According to Mike and Jolene Martin, the idea of the dairy breakfast taking place at their farm first surfaced around six years ago when they added a new machine shed to their property. But it took a 10-year culmination of additions, remodeling and hard work before the Martins had their property just about where they wanted it.
Then around the end of March this year, the Martins were approached by the Lafayette County Dairy Promotion Committee and asked if they would be interested in hosting the 37th annual Lafayette County dairy breakfast. The family took a week to consider it, but ultimately decided to go for it.
“We just want to welcome everybody out to eat breakfast,” said Jolene with a smile, “and we’re looking forward to showing the place off, because we’ve put a lot of work into it.”
Although the Martins are providing the place for the breakfast, all the credit for organizing the event goes to the dairy promotion committee, they said.
“They plan all of it,” said Mike. “We go to the meetings of course, but they get the volunteers and bring everyone in and just coordinate the whole thing.” In fact, the committee visited the Martin farm on Tuesday, May 28 to figure out what the layout will be for the event.
In recent weeks, the Martins have been preparing for the dairy breakfast by focusing on finishing up various projects, such as completing the wiring in some of the buildings as well as general cleaning and landscaping. “Which was all planned anyway,” said Mike.
“We just work best under pressure,” added Jolene with a laugh. “We needed the deadline.”
In addition to hosting the dairy breakfast this spring, the Martin’s son, Robert just graduated from Darlington High School, for which they just recently held a graduation party on the farm as well. So, they have been very busy preparing for two big events.
The Martins have three children: Ashley, 21, who is attending UW-Platteville with a Chemistry/Biology major, Robert, 18, the recent high school graduate who plans to also attend UW-Platteville for Ag. Business and Makenna, 5, who recently graduated 4-year-old kindergarten in Darlington. All of the Martin children have been involved with showing cattle at both the county and state fairs for years.
The Martins bought their 310-acre farm from Mike’s father 11 years ago, although they had been renting the property for eight years prior to actually purchasing it. Currently they rent an additional 300 acres as well.
The Martins have been farming for a little over 20 years and currently have 100 cows, 100 heifers and about 100 steers. Both Mike and Jolene were raised on dairy farms and attended UW-Platteville for animal science. “We’ve never known anything else,” said Jolene, referring to the dairy industry.
Regarding their favorite aspects of dairy farming, the Martins agreed that watching things grow and green up in the spring and seeing new life coming into the world are among the best parts.
When the Martins were asked about their thoughts on the quickly approaching dairy breakfast, they both wryly grinned, but Mike replied in the positive.
“We’ll be ready,” he said, adding that they have some of the greatest neighbors around, some of whom have hosted the breakfast in the past, and that they’d all be willing to help if need be.
The breakfast is planned for Saturday, June 8 from 6:30-10:30 a.m. and will include scrambled eggs with ham and cheese, sausage links, cheese, donuts, milk, juice, coffee and ice cream.
Also featured during the event will be music, a children’s corner, a pedal tractor pull, door prizes, the Lafayette County land conservation awards, and free tetanus shots through the Lafayette County health department.
The cost will be $4 for adults and $2 for children under 10. Preschool aged children will have no charge.
The Martin farm is located at 18565 State Road 23, Mineral Point.