Breakfast on the Farm in Kent County provides hands-on learning about local agriculture

MSU Extension and Partners Sponsor Saturday, August 4, 2012 Breakfast on the Farm Event at May Farms in Sparta, Mich.

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension created a statewide educational program called, “Breakfast on the Farm” (BOTF) in 2009 to provide a free, hands-on learning experience for community members to visit a local farm to learn more about agriculture in their area. Since then, more than 23,000 children and adults have attended a BOTF event. Survey results from 2011 showed that almost half of participants had never been on a farm before.

The Saturday, August 4 event in Kent County will be the first in the state held on an apple farm. This is appropriate because Kent County is the state’s leading producer of apples. May Farms is the host cite for the event. May Farms, a centennial farm, operated by Jim May and his two sons in Alpine Township, produces apples sold as whole fruit in Kroger stores, apples for juice produced by Aseltine Cider based in Alpine Township, and apples for Gerber baby food. The Mays grow Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Rome, Jonathan and Spartan apple varieties.

The BOTF event will also feature educational stations on crop pollination, the unusual 2012 weather and its impact on crops, corn, soybeans, a wagon ride through the orchard and a tour of Jack Brown Produce’s apple packing facility, which employs 75 people. This will be a family-friendly event with a special tent for kids’ activities, including face-painting.

The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and will end at 1:00 p.m. Breakfast service will end at noon. Breakfast will include an egg-based breakfast casserole with peppers and onions, sausage links, an applesauce squeeze packet, fresh blueberries, apple cider, white milk, coffee and water. Guests will also receive fresh apples from the Michigan Apple Committee.

Tickets for all Breakfast on the Farm events are free; however, they must be obtained at specific locations, which include all areaMSU Extension offices. One ticket is required for each person eating breakfast. For information on where to find tickets for the breakfast at May Farms in Sparta, Mich. click here or call Kendra Wills with Kent/MSU Extension at (616) 336-2028 to request tickets be mailed to you.

Almost 100 volunteers are needed to host the event at May Farms. Volunteers receive a free t-shirt as well as a free breakfast. If you would like to volunteer for this event, please contact Kendra Wills at or call her at 616-336-2028.

Sponsors for the May Farms event include: Alt Oil Company, Inc., Choice One Bank, Burnips Equipment, Gowan Company, Greenstone Farm Credit Services, Jack Brown Produce, Kent County Farm Bureau, Leprino Foods, Michigan Ag Commodities, Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee, North Central Co-Op, Peach Ridge Orchard Supply, Preferred Concrete Construction, Retsters Grower Services LLC, Truck Repair Service and Ted Wallace.

We greatly appreciate their support and we hope to see you at May Farms on Saturday, August 4!

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