A year or so ago my cousins (from Milwaukee) were coming up to visit and on their way they called for directions. As Collin was helping them out Andrea stopped mid sentence to exclaim "Look kids! Cows!"
One of the first times I took Collin down to my parents we got off the interstate and started weaving in and out of all the farms on the back roads into town and he asked me, "where are all the cows?"
I explained to Collin that the farming done down by my parents is more corn and soybeans, less dairy, and we giggle as we exclaim "Look kids! Cows!" as we pass by a pasture, but the truth is it's easy to get wrapped up in the daily rigors of life, to pass by a barn and silo without giving thought to the fact that farming is a backbone of the economy in Wisconsin.
I grew up in town so I don't know alot about farming in general, but I hope I can instill an appreciation for it in my children. After all, it's the hard work of all our farms and farmers that make this state so great.
So, last weekend, in honor of June Dairy Month we woke up early, met up with my friend Tanya and her boys, and headed out to Portage County's Breakfast on the Farm.
I was totally unprepared for how big of an event this was going to be. As we took the exit ramp off the highway there was a sign pointing us to the South, we circled the bend and came upon the farmhouse with red barns and many silos. Just beyond the house was a huge tent and parking galore. And it was packed. It was really pretty awesome to see this many people come out to support the industry.
We started our morning eating breakfast on hay bails - pancakes, eggs, sausage, and cheese curds (yes, we're in Wisconsin!). Then we moseyed over to the next tent where there were lots of informational stands set up and free books for the kids.
And then it was on to the cows.
This little guy was calm as all the kids touched and pet him. Keaton couldn't quite reach but that didn't stop him from getting excited and pointing out the cow to Da Da.
Collin then took the boys through a milking barn (Tanya and I were stuck outside with strollers) where they showed the kids the different stations and the twice daily milking routine.
In the next barn the cows were grazing and I was unable to get a good picture but one of them kept coming right up to the gate to moo at the kids. He'd stick his long neck out, pucker his lips and let out a low grunting mooooo. Keaton wasn't quite picking up the moo sound until he heard this cow and then I think it all clicked for him. A cow says mooooo.
After the cows we went to look at the tractors. Because Collin's riding lawn mower looks like the tractor in his picture book, Keats calls all tractors "Da Da." As we came up on them he started pointing away and exclaiming Da Da, Da Da. He was thrilled to climb up on the big 'ol tractor.
Our last morning adventure was taking a hayride through the pasture. I should have taken some pictures of the land itself, it was breathtaking out there - rolling hills covered in lush green grass. To be quite honest with you I didn't want that hayride to end.