Kayharts to host a free farm breakfast

ADDISON — The Kayhart Brothers Dairy in West Addison will host “Breakfast on the Farm” this Saturday, July 28. Enjoy a free pancake breakfast and a self-guided tour to see what the farmers have been up to these last few years, as well as learn a little about what they do and why they do it.
“You may have noticed the construction crews coming and going over the past 18 months as we’ve built a state-of-the art milking facility and cow barn,” Steve Kayhart said in a letter announcing the breakfast. “We’d be honored to have you visit so we can show you our improvements.”
Breakfast on the Farm is an event held annually in Vermont at local farms to provide an opportunity for the public to learn how their food is produced. Last year more than 2,400 people attended events held in Montpelier and Bridport. Reserve your ticket online at vermontbreakfastonthefarm.com. It’s free, but reservations are required.
The event runs from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. at 7429 Route 17 West in West Addison.
After breakfast, embark on a self-guided tour of the farm, which includes about a dozen educational stations demonstrating how Vermont’s dairy farmers care for their animals and the environment. Some stations will focus on water quality and demonstrate many of the practices adopted to keep Lake Champlain clean, while others show how cows live and are taken care of by the farm’s dedicated employees. The event is family friendly, and many of the activities are designed for the young, and the young at heart. There are murals to paint, special “blender bikes” for making smoothies and newborn baby calves that love attention. Don’t miss the scavenger hunt and, of course, practice your milking skills on a mock cow.
Other things to see include tractors, a milk truck, farm equipment (including innovative manure injection systems and cover cropping technologies).
There will be a rainfall simulator to demonstrate how cover crops protect water quality, as well as a look at manure injection systems and cover cropping field management to reduce runoff. See a manure separator, which squeezes out liquid, leaving behind a clean, dry product used as bedding for cows.
The event boasts 140 volunteers on hand to answer questions and provide assistance.
Organizers said they expect 2,000 visitors, as well as agricultural leaders, educators and industry representatives including:
•  The Kayhart family, owners and operators of Kayhart Brothers Dairy Farm and their employees interacting with the public.
•  Anson Tebbetts, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
•  Julie Smith, DVM, PhD, UVM Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences.
•  UVM Extension agronomists and specialists.
“We work hard to ensure our cows are healthy and comfortable and we take pride in doing our very best to ensure that we take care of our shared resources, including keeping Lake Champlain clean,” Kayhart said. “We’d love to show you the many ways we protect our soils and waters, and make sure our girls (aka dairy cows) are content. We’ve put in an order for beautiful weather and we hope to see you on July 28.”

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