By Stan Ashbee
Sunny South News
Ever wonder where your dairy products come from? You’re invited to Breakfast on the Dairy Farm Aug. 6 at Van Iron Farms, east of Picture Butte and north of Coaldale from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Bring your family to enjoy a free breakfast served by local dairy farmers and experience firsthand what life on a dairy farm is all about. The event is co-sponsored by Alberta Milk, Green Acres Holstein Club and 4-H.
There will be a variety of fun-filled family activities including a hot and healthy breakfast, barn tours, an on-site milk tanker, a cow milking game, face painting, a petting zoo and get your picture taken with Moonique the Holstein cow mascot.
“We represent the producers across the province — Van Asch is being one of them,” said Erin Jordan, Alberta Milk corporate communications co-ordinator.
According to Jordan, the fourth annual Breakfast on the Dairy Farm took place near Red Deer, hosted by a dairy group east of Olds for the past four years.
“It’s had pretty great success. That inspired (us) to host one down in southern Alberta. Just given the success of it in central Alberta,” she noted, with the Lethbridge County event being the first kick at the milk can in this part of the province.
Breakfast on the Dairy Farm came about to raise awareness around the dairy industry.
“Consumers from urban areas are the ones who are consuming the dairy and maybe have limited knowledge or experience in dairy farming. Events like this just open up the farm and have consumers come out and see what it’s like to be on a dairy farm,” Jordan explained, adding it’s a farm to fridge experience.
It’s a lot of fun, Jordan said. In Red Deer, there were easels set up for kids to paint portraits of the calves and other family fun activities.
“The one we just had a few weeks ago near Red Deer had over 500 people,” she said, adding we’re hoping for big numbers at the southern Alberta event.
Alberta Milk reps were also on hand at this year’s Calgary Stampede.
“In the ag barn area, we had a race the farmer activity, which is exactly how it sounds,” she said, adding the activity has a life-size cow replica with all the bells and whistles of an actual cow but in fake form. “Kids just love it and adults love it too.”
As far as other events, she said, there will be the upcoming Open Farm Days in August.
“Which is all over the province. I believe there are five dairy farms and most of them are in the central Alberta area,” said Jordan.
Directions for the local event — from Picture Butte go four miles east on Highway 519 and turn left (north) on Range Road 20-4. From Coaldale go north on Highway 845, through the coulees and turn left (west) on Highway 519. In three miles turn right (north) on Range Road 20-4.
For more information visit online at http://www.albertamilk.com or call 1-877-361-1231.
The farm host, Jane Van Asch said, she found out about the Breakfast on the Dairy Farm event through a monthly industry magazine. There was an ad looking for dairy farms to host the event.
“It’s organizing all the volunteers, the food and the activities we’re going to be having for that day,” she said, adding there’s quite a bit of planning involved but the local Picture Butte 4-H club will be helping out. Alberta Milk provides the advertising and the rest is up to the host dairy farm.
Van Asch added the event is definitely for the public to experience life on a dairy farm.
“They’ll be able to see the daily operations and try a few things firsthand and hopefully get a better understanding of it,” Van Asch said.