The Breakfast at the Farm activity organized by the Bayfield Agricultural Society will provide a rare opportunity to see a local dairy operation and the occasion to ask questions.  Steenbeek Dairy Farms, just East of Varna, will be the site for breakfast and tours on Saturday July 2 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.  The dairy operation consists of 300 milking cows and about 30 – 50 dry cows housed in one huge building.  The milk tank is large enough to hold the milk from two days of milking and as expected is huge.

Twice a day the cows are milked 24 at a time.  Information about each cow is recorded through devices on each cow’s leg.  Records on how much milk is given, the number of steps per day, or any infections are all on file and checked daily for each cow.  A separate calving section is provided where each calf is born and raised until sold.

The tour gives a clear insight on the balance between technology and labour for a dairy farm to function seamlessly in our modern world.  In addition to the milking, feeding, looking after the waste, cropping are all tasks that take up a farmer’s time.  The date for the visit was chosen so that all the crops could be planted and the first cut of hay could be taken in.  There are few slow periods on a dairy farm.

There will be a limited number of tickets available starting in May for the breakfast and tours and will be announced on the website.  A hearty breakfast awaits all those who attend and there will be a few commodity groups which will have some information about the products they grow for our consumption available also.

Some interesting special events are being planned for the 160th fair this summer on August 19-21.  Events that have not taken place in Bayfield for many years are being finalized.  Anyone wanting to volunteer before or at the fair or at the Breakfast at the Farm activity, let Susan Lehnen ( ) know.

At the last General Meeting it was announced that a food vendor will be at the fair and since then others have expressed an interest.  Several vendors have come forward and want to be at the fair.  Space may be limited shortly.  There was interest expressed about having hooked articles entered at the fair.  If there is an interest, contact Susan and she will forward all comments to the handcraft section.  It has been suggested that a Fair Display competition be created.  A business would create a display advertising the fair and the dates and a residence would create a display advertising the fair and its dates near the road.  Let Susan know if you are interested, and some simple rules, judging and prizes can be created. The fair is a community fair and this is one way for the community to express its support for the fair which has stayed relevant and committed to Bayfield for 160 years.

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