FAYETTE — Women from throughout the region gathered for a preview of the Breakfast on the Farm event in Fayette recently.
More than 100 women came out to the Henricks & Krieger Dairy to tour the farm and learn about the farm operation, locally-sourced food and dietary and serving information. Participants were able to preview four educational stations that will be part of a larger Breakfast on the Farm event, that will be open to the public on June 15 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. The farm is located at 14692 County Road 16-3, Fayette. The event is free, but registration is required by going to www.go.osu.edu/botfregister2019.
The Henricks & Krieger Dairy is run by a three-family partnership of Richard and Sue Henricks; their son and daughter-in-law, Philip and Tara Henricks; and their nephew and his wife, Shawn and Kim Krieger.
Richard Henricks said the farm was founded by his mother and father, Clifford and Annabelle Henricks, 72 years ago. He ran the farm with his father and when his father retired, that is when the other family members bought into the partnership.
“This is all I’ve ever done,” he said.
Tour participants visited four stations on the farm; however, during the actual event in June, there will be 20 stations for individuals to go through.
“There’s interest in the full spectrum of the food chain from beginning to end and that’s what we want to show,” said Melissa Rupp of the Fulton County OSU Extension Office.
She added that at the June 15 event, they are hoping to have about 4,000 people come out to the farm throughout the day.
At the first station individuals could visit the milking parlor. Participants were given the opportunity to look into the bulk tank, where milk is cooled to about 38 degrees. There also were tours of milking stations.
Groups also visited the calf area.
“We milk 150 cows a day and we have that many in young stock (a year),” said Richard Henricks. Veterinarian Dr. Christine Greiner was on hand to answer questions about animal health.
Where there are animals, there is waste. Another station discussed how dairies recycle organic manure in an environmentally friendly way.
The tour also included a tour of the free stall barn, which includes waterbeds.
“Cow comfort is a must,” said Shawn Krieger. “Each stall has a waterbed. Fourteen gallons of water keep them from touching concrete.”
It was pointed out that Ohio is first in the nation in the production of Swiss cheese, fifth in the nation for ice cream production and is 11th in the nation overall in milk production.
It’s farms like Henricks &Krieger Dairy that make that happen.
“We try to tell our story,” Richard said. “We realize the gap between the farmer and consumer is getting wider. For you to see what we do out here, how we care for our cows, take care of our land and our environment is important to us.”
The Breakfast on the Farm event started in 2015 in Fulton County. It is hosted by OSU Extension, Fulton Soil and Water Conservation District, Ohio Farm Bureau and a partnering farm.
For more information, visit www.fultoncountyoh.com/1495/Breakfast-on-the-Farm or register to attend this year’s event in June.