MSU Extension’s Breakfast on the Farm program tops 75,000 visitors

It rained and rained, but that didn’t keep visitors from attending Breakfast on the Farm in Tuscola County.

Zwerk and Sons Farm BOTF | Photo by Ashley Kuschel
Zwerk and Sons Farm BOTF | Photo by Ashley Kuschel

Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) is a program of Michigan State University Extension that began in 2009 to educate consumers about modern agriculture. Since then, 77,230 visitors and volunteers have experienced life on a modern farm. The most recent event, hosted by Zwerk and Sons Farm in Vassar, attracted 2,490 visitors on a rainy Saturday.

After arriving by charter bus and meeting the family, visitors enjoyed a delicious breakfast of pancakes, egg frittata, potatoes, bratwurst, coffee and milk. Donned with umbrellas and rain gear, they left the cozy and dry building and embarked on the self-guided tour of the crop farm. In preparation for the event, the family planted crops of wheat, sugar beets, corn, dry beans, soybeans and cover crops to demonstrate everything from planting to harvest. Knowledgeable experts and commodity representatives were present at each plot to answer questions and describe the process of growing the crops and harvesting the food.

Zwerk and Sons farm is co-owned by cousins Dave Rupprecht, Jeff Schluckbier and Marty Zwerk. They are third generation farmers and a fourth is on their heels. The family farms 7,500 acres of crops and employs 12 full-time people. The farm has facilities and management practices in place that qualifies it to be verified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Stewardship Program (MAEAP) in farmstead and cropping systems. This was the 34th Michigan farm family to host a Breakfast on the Farm event.

The 2016 Breakfast on the Farm season wraps up on August 27 when Hartland Farms in Lenawee County opens its doors to the public. Breakfast on the Farm is made possible through the support of generous statewide and local sponsors.

For more information, please contact Mary Dunckel, agriculture literacy educator, at 989-354-9875 or , Ashley Kuschel, BOTF coordinator, at 586-469-7616 or, or visit the program website at

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