Dairy breakfast season kicks off in Jefferson County

Gloria Hafemeister
Katalayah Martin, 6, Jefferson, enjoyed petting baby calves, Ernie, born May 1 and ADA born May 6 at the Jefferson County Dairy Breakfast on May 19, 2018.

JEFFERSON – The first dairy breakfast of the season kicked off June Dairy Month on Saturday, May 19 at the Jefferson County Fair Park.

According to Marlene Zick, secretary and public relations chair of the Jefferson Dairy Breakfast Committee, the charity event has been held each year for the last 15 years after a hiatus for a time. It has been a highlight among youth activities each year and supports FFA and 4-H programs, agriculture-related scholarships and improvements at the fairgrounds.

The event is obviously popular because there was a line for tickets stretched outside the door even before the starting time of 6 a.m. remaining steady all morning. In the end the committee determined they had fed more than 2,000 people.

Approximately 200 pounds of cheese, 760 pounds of eggs, 825 pounds of sausage, 500 pounds of Canadian bacon, 4,000 cartons of milk, 30 gallons of ice cream served with dairy cakes were used, in addition to a 300-pound banana split.

Activities included pictures with a calf, dairy trivia, a kids’ pedal tractor pull, balloons, a milk-drinking contest and more.

Addie the educational cow, provided by the Sheboygan County Dairy Promotion group, provided an opportunity for children to experience milking a cow.  Addie is a life-size fiberglass milk cow that milks, moos, and sears bells and flowers.

While visitors ate they had entertainment from the Variations polka band and in an adjoining building there were displays from about 20 vendors.

Volunteers are key

An important part of this dairy month kick-off event is the volunteers who make it all possible. There to help serve the food, run events and clean-up were Jefferson Dairy Breakfast Committee members and about 250 youth volunteers — consisting of FFA, 4-H and scholarship winners — plus adult volunteers.

“The kids were fantastic,” Zick said. “I had so many compliments and they had high energy and they did anything they were asked.”

“The cooking crew is all volunteers that come in every year to do that for us, and they do a fantastic job,” she noted.

Manning the cast iron egg fry pan were volunteers with the Randy Schopen Foundation. They make the eggs every year in his honor, remembering their friend who started the tradition so many years ago.  By 10 a.m. they had already made 12 batches with 156 eggs and a variety of other ingredients in each batch.

Members of the Jefferson FFA Alumni were kept busy frying pancakes throughout the morning.

When it was all over the youth were there to break down the tables and chairs.

Zick said. “I couldn’t believe how fast they were loading that stuff up. These are the scholarship winners, the FFA-ers and the 4-Hers.”

She said the night before the event she had three people just walk in because the mother saw online that the committee needed help and she grabbed her two boys and came out.

“They weren’t even signed up to help and they came out and helped set up all the tables and the placemats and everything,” Zick said.

The funds from the breakfast are used toward Agricultural Youth activities including educational teams, grant programs and scholarships, FFA and 4-H improvements at the Fair Park and other agricultural grants.  Agricultural producers from the county may apply for grants to help fund educational seminars, conventions and other programs they attend.

The breakfast gets a lot of support from area businesses and the community.