Eight Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) events were held throughout Michigan from June to October, 2012 and it is now time to start planning for 2013.

Since the inaugural Michigan Breakfast on the Farm event was held in 2009 at Dutch Meadows Dairy in St. Johns, interest in replicating this event led to the formation of four events in 2010, eight in 2011and eight in 2012. More than 18,200 people attended the eight events in 2012, and all totaled, over 40,800 people have attended Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Breakfast on the Farm programs.

Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF) gives consumers and farm neighbors a first-hand look at modern food production, and the farm families who work hard to produce a safe, wholesome food supply for Michigan communities and the world. BOTF is an MSU Extension program that is guided by a statewide advisory council and events are made possible through local partners, generous statewide and local sponsors and many local volunteers.

Breakfast on the Farm showcases a selection of Michigan's outstanding farms and introduces the nonfarm public to the life and business of modern agriculture through a fun and educational event that emphasizes the importance of environmental stewardship, food safety and good animal care practices. Surveys from the past events show that approximately 46 percent of attendees have not visited a modern farm in twenty years or more. This educational program has helped to provide information and experiences for thousands of participants who have changed their attitudes about modern food production as a result of attending a BOTF.

Host farms are selected by the state council through an application process. In an effort to reach consumers throughout Michigan, the council strives to have events in diverse geographic areas. Information on past events is available at the BOTF website. The application and a checklist to guide interested host farms are located under "Contact Us!" page.

If you would like MSU Extension to consider your farm for a 2013 Breakfast on the Farm event, please complete the application and submit it to your local MSU extension educator for approval and submission to the Extension agriculture literacy educators, Nancy Thelen or Mary Dunckel, by Nov. 30, 2012. The statewide BOTF advisory council will review all applications and notify applicants in December of farms selected for a 2013 event. A limited number of farms will be selected as host farms for 2013 events. Extension staff will offer guidance from the early planning stages to the day of the event.

For more information about the program visit the BOTF website if you have specific questions or would like additional information contact MSU Extension agriculture literacy educators and Breakfast on the Farm organizers, Mary Dunckel at 989-354-9870 or dunckelm@anr.msu.edu or Nancy Thelen at 734-222-3825 or thelenn@anr.msu.edu.