LAKE CITY — A Missaukee County family will host Breakfast on the Farm (BOTF), a family-friendly event that gives consumers and farm neighbors a firsthand look at modern food production.

Benthem Brothers Dairy Farm, a family-owned and operated dairy farm located at 7927 W. Stoney Corners Road in McBain, hopes to welcome more than 2,000 visitors on Sept. 24 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Missaukee County event marks the final BOTF of the 2011 season.

Brothers Doug and Bruce Benthem as well as Doug’s son Jason and Bruce’s son Ryan own and operate Benthem Brothers Dairy Farm. Together, the family cares for nearly 800 cows and grows about 1,500 acres of corn and alfalfa to feed to their cattle. The Benthem family is excited to show visitors how they make sure their cows are comfortable and how they produce milk that is used in nutritious dairy products.

“When I heard about Breakfast on the Farm, I thought it was a great event and one that we should host in our area,” Doug Benthem said. “I look forward to having families come out to our farm and see what goes into producing safe and wholesome milk for Michigan communities and the world.”

Those attending the Missaukee County event will be able to enjoy a home-cooked breakfast served from 9 a.m. to noon featuring Michigan-grown and -produced menu items before setting off on a self-guided farm tour featuring numerous educational exhibits hosted by local farmer volunteers. There will be a chance to see a milking parlor, baby calves, and tractors and other farm equipment. Visitors can also take a horse-drawn wagon ride and might also be lucky enough to see a calf being born!

In addition to learning about all the jobs that must be done each and every day on a dairy farm, local farmer volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions or to share their firsthand expertise about farming. You will be able to easily identify them by their Breakfast on the Farm T-shirts.

The event is free, but tickets are required to eat breakfast. Free tickets can be obtained from the following businesses:

Big Rapids

Big Rapids Farm and Garden; Chemical Bank (main branch); Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Mecosta County

Reed City

Chemical Bank; Lake-Osceola State Bank; MSU Extension Osceola County; Reed City Public Library

Sears/Evart

Morgan Composting

Breakfast on the Farm is a statewide Michigan State University Extension program. More than 150 local volunteers help organize the event.

For more information about the Missaukee County Breakfast on the Farm, visit www.breakfastonthefarm.com, or contact Kathy Lee, MSU Extension dairy educator, at 231-839-4667 or leeka@msu.edu or Mary Dunckel, MSU Extension agriculture literacy educator, at 989-354-9870 or dunckelm@anr.msu.edu.