Well over 6,000 people visited White Gold Dairy near Waunakee for a chance to have breakfast and see a working dairy farm on Saturday (June 8) during the Dane County Dairy breakfast.
Organizers served cheesy scrambled eggs, pancakes, sausages, cheese and milk to the throng as people waited in line for well over an hour to eat.
As it turns out, visitors drank the breakfast organizers out of milk and Dane County Dairy Promotion Committee members had to go to town and get more.
Rich and Shirley Maier and Jerry and Renee Maier opened their White Gold Dairy for the day, allowing people to peek into the new calf barn and walk through freestall barns where the milking cows and dry cows and heifers were housed.
Their new machine shed building held the dining area, where there was room to spare for all the picnic tables to accommodate visitors; an adjacent shop area held booths that educated non-farmers about the operation and shared some of the history of the farm.
Face painting for kids during the day was done there by Wisconsin Farmers Union members representing Kamp Kenwood and also by Hinchley's Dairy Farm.
Visitors had the chance to ride in a horse-drawn wagon from Treinen Farm near Lodi to take a tour around the farm to see the manure storage and feed storage facilities as well as the dairy barns.
The Maiers have 1,150 cows that are milked three times a day and average 28,000 pounds of milk. Toward the end of the event it was milking time again and many visitors peeked into the windows of the parlor to watch the high-producing Holsteins and milking crew do their work.
White Gold is one of three farms that participated in the creation of the county's first community manure digester, which has been in operation since April 2011. Those facilities lie just north of the Maier's homestead and visitors had the chance to see them.
During a program held in the center of the farm - just below the original farmhouse - visitors had the chance to hear Nashville recording artist James Wesley, who was brought in by a local radio station. He performed his debut single at the event aptly titled "Thank a Farmer."
Wesley grew up on a small farm in a farming community, he said, where people could count on their neighbors and where handshakes were enough to seal a deal. The former FFA member posed with organizers and greeted fans after he performed.
Also making music at the event were the Soggy Prairie Boys, a country-bluegrass group that started when several of the members were in the Sun Prairie FFA chapter a number of years ago.
There were so many people who tried to park in off-site parking areas - a local restaurant and elementary school in the village of Waunakee - so they could ride a bus to the farm that those locations filled up and there were no more parking places.
Maiers devoted a recently harvested alfalfa field near the farmstead for parking.