Breakfast on the Farm 101: What to Expect

For nearly 50 years, Wisconsinites have had Breakfast on the Farm, a quintessential part of June Dairy Month festivities. Farm breakfasts are family-friendly, educational events that offer attendees opportunities to enjoy delicious, home-cooked food and Wisconsin-made dairy with friends and neighbors – all while learning about farm animals, dairy farms, and the hardworking families that keep them running.

Kid-Friendly Entertainment

Every farm has different activities, but many include things like farm tours, wagon rides, face painting, and games for kids. There are also opportunities to touch tractors, fire trucks and even farm animals! Some larger events even include live music. At a farm breakfast, there’s no shortage of food and fun for the entire family.

A Fantastic Home-Cooked Meal

Each farm breakfast has a unique menu, but at most events you can expect sizzling scrambled eggs, golden hash browns, world-renowned Wisconsin Cheese, and of course, the freshest ice cold milk you’ll ever taste!

Fresh Wisconsin Dairy Products

Wisconsin’s dairy products have made us famous, and there’s no better place to enjoy them than at a real dairy farm. Taste fresh milk, cream, yogurt, and many varieties of cheese (usually including our acclaimed cheese curds). Some farm breakfasts even have ice cream!

What Else Can You See at a Wisconsin Dairy Farm Breakfast?

Cow Comfort

Wisconsin dairy cows live in temperature-controlled settings with comfortable bedding and plenty of time for rest and socialization. When you visit a farm, you might notice the farmer is using sand bedding. It offers uniform body support, is cool in the summer, and offers comfortable, confident footing.

The calf barn is one of the most nurturing environments on a dairy farm. Calves are treated with special care in pens and nurseries to ensure they are comfortable, safe, and healthy.

Feed

Did you know cows have nutritionists? These cow dietitians precisely formulate rations (recipes) that best fit a cow’s age, breed, milking stage, and pregnancy status. Many modern dairy farmers follow a recipe known as a "total mixed ration" which combines all of the important ingredients cows need, including hay, corn, soybeans, fat, vitamins, and minerals.

Milking

Dairy farms have come a long way since the bucket and stool days of milking. Milking Parlors, especially Rotary Milking Parlors, increase efficiency and help cows spend less of their time milking. Up to 450 cows can leave their pens, be milked, and return in only 31 minutes. Some modern dairy farms even use robotic milking technologies, allowing the cow to decide when she wants to be milked.

Barn Designs

Red barns have dotted Wisconsin’s countryside for generations; it’s what’s inside them that has changed over the years – like the newer free-stall barns. They not only provide shelter, they also maintain a comfortable temperature year-round and can even manage humidity to keep cows happy and healthy. In these barns, cows have the freedom to move, eat, drink, and rest whenever they choose.

Tractors

Many farmers today use GPS-enabled tractors to make optimal use of every inch of their fields. Some tractors have hands-free driving technologies that allow computers to take over certain controls. This technology comes in handy for farmers with larger fields, since the computers can control navigation using satellite – or even lasers!