Larson Acres to host Saturday's dairy breakfast
If you go
What: Rock County Dairy Breakfast
When: 6:30 to 11 a.m. Saturday
Where: Larson Acres, 18218 W. Highway 59, Evansville.
Cost: $2 children, $6 for adults.
Menu: All-you-can-eat pancakes, ham , yogurt, applesauce, cheese, milk and ice cream sundaes.
Activities: Farm tours, music, craft fair, games, corn box for kids and small animal display.
MAGNOLIA TOWNSHIP In 1992, the Larsons hosted the Rock County Dairy Breakfast on their 155-cow, five-generation family farm.
This Saturday, the Larsons will host the event again on their 2,900-cow, six-generation family farm.
The hospitality will be the same, the pancakes and ham will be even better and this time, the public will get to see the latest in cow comfort and milking technology.
Hopefully, the weather will be a little warmer.
"I remember we had to wear our jackets the whole time," said Sandy Larson, business relations manager. "And the crops froze."
The family survived the weather and a lot more.
Between 1992 and 2012, prices for milk careened wildly—and often unpredictably— going as high as $22.50 a hundred weight and as low as $11.20 per hundred weight. With the introduction of ethanol and increased exports, the cost of corn and other grains increased dramatically, and those costs had to be absorbed by dairy and livestock producers.
The Larsons survived those changes, expanding their operations.
The growth has meant that more members of the family have been able to make a living in the dairy business.
"We usually have about 11 family members working on the farm," Larson said. "My kids are starting to help out, and they'll be the sixth generation."
Saturday's dairy breakfast will feature all-you-can eat pancakes, ham, yogurt, applesauce, cheese, milk and ice cream sundaes.
A hay wagon will shuttle visitors between farm buildings. Visitors will get to see a barn featuring new technology that helps keep cows cooler.
One wall of the new barn features cooling cells that capture water. The other wall has fans that move the cool air throughout the barn, keeping it 15 degrees cooler than it is outside, Larson said.
"The cows are more comfortable, they're always getting fresh air," Larson said.
Cow comfort is crucial to the success of a dairy. The calmer and more comfortable the animals are, the more milk they give.
Along with the tours, the breakfast will feature music, games, crafters, a corn box for kids to play in and the modern version of a petting zoo—a "small animal display."