Five things you need to know about the Rock County Dairy Breakfast
As Rock County residents eagerly await endless pancakes, Amanda Thompson and her family are preparing their 200-acre farm for thousands of guests.
The Rock County Dairy Breakfast has been a tradition for 37 years. While many community members have attended the event for years, the next generation of pancake lovers is beginning to flock to the farm, as well.
Here are five things to know and expect at this year's dairy breakfast:
1. It's a family tradition: This isn't the first time the dairy breakfast has taken place at the Thompson Dairy Farm.
Thompson's grandparents, Herb and Bev Renner, hosted the event in 1995. They still own and operate both the farm and crops today, renting out the milking ground and hay barn to Amanda, 26, and her husband Aaron, 29. Dairy breakfast attendees will have a chance to tour the barns, pet the cows and take part in hayrides.
Sandy Larson, president of the Rock County Dairy Promotional Council, which organizes the event each year, said learning about farming and touring the facilities is the main reason locals look forward to the annual event. It's a great educational opportunity for kids and adults alike, she said.
"There aren't many family farms left, and people don't always realize the hard work put into running a farm," Amanda Thompson said. "If it wasn't for my grandparents supplying a wonderful farm for me, I don't know that I would have had this wonderful experience."
2. You be the judge: 25 locals have decorated plywood cow cutouts that are roughly the size of a calf. Larson notes there are a variety of artists involved in the project, including a woman and her grandkids, bank employees and other community members.
The unique canvases will be on display during the breakfast, and all in attendance can vote on their favorites. The first-place winner will win $300; second place gets $200 and third $100.
3. Support the community: Larson said all money raised from the breakfast goes toward programs and events that benefit the community. Money benefits scholarships, donates product to schools, puts on social events and supplies treats for different events. About 100 volunteers help prepare for the event, including several who have pitched in for years.
4. Food and fun: Pancakes aren't the only things to look forward to.
The Heatwave 4-H Choir and a local band will perform throughout the day. There also will be activities such as "Dairy Minute to Win It" and eating games. Children can keep busy with a petting zoo and playing in the "corn box," which is similar to a sandbox.
The breakfast also serves as a great opportunity to meet and catch up with people in the community. According to Larson, as many as 6,000 people are expected to attend.
5. Endless pancakes: When you pay for your breakfast, you pay for all-you-can-eat pancakes, as well as ham patties, yogurt, applesauce, cheese, milk, and ice cream.
Whoever said you couldn't have dessert with breakfast?