Breakfast on the Farm to highlight Priors, Hallahans this June
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
Farm and Food Care Ontario is expanding its popular Breakfast on the Farm event in Huron County, which will host the first-ever two-site event this June with locations near both Brussels and Blyth.
Breakfast on the Farm in Huron County will go ahead on Saturday, June 17 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. The event traditionally welcomes over 2,500 people and this year they will begin at Grazing Meadows wagyu beef farm near Brussels owned by Tim and Donna Prior.
At Grazing Meadows, just east of Brussels, there will be an all-Ontario breakfast, interactive and educational displays on farming and a chance to meet and greet with local farmers. In addition, tours of Grazing Meadows itself will be offered.
The second stop will be Steve and Arletta Hallahan’s seventh-generation dairy farm in East Wawanosh. That will be the event’s ice cream stop and it will give attendees the opportunity to tour the farm and speak with a family that has had farming in its blood for nearly 170 years.
Christa Ormiston, program manager with Farm and Food Care Ontario, spoke with The Citizen about the event, saying this will be the first time that a second stop has been added to the Breakfast on the Farm event. The organization, which aims to connect everyday residents of both urban and rural communities with the farmers that grow and produce their food, hosts between two and three such events a year and coming to Huron County is something that has been a few years in the making.
Ormiston says the Hallahan farm had applied to be a Farm and Food Care Ontario Breakfast on the Farm stop several years ago and had been chosen for 2020, but that event would not go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Luckily, the farm remained on the books and now can be part of a two-stop tour this year.
Ormiston said that the Brussels Agricultural Society and one of its long-time members, Monique Baan, who is also a Farm and Food Care Ontario committee member, worked to bring the Priors on board to showcase their unique farm in the heart of Huron County.
Ormiston says the events are all about connecting consumers with farmers, education and building trust among those buying food and those producing it in rural, farming communities like Huron County.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Ormiston said Farm and Food Care Ontario would frequently sell out these events weeks before they were set to be held and she hopes that level of enthusiasm for the June 17 event will continue now as pandemic-associated lockdowns and travel restrictions have been lifted.
And, while the events have been a lot of fun over the years and connected people with farmers, Ormiston said the impact of the events is being felt. The organization has conducted pre- and post-event polls, asking attendees about their opinions towards farming, etc. and she says there have been noted improvements in confidence levels after people have attended a Breakfast on the Farm event, which, she says, is what it’s all about.
Tickets for the event went on sale on April 13 online at farmfoodcareon.org and each ticket will be subject to a $5 deposit that will be refunded on the day of the event.