Family farm event fun and educational

FAIRMONT– A collaborative event, Breakfast on the Farm will offer an up close look at a modern Martin County Farm. It will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 20 at Dutch Creek Farms, owned by Dick and Sarah Gerhardt, at 1385 W. Lair Rd, Fairmont.

The groups involved in planning the event include Farm Bureau and Project 1590’s Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee.

Farm Bureau member Wanda Patsche said a few years ago she and Brice Bonin attended a Farm Bureau conference where they learned what other counties were doing for Breakfast on the Farm.

“We both looked at each other and said, ‘we need to do this in our county,'” Patsche said.

Last year, the Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee put on its first Peek Inside a Farm breakfast event at Heritage Acres.

“I had set up a little ag in the classroom event there for the kids. At the end of that, I said, ‘we need to work together’ and they (Kids Just Want to Have Fun) were willing to work together so that’s where it started,” Patsche explained.

The groups began planning for the event in February. The committee has included about eight people from the Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee, Farm Bureau and several other individuals.

“It’s a really good committee. Everyone has been pulling their weight and working well together,” Patsche said.

Bonin and Patsche have been reaching out to area 4H leaders and FFA teachers to see if their groups would be willing to help volunteer at the event.

“We’ve been pursuing different sponsorships and we’ve had really good success. We will definitely have some profits which we will split between Kids Just Want to Have Fun and local FFA and 4H groups,” Patsche said.

The Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee have been working on planning activities for children.

Member Kristy Olson said, “It will be super fun and super interactive.”

While the group has done some major projects in the past, including the indoor playground at Fives Lakes Centre and the mini golf course near the Aquatic Park, Olson said recently they’ve been focused on putting on events for children. However, she said this is definitely a family event.

“This is truly an all-ages, fun experience for the whole family,” Olson said.

She pointed out that just because people may be from the area doesn’t mean they know what goes on on a farm.

Olson also said a goal of the Kids Just Want to Have Fun committee is to collaborate with other groups that have similar goals. She agreed that the groups have been working well together while planing the event.

“Typically when you think of breakfast on the farm, they’re held on dairy farms. We only have two dairy farms in Martin County,” Patsche pointed out.

However, she said they realized they can host it wherever they want and when the Gerhardts offered up their farm to host, they jumped on it.

“It’s a great site. It’s going to be wonderful,” Patsche said.

People are asked to park at the Fairmont Race Track as there will not be enough parking on site. Three buses will be continuously taking people the 2.5 miles from the racetrack to the farm. There is handicap parking available on site.

The event is free to attend but a free will donation is suggested. The breakfast will consist of pancakes, sausage, bacon and fruit.

There will be a number of different animals there, including a cow, goats, ducks, chickens, sheep and cattle. A hayride will be available so people can see all around the farm, including the various equipment. They will also be able to learn the history of not only the Gerhardt farm, but farming and agriculture in Martin County.

“Princess Kay of the Milky Way is attending and we’re very excited about that. Local celebrity Marty the Pig will be there as well,” Patsche said.

The event also includes a scavenger hunt, which is sponsored by Farm Bureau. Those who complete the scavenger hunt will receive a coupon for a free junior cone from the Dairy Freeze.

A sensory table will be set up for young children and for older children there will be different activities ag in the classroom activities like a living necklace, farming in a glove and feed sack.

“They’re fun activities but educational,” Patsche said.

Finally, another main highlight of the event is that butter will be made on site for people to watch and participate in.

While the county’s first Breakfast on the Farm event has yet to take place, Patsche said they’re already looking forward to making this an annual event.

“The words ‘next year we will,’ have been said. We’d like to continue it,” she said.

However, as it’s the first time it’s being held, organizers are unsure of what to expect. Because it’s open to the public and no RSVPs are required, the number of people who will come through is unknown. Patsche said some other counties have had 2,000 people attend Breakfast on the Farm. Organizers of this one are planning for 600.

“If we don’t get 600, we’re okay with that, but we’re hoping that with the advertising we’ve been doing we’ll get that. It’s a family event. We’re really excited for it,” Patsche said.


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