Wegs to host Breakfast on the FarmWORTHINGTON — What eats approximately 100 pounds of food and drinks 40 gallons of water each and every day? It’s a dairy cow, of course.
By: Julie Buntjer, Worthington Daily Globe
WORTHINGTON — What eats approximately 100 pounds of food and drinks 40 gallons of water each and every day?
It’s a dairy cow, of course.
They eat a lot, and they drink a lot — and in return, cows produce an average of 10 gallons (nearly 90 pounds) of milk each day.
For Mike and Clay Weg, third-generation owners of Weg’s Blue and White Dairy of rural Bigelow, being able to connect consumers with the product is one of the goals they have in hosting Saturday’s Breakfast on the Farm, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The event is open to everyone, whether you live in the city, small town or rural area. Chris’ Cakes will serve up free pancakes, local 4-H’ers will conduct games for the kids, the Worthington FFA Chapter will have a petting zoo, and the Wegs have arranged for a wagon to take guests from the host site to their dairy operation, located just down the road, for a brief tour of their facilities.
Much of the activity will be in and around the shop on the Weg farm, with tables and chairs set up indoors for eating and visiting between city and rural folk. The farm is located five miles west of Worthington Middle School on Nobles County 35 and approximately four miles south on McCall Avenue.
At the shop site, the Wegs will display tractors and equipment such as a feed truck and payloader — things used in their dairy operation. They also plan to have a couple of baby calves there for the kids, and a display featuring the feedstuffs eaten by a dairy cow each day.
Nobles County Farm Bureau sponsors Breakfast on the Farm as a way to educate the public about agriculture. This is the fifth year Farm Bureau has coordinated the event locally.
Dean Christopherson, Farm Bureau president, said “It’s for everyone, and it’s a chance to get out on the farm, get your feet in the mud.
“Bring the whole family,” he added. “It’s an agriculture awareness event.”
Weg Dairy was established by Dick Weg, grandfather to Mike and Clay, and then operated by Gerald Weg, their dad. Today, Mike and Clay own the family business, with brother Gene working as one of their full-time employees.
In December 1994, the Wegs moved the dairy to its present site with a capacity to milk 300 cows. Five years later, they expanded to a 500-cow operation, and in 2003, they grew to an 800-cow dairy. The latest expansion was in 2008, when they increased building space and expanded to a double-12 parlor to milk approximately 1,100 cows.
On the tours, the Wegs will showcase both the milking parlor and the free-stall barn.
“I met a dairy farmer” stickers will be given to the kids, while adults can read more about the Weg’s Blue & White Dairy in a “People Behind the Product” educational brochure.
The Wegs market all of their milk through Land O’Lakes, with all of their milk transported to Sioux Falls, S.D., where it is bottled as fluid milk consumers buy in their grocery stores.
The dairy milks three times per day and has a staff of 16 employees, in addition to Mike and Clay.
“The dairy farmer, their main goal is to provide a nutritious, safe product, and the best way to do that is to give the best care possible,” said Mike.
Clay said he hopes people visiting the farm on Saturday will realize where their milk comes from — that it originates from a dairy farm, not the grocery store.
Several commodity organizations will be represented at Breakfast on the Farm.
The Nobles County American Dairy Association is serving milk and ice cream and providing cheese for the free burgers that will be grilled up by the Rock-Nobles Cattlemen’s Association.
Nobles County Corn and Soybean Growers Association will have displays featuring flex-fuel vehicles.
“We’ve also ordered and are planning on sunshine,” said Christopherson. “I think we will have a good day.”