The state of Wisconsin has a long and proud history of being a national leader in dairy production. This tradition is celebrated each year during June Dairy Month, which provides our state with an opportunity to showcase our dairy industry and celebrate our agricultural heritage.
The dairy industry accounts for nearly 40% of all Wisconsin agriculture jobs, employing 146,000 people or approximately 4.6% of the jobs in the state. Wisconsin dairies help to fuel our state’s economy at the rate of more than $39,000 per minute, with the average 250-cow dairy farm contributing over $1 million each year.
Wisconsin dairy producers generate over 26 billion pounds of milk each year from more than 1.25 million dairy cows. America’s Dairyland ranks first in the nation in cheese production, with 2.6 billion pounds produced annually, and second in butter, milk and the number of dairy cows. Numerous events are planned across the state to celebrate June Dairy Month. One in particular is my home county’s dairy breakfast!
The Iowa County Dairy Breakfast is being held tomorrow, June 2, at the Judd Farms outside of Dodgeville. Serving from 6:30-10:30am, I invite you to come and enjoy a hearty country breakfast featuring our famous scrambled eggs, sausage, pancakes, ice cream sundaes, yogurt and of course, lots of CHEESE. There will be live entertainment and a variety of great activities for kids! Adults $6; Children ages 4-10 $3; under 3 free.
For more information on other June Dairy Month events and festivities, visit http://www.wakeupwithdairy.com, http://www.dairydoingmore.org/ or the Wisconsin Department of Tourism website at http://www.travelwisconsin.com/.
This event is put on by the UW-Madison Collegiate Farm Bureau and is concentrated around this year’s theme, “Real Farmers. Real Food.” This theme will be heavily promoted at the event, along with three other key agricultural messages:
- “Eating is an agricultural act.”
- “99% of Wisconsin farms are family owned.”
- “The average U.S. farmer feeds 155 people.”
Educational displays and farm machinery will be on site for viewing, with agricultural experts near-by to answer any questions. Collegiate Farm Bureau members will also be handing out free string cheese to passersby.
This past weekend, my hometown hosted the first ever Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship. The event took place at the Iowa Country Fairgrounds in Mineral Point, WI, and was well attended by hundreds of cheese connoisseurs.
Both amateur and professional grilled cheese makers were invited to compete in the event. Separate “heats” were held in four different sandwich categories: Classic, Classic Plus One, Classic Plus Extras and Classic Dessert. All entries were required to use real Wisconsin cheese and were judged based on their presentation, taste and style. The panel of judges consisted of Pam Jahnke, the Wisconsin Farm Babe; Katie Wirkus, Wisconsin’s Alice in Dairyland; Dani Maxwell, anchor at 27 News Wake Up Wisconsin; and Head Judge John Johnson, Chef Instructor at Madison College.
First, Second and Third Place awards and prizes were given for each sandwich category for both amateurs and professionals. A “Best of Show” award was also given to the most outstanding grilled cheese sandwich of the competition.
Some of this year’s exhibitors included Regal Ware/American Kitchen, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Madison College, Metcalfe’s Market, Sector67, Melthouse Bistro, Driftless Market, Boar’s Head, Green County Cheese Days, Mineral Point/Dodgeville Chambers of Commerce, Iowa County Humane Society, Iowa County Economic Development Corporation/Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen and the Hodan Center.
The event offered free admission to the general public, as well as live music by Ben Biser and Whiskey River, beer and wine, grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, and a whole lot of fun!
Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month by cooking up your own special sandwich today!
This Sunday, April 15, the Association of Women in Agriculture (AWA) will be hosting the 17th Annual Breakfast on the Farm. The event is held at the UW-Madison Stock Pavilion from 8:00am – 12:00pm. This hearty, farm-style breakfast invites students, community members, families and friends to come and enjoy!
“Educating America, One Meal at a Time” is this year’s overall theme of the event. The women of AWA will be sharing their knowledge and passion for agriculture, while serving hungry attendees and talking about farm animals. Attractions at Breakfast on the Farm include a petting zoo, education corral and live entertainment, not to mention ice cream with all the fixings! Come for food but leave with a greater connection to Wisconsin’s most valued resource: Agriculture.
Prices for the event are as follows:
- Adults: $7
- Seniors: $6
- Students (K-UW): $5
- Children (5 and under): $3
As a past member of AWA myself, Breakfast on the Farm was always one of my favorite events. Not only is the food delicious, but the learning opportunities are endless. There truly is something for everyone at the Association of Women in Agriculture’s Breakfast on the Farm!
Spring is always a busy season for the agricultural industry. Farmers are hitting the fields, baby animals are being born and special promotional events and activities are taking place.
As an agricultural advocate, I believe one of the best ways to learn about agriculture is by attending these events and taking the opportunity to talk with agriculturalists first hand.
This upcoming Saturday, April 14th, the Dane County Farm Bureau will be holding their second annual Family Farm Day at the Madison Children’s Museum. I invite you to join in the fun by gathering your family and friends to see, taste and experience what Wisconsin’s agriculture is all about. This hands-on event takes place from 11:00am-2:00pm and is sure to make you ‘moo’ with delight and ‘grow’ your agriculture knowledge!
While at Family Farm Days, attendees will get to visit different stations and participate in many educational activities. Whether it’s making butter, exploring a cow’s digestive system or petting piglets, there’s something fun for everyone!
Below is a video showcasing last year’s Family Farm Day. If you would like to learn more about this event, as well as other agricultural learning opportunities, check out the Dane County Farm Bureau Facebook page.