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Alice in Dairyland invites public to virtual Breakfast on the Farm

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer

Last year outgoing Alice in Dairyland Kaitlyn Riley welcomed nearly 2,300 visitors to her family's farm during the Crawford County Dairy Breakfast. She recently reminisced on Facebook that she couldn't have asked for a better way to end her reign "back where it all began."

Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin, right, joins brother, Evan, and her parents Joe and Bonnie Martin at the Rock Conty 4-H Fairy last year.

Things will be a bit quieter on Abigail Martin's family dairy farm in Milton when the state's 72nd Alice in Dairy hosts the kickoff of National Dairy Month on Saturday, June 6. The virtual dairy farm breakfast is co-hosted by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin and will be posted live on Facebook at Facebook.com/DATCPAliceInDairyland/ from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. 

Due to social distancing guidelines for large gatherings to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Wisconsin communities will be coming together in new ways to show their support for the state's $45.6 billion dairy industry. 

"Assisting with and attending our local Dairy Breakfast each year is a family tradition, just as it is for many across the state," said Abigail. "When I realized that many in-person dairy breakfasts were cancelled for 2020, I began to think of how we could still celebrate our state’s dairy farmers and processors with a virtual event. The event has truly come to life with help from Alice in Dairyland program partner, Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin."

Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin

The Facebook Live event will include a tour of the farm, dairy trivia, a Q&A segment with a Wisconsin dairy farmer, a cheeseboard tutorial and more. 

Abigail will lead the tour on the family's dairy farm which is run by her father, Joe Martin and her uncle Tom Martin. Located in Edgerton, WI, Abigail represents the fourth generation on the dairy farm that has been a part of the Rock County agriculture scene for over 100 years. The family raises corn, alfalfa and wheat on 600 acres to feed their herd of Holstein cows.

"My favorite memories from growing up on the farm include following around my dad as we would feed calves or milk cows together on Sunday mornings listening to ‘the oldies’ on country music radio," Abigail said.

Another fond memory of her days growing up on the farm included the annual county fair, in which Abigail and her brother, Evan, had the opportunity to lead a few select Holsteins around the show ring.

Abigail says her entire family is excited to welcome viewers to join in the fun as they visit the farm virtually this Saturday on Alice in Dairyland’s Facebook page.

"There will be opportunities to play dairy trivia and to ask questions to a Wisconsin dairy farmer – my dad, of course!" says Abigail, adding that interaction with the audience is encouraged throughout the event.

While traditional breakfast on the farm events featured a huge frying pan filled with scrambled eggs, and plates of cheese, sausage and ice cream, Abigail says the virtual breakfast will be jam-packed and fast-paced with family-friendly content all morning long.

"Viewers can look forward to a virtual farm tour (and a chance to meet my favorite cow, Harley), a recipe demonstration with my mom, Bonnie and I, dairy trivia with my younger brother, Evan, a cheeseboard demonstration, live music from local musician Cyndi Meyer, and so much more," she said

Virtual or live, Abigail says she is eager to share her love of the dairy industry with the public.

"I am proud to be a fourth-generation dairy farmer, and to carry on the legacy that my great-grandfather started so long ago. Raising dairy cattle is in my family’s blood – and is truly a labor of love for my dad and uncle," Abigail said. "I am excited to share this passion with viewers on Saturday, and hope they will feel the sense of pride we all have for producing safe, nutritious dairy products for our community."

She also wants the public to understand how farmers and agribusinesses across the Wisconsin and beyond have been doing their best to provide consumers with healthy, products during the pandemic. 

Alice in Dairyland Abigail Martin will co-host a virtual Breakfast on the Farm with Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin on Saturday, June 6.

"This past year has been extremely challenging for farmers, processors, and members of the Wisconsin agriculture community. Despite these challenges, however, Wisconsin agriculturists remain committed to your well-being," she said. "From the farmers in the barn, to the truck drivers on the road, and to the processors in the plant, the passion agriculturists have for feeding their communities is stronger than ever."

Visit WisconsinDairy.org/NationalDairyMonth for more ways to celebrate Wisconsin dairy farmers.