Dairy breakfast in Mt. Zion June 1

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The 2019 Crawford County Dairy Breakfast will be at Riley Farms in Mt. Zion, Saturday, June 1, from 6 to 10 a.m. Hosts are (from left) Kaitlyn, Jody, Paulette and Justin Riley. The public is welcome to enjoy the 38th annual family event on this Jersey farm.

The 38th annual Crawford County Dairy Breakfast will be hosted on the Jody, Paulette, Justin and Kaitlyn Riley family farm in Mt. Zion, Saturday, June 1, from 6 to 10 a.m. The address is 44477 County Rd. W, Gays Mills (10 miles north of Boscobel or 10 miles south of Soldiers Grove, 1 mile west on County W, off Highway 61).

Jody was born into the dairy industry and, after graduating from Boscobel High School, he milked a small Jersey herd at home before renting his own farm in Mt. Zion where he milked 30 cows. In 1982, Jody expanded his herd and bought a 156-acre farm near Wauzeka.

The oldest of 11 children, Paulette was raised on a dairy farm in Iowa County. She grew up showing Holsteins but was a quick convert to the efficiencies of the Jersey breed after meeting Jody. The couple married in 1987. 

Jody and Paulette sold their Wauzeka farm eight years later and purchased their current facility in Mt. Zion. When they first started there, the family milked 36 cows and had a 12,000-pound herd average. After more than 20 years of improvements and expansion, Riley Farms now milks around 70 registered Jerseys, houses 135 head of livestock, and reached an 18,000-pound herd average peak on the 202-acre farm. 

Every single animal in the herd is bred and owned with the Riley prefix. They continued their enhancements in 2015 by building a new facility that can better house and raise 50 heifers. A new shed was just built this year and will be used for the dairy breakfast.

Their two children, Justin and Kaitlyn, were fortunate to have opportunities to show their cattle at the local, state and national level. One of the family’s proudest moments was when Justin’s cow won Reserve Grand Champion of the Junior Jersey Show at World Dairy Expo in 2008. Today, Justin works for Foremost Farms in Richland Center and Kaitlyn is serving as the 71st Alice in Dairyland. Her final appearance as Alice will be at the breakfast. 

The 2019 Crawford County Dairy Breakfast is scheduled for June 1. Breakfast will be served from 6 to 10 a.m. and includes pancakes, sausage links, sliced cheese, cottage cheese, cheese curds, pudding, applesauce, milk, coffee, as well as chocolate shakes and Culver’s custard. The cost for breakfast is very minimal, and children ages 5 and under are free. 

Guests can enjoy the scenery on this family-owned Jersey dairy farm with cows, calves and other farm animals on display. They can also visit with Master Gardeners, Southwest Technical College staff, dairy princesses, fair ambassadors, farming families and friends. 

There is minimal parking at the farm so taking a shuttle is encouraged. Shuttles will run every 30 minutes from 5:30 to 9 a.m. from the North Crawford School to the Crawford County fairgrounds to the farm and back, and from NuPak in Boscobel, to Richardson Trucking at Plugtown to the farm and back. There is plenty of parking at the shuttle pickup locations. The last buses will leave the farm by 10:30, returning to the parking locations. There will be handicap parking available at the farm. 

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