September 5, 2017 at 3:32 p.m.
That's right. On June 16 pancakes will be flying left and right on the Bakeberg farm near Waverly, Minn., when the Bakeberg family - Butch, Faye and their son, Pat - hosts the fourth annual Wright County Breakfast on the Farm.
"I'm counting the days now," Pat said, laughing. "I [keep track of] how many days left and my to-do list."
The Bakebergs milk 110 cows on the original Bakeberg homestead, Goldview Farms. Butch's grandfather purchased the land and settled there in 1873, and Pat is the fifth generation.
Butch and Faye started farming 42 years ago on the home farm. Pat joined them after graduating from Ridgewater College in 2004. Around that time, they added onto their facility, for a total of 80 sand-bedded freestalls. The herd is milked in a double-6 herringbone parlor twice a day. Their latest addition to the farm has been the installation of two cameras two months ago - one overlooking the breeding heifers and one that monitors the front of the barn. The Bakebergs are now able to see what is going on via a computer screen in the comfort of their home.
"When we eat morning breakfast we can watch for heats," Pat said of the technology. "We've caught six or seven already."
The Bakebergs also raise their own replacement heifers and farm 700 acres of land, where they raise corn, soybeans, oats, alfalfa and wheat.
Attendees of the fourth annual Wright County Breakfast on the Farm will have an opportunity to see all this and more on June 16. The Bakebergs have hosted the event every year and it has continuously grown.
"We are close enough to the cities that we draw a lot of people out of the cities," Butch said.
Near perfect weather every year - aided by advertising on Channel 11 and coverage by Channel 9 - helped them reach a turnout of over 2,000 people last year.
"It looks like the [Minnesota] State Fair," Faye said of the crowd.
The day will begin with a pancake breakfast served from 7 a.m. until noon by Chris Cakes Inc. - and, yes, they do actually throw the pancakes.
"They make a show out of it," Faye said, smiling.
But flying pancakes aren't the only attraction. Attendees can take a guided tour of the farm and visit five educational stations where they can talk with veterinarians and nutritionists, learn how to breed a cow, view the milking parlor and learn about hoof care. There will also be a petting zoo put on by the local FFA chapter, a pie eating contest, wagon rides, machinery hill, a photo area and - the biggest hit for the kids - sand city, where kids can play to their hearts content in a pile of sand. For those not interested in the breakfast but still hungry, they can enjoy free food samples in the food tent, where they will find milk, ice cream, pork chops and beef sticks, among other things.
"You can have a full meal without the breakfast," Butch said.
All areas of the farm will be open to visitors.
"Every building will be open. We have nothing to hide," Butch said. "We want kids to be able to open things, climb up and play."
That includes farm equipment as well as the buildings, he said.
New to the event this year will be live bluegrass and gospel music, performed by the Froemming family from Manannah, Minn. The Bakebergs also hope to have a milking demonstration this year.
The event is free, though there is a $3 cost for the pancake breakfast. Kids five and under eat free, and anything made above the cost of the event is donated to the local food shelf, Faye said.
"If you walk around and see the looks on people faces, they can't believe it," Butch said of the attendees' reactions when they come to Breakfast on the Farm.
His favorite part is the pie eating contest. Faye enjoys seeing the kids smile, and Pat likes the good comments they receive. All three enjoy opening their farm up to the public to teach them about dairy farming and their way of life.
"There is so much negative stuff on the news. We want to get some positive out there," Pat said.
For more information on the Wright County Breakfast on the Farm, visit www.breakfastonthefarm.org.
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