfast on the farm draws 1,300

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breakfast on the farm
More than 1,200 attended the Columbiana County Farm Bureau's Breakfast on the Farm June 25 at Baker's Golden Dairy near East Fairfield, Ohio. (Susan Crowell photo)

(Scroll down for a slide show of scenes from the event.)

NEW WATERFORD, Ohio — They came in a steady stream, from farms nearby and across state lines, and from local towns and villages. They came with children in tow, or with friends or classmates, until 1,300 visitors walked down the lane at Baker’s Golden Dairy for the Columbiana County Farm Bureau’s first Breakfast on the Farm.

The breakfast, held June 25 from 8 a.m. until noon, was patterned after similar events held in other Ohio counties, an opportunity to welcome nonfarm and farm friends alike to share a meal and see a modern farm in action.

Baker’s Golden Dairy, home of the Kevin Baker family, is one of just a few dairy farms in Ohio with an on-farm bottling plant. Their retail bottling enterprise now produces 500 gallons of pasteurized, non-homogenized milk each week, with products sold in a store on the farm as well as in stores throughout the region.

“I never heard so many comments like, ‘man, what an awesome time!’” said owner Kevin Baker. “They’re totally amazed at how we do all this stuff.”

And that was the goal of the breakfast, said Nick Kennedy, organization director for the Columbiana County Farm Bureau who masterminded the event.

“We just wanted people to learn more about a little slice of agriculture,” he said, “to have more than a 30-second conversation so they could gain a little knowledge and respect about farmers.”

And for the farmers in the crowd, Kennedy hoped they appreciated the effort to showcase what a working farm looks like, and “how important it is to talk to people about agriculture.”

Kennedy said the board decided to do “one big shot” instead of its annual spring breakfast and fall farm tour, after seeing counties like Franklin and Fulton pull off similar events. He galvanized 100 volunteers from the county Farm Bureau members, local 4-H clubs, the Southern FFA chapter and even the local Crestview High School football team, and the day’s events were well organized and ran without a hitch.

Even Kennedy, who before the event said he was ready for 2,000 people, was overwhelmed by the attendance and response. “This is insane,” he said, watching another cluster of visitors climb down from their short wagon ride from the parking area, and the counter reached 1,200 by 10:40 a.m.

Visitors were shuttled to the farm, where they could enjoy a pancake and sausage (from the Bakers’ hogs and processed locally at Chamberlain Farms) for a donation, and then visit seven stations around the farm, including the processing plant and the milking parlor. Other stops focused on manure management and water quality, seed genetics, feed, a petting zoo, and veterinary care/herd health.

There were also displays of antique tractors and a restored steam engine, as well as modern tractors and combine.

“This is just absolutely a fantastic event. I don’t even know what to say,” said Farm Bureau volunteer Gloria Mathews, who admitted she was a little skeptical when the idea was first presented. “The Baker family is just awesome, just great people.”

“I hope the nonfarm visitors can learn where their food comes from, and what it takes to put that bottle of milk on the table,” she said.

But Mathews also said she hoped the farm visitors left the breakfast with a little more pride about their role in society.

“You do this every day, and there’s all the minutiae, and you’re so busy running like crazy, that you don’t have a real appreciation for what you do,” she explained. “I hope they can take a deep breath and see, ‘oh my God, this really is a great life.’”

 

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breakfast.welcome copy

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Breakfast on the farm combine

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Breakfast on the Farm Instagram photos

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Breakfast on the Farm landscaping

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Breakfast on the Farm pancake griddle

Feeding 1,300 people breakfast is easy (well, kind of) when you’ve got this ginormous pancake griddle made by Rob Luther (right), of Summit County. Luther brought two of the propane tank-powered, revolving griddles to the Columbiana County Farm Bureau’s Breakfast on the Farm June 25 at Baker’s Golden Dairy. By the time the pancakes make one rotation, it’s time to flip them. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm serving line

Volunteers from the Columbiana County Farm Bureau kept the food line moving at Saturday’s Breakfast on the Farm at Baker’s Golden Dairy near New Waterford, Ohio. Approximately 1,300 people attended. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm antique tractors

There were lots of families at the Breakfast on the Farm June 25 at Baker’s Golden Dairy, taking advantage of the chance to visit a real, working farm.
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Breakfast on the Farm petting zoo

Of course, the baby chicks were a popular stop in the petting station set up during the Columbiana County Farm Bureau’s Breakfast on the Farm. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm Baker's Golden Dairy

Local food doesn’t get any more local than this for visitors to the Columbiana County Farm Bureau’s Breakfast on the Farm. Host farm, Baker’s Golden Dairy, includes a retail store on their farm that features their own bottled milk products, along with a few other locally produced food items.
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Breakfast on the Farm line

Visitors to the Breakfast on the Farm June 25 at Baker’s Golden Dairy, near New Waterford, Ohio, didn’t mind the wait for breakfast. The event, sponsored by the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, drew a crowd of 1,300. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm photo from silo

A lineup of antique tractors, along with a restored Port Huron steam engine, contrasted to the new combine and tractors displayed at the Breakfast on the Farm event June 25 at Baker’s Golden Dairy. The breakfast, coordinated by the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, drew 1,300 visitors. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm aerial view

More than 1,300 people attended the first-ever Breakfast on the Farm, sponsored by the Columbiana County Farm Bureau June 25 at Baker’s Golden Dairy, near East Fairfield, Ohio. In addition to breakfast, visitors could stop at seven stations on a guided tour to learn more about the dairy, water quality, seed genetics, herd health care and other modern farm practices. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm tour station

In addition to a breakfast of pancakes and sausage, visitors to the Columbiana County Farm Bureau’s Breakfast on the Farm could learn more about modern farming practices at seven tour stations set up around Baker’s Golden Dairy.
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Breakfast on the Farm antique steam engine

A lineup of antique tractors, along with a restored Port Huron steam engine, contrasted to the new combine and tractors displayed at the Breakfast on the Farm event June 25 at Baker’s Golden Dairy. The breakfast, coordinated by the Columbiana County Farm Bureau, drew 1,300 visitors. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm antique caterpillar

There were lots of families at the Breakfast on the Farm June 25 at Baker’s Golden Dairy, taking advantage of the chance to visit a real, working farm. (Susan Crowell photo)
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Breakfast on the Farm wagon

Organization kept the wagons, and people, moving at the June 25 Breakfast on the Farm, that drew 1,300 visitors.
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Breakfast on the Farm tents

“I’m for educating people,” says Kevin Baker, explaining why his family agreed to host the Breakfast on the Farm event June 25 that drew approximately 1,300 people. Baker’s Golden Dairy is the only on-farm bottling plant in Columbiana County, and processes 500 gallons of its own milk into a retail product.
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Breakfast on the Farm: Wanted!

Denise and Rachael Rhodes enjoyed an early morning breakfast before heading to a soccer tournament.
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Breakfast on the Farm Instagram

Tammy Hiscox and Elaine Dailey, both of Lisbon, posed for a quick photo during the Breakfast on the Farm.

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