Bears Grass Dairy

The owners of Bears Grass Dairy where the 2017 Farm-City Day will be held are, from left, Donald Honadel (holding Yen), Tammy and Donald Schroeder, and Gary Schroeder.

While many people are no longer directly involved with a farm, you probably know the importance of agriculture in our local community.

Maybe you’re interested in visiting a local farm and taking your kids or grandkids to see the farm animals. You’ll have an opportunity to do just that on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the annual Chippewa Valley Farm-City Day event.

Event history

2017 marks the 10th anniversary of this annual event. Chippewa Valley Farm-City Day is a free event about fun, sharing and educating, as well as fostering a mutual understanding about modern, agricultural practices between our agricultural and non-agricultural residents.

The first Chippewa Valley Farm-City Day event was held in 2008 at Schafferland Farms, a cash grain operation located just outside of Eau Claire. The annual event is held at a local farm in Eau Claire, Chippewa, or Dunn County each fall. In past years, it has been held on farms with a variety of agricultural features, including dairy cows, horses, sheep, cash grain, strawberries, corn maze, and an on-farm creamery.

Generously supported by Chippewa Valley area businesses and agriculture groups, Farm-City Day is an event that is open to the general public. The planning committee includes volunteers who are passionate about promoting agriculture in the Chippewa Valley. In addition, more than 100 local volunteers assist during the event.

About the 2017 host farm

This year’s event is being held at Bears Grass Dairy (S8495 County Road V, Augusta). Bears Grass Dairy is owned and operated by brothers Don and Gary Schroeder, Don’s wife Tammy, and their nephew, Donald Honadel. There are 10 full- and part-time employees on the farm, including several family members.

The current herd of 400 cows is a combination of several herds brought together from tie-stall operations into their current freestall dairy facility. Attendees will see how Bears Grass Dairy focuses on animal care and utilizes soil and water conservation best management practices. Guided wagon tours of the farm will be provided by the Chippewa Valley Technical College Agri-Science students.

Attendees will also be able to get a hands-on feel for agriculture when visiting the educational displays, including learning about bees, having your gardening questions answered by local Master Gardeners and viewing Eau Claire Energy’s hotline wire demonstration. Kids can also visit the petting zoo and have their picture taken with a calf.

Many dairy products will be available for sampling, including AMPI cheese sticks, ConAgra Foods pudding snacks, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery cheese curds, and Weber’s Farm Store milk. Culvers of Eau Claire will also be providing scoops of custard. A lunch meal is available for purchase from the Eau Claire County 4-H.

Wantoch is an agricultural agent specializing in economic development for the UW-Extension Dunn County office. She can be reached at 715-232-1636 or via email katie.wantoch@ces.uwex.edu.

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Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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