The Todd County Breakfast on the Farm: Come, Experience a Local Farm
19 Jul 2023
The Todd County Breakfast on the Farm was created to connect people with agriculture and farming activity. This year, the event was held on Saturday, June 17, 2023, at Rinde Farms LLC of Long Prairie. We estimate that over 850 attendees came to check out the farm, learn about agriculture, participate in activities, eat good food, and see the cows. A lot of fun was had by all: cows, farm cats, and kids alike! Brenda Miller, University of Minnesota Extension-Todd County Extension Educator-Livestock Production Systems, was effusive in her praise for the event. “We appreciate all the attendees, event sponsors, volunteers, and especially the Rinde Family. We are excited about the event's future and hope everyone can join us again in 2024!”
We spoke to Miller about how the “Breakfast on the Farm” has evolved over the years:
1. How has the "Breakfast on the Farm" event in Todd County, Minnesota, promoted awareness and appreciation for agriculture among residents?
The Breakfast on the Farm event is open to anyone who wants to experience a local farm and see modern farming practices. Witnessing attendees have "lightbulb" moments while on the farm is always neat. Whether it's witnessing a calf being born, seeing a cow up close for the first time, standing next to/climbing on/checking out big tractors and equipment, or just being in awe of simply being able to be on a working farm-even if it's only for a couple of hours. In addition, for a person being able to see, smell, and touch cows/farm machinery/corn/hay, etc., as well as being able to talk one on one to the farmer, veterinarian, nutritionist, and ag industry professionals, it allows them to mentally process and make sense of why farmers do what they do when taking care of their animals and crops.
It's also fun to see retired farmers attend and chat with them about how farming has changed over the years.
2. In what ways have the Minnesota Extension's agricultural programs in Todd County contributed to the development and growth of the farming community in the region?
Farming, just like other industries, is constantly evolving. Every year things change faster with technology, economics, regulations, domestic and global markets, weather, etc.; sometimes, it's a challenge trying to keep up! As the livestock Extension Educator here at U of M Extension in Todd County, I am responsible for addressing the needs of livestock farmers the best I can. Over the past ten years, I've done numerous programs for dairy, beef, and goat farmers. Tailoring events to fit their needs and bringing in experts in respective fields to help further assist and educate farmers to better their operations. We have a lot of livestock of many species here in Todd County, and it's been fun and challenging to assist those farmers.
3. Could you share some specific examples of the educational initiatives or resources offered by Todd County Extension to support farmers and enhance agricultural practices in the area?
I love to go on farm visits to chat with farmers, see their operations, troubleshoot any issues, and talk about the future of their farms. Farm visits also allow me to gain ideas for future programs to address common educational needs. In addition, a few years ago, I learned that there are many goat producers, both meat and dairy, in the Todd County area. From that discovery, numerous goat educational opportunities have been offered throughout the years, both in person and online formats. Since my focus area is livestock, specifically dairy and beef, I've offered various programs for those species by collaborating with area farmers to host the on-farm field days and my Extension colleagues and other industry professionals to assist in executing these programs.
Todd County partners with Extension to deliver practical education and research you can use at home, at work, and in your community. There are many ways to participate! Visit here for more information.