In 2015, the Fulton County community hosted the first Breakfast on the Farm event at Sandland Farms in Swanton, Ohio. This free event was hosted by OSU Extension, Fulton Soil and Water Conservation District and Ohio Farm Bureau to help the public learn about modern food production practices and introduce them to the farm families who work hard to produce a safe, wholesome food supply for Ohio communities and the word.
This event provided an opportunity for participants to enjoy a breakfast featuring an Ohio-grown and produced menu of items as well as a self-guided tour. The tour included meeting the Brehm family (owners and operators of Sandland Dairy), as well as learn about Bio-Security, Animal Well-Being, Grain Bin Safety, Cow Nutrition, Milk Quality and Safety, and Nutrient Management. Other stations offered were Calf Area, Milking Parlor, Breeding Barn and Cow Housing. Tractors and Farm Equipment were available for views as well as crop tours.
BOTF provided a hands on experience for visitors from a locally based breakfast, as well as a self-guided tour of Sandland Farms. Visitors were able Impact survey results indicated that over 60% of the attendees were first time visitors to a dairy farm in 20 years. The survey also indicated that consumers significantly increased their trust in farmers in the key areas of care for environment, care for animals, and protecting water quality.
Sandland Dairy Farm, dba Sandland Farms, Inc., is a family owned and operated dairy farm. In 1940, Harold and Stella Brehm moved to Swanton from the Wauseon area to begin the family farm. They began their operation with chickens, hogs and 15 cows. In 1960, Lowell & Barbara Brehm purchased the farm and built a loafing area for the milk cows. In 1981, Lowell, Gary and Hal incorporated Sandland Farms. Soon after, they built a new parlor, free stall barn, three cement silos, feed room, treatment room and manure storage. The dairy operation now has over 500 dairy cows.