Breakfast to link consumers to the farm

Published 6:06 am Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mower County residents have a chance to learn how a modern farm operates this Saturday.

The Mower County Breakfast on the Farm returns from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday in Adams at the home of Dale and Sandy Bissen, who will host the breakfast with their son Kim and his wife, Dawn.

“The idea is to get a lot of the city people out to the farm because a lot of city people don’t really have a chance to be on a farm to see what we deal with and see how we make a living,” Dale said.

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When: 7:30-11:30 a.m., Saturday

Where: Bissen Farm — 63491 150th St. Adams, MN

Transportation: A free shuttle bus will leave Hy-Vee in Austin at 8 a.m.

Cost: Free; breakfast is offered for $3 a person and with a $12 family rate. Free to children 6 and under.

The breakfast is a chance for people to see various agriculture displays and see how a modern farm operates, said Darrell Ingvaldson, an agent with the Mower County Farm Bureau. Ingvaldson said it offers people perspective on where their food comes from — often from nearby farmers.

“It’s the link that puts it all together,” he said.

The last few years, Dale said, the breakfast has been held at a dairy farm. This year, the participants will get to see a different kind of farm.

Dale and his son Kim, 38, run an incorporated farm and grow corn and soybeans on about 1,400 acres. They also have a feed lot for beef cattle and they have a hog operation. They also have a vineyard on the property.

An incorporated farm operates much like a company, with Dale acting as president and Kim as vice president. They host an annual meeting and have shares in the farm, with Dale and his wife Sandy owning the majority, Kim and his wife, Dawn, also own a portion of the shares. The distribution of shares factors into their wages, Dale said.

As with all farms, the years have brought many changes to their operation. When Dale started, he’d plant crops on a small tractor without a covered cab, now they plant with tractors that steer automatically using satellite guidance.

Along with advances in technology, Dale said, hybrid seeds and changes in agronomy have been driving the industry.

While the event itself is free, the breakfast of pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee costs $3 a person, with a $12 family rate. The meal is free to children 6 and younger.

Along with the breakfast, there will be farm and vineyard tours. People can milk “Star” the farm bureau cow. There will also be a number of other activities like a petting zoo, wagon rides and antique tractors.

Dale and Sandy Bissen’s home is at 63491 150th St. Adams, MN.