Kelsey Henderson, of the Union Grove FFA, educates a family about a calf inside the one of the barns during the Kenosha County Dairy Breakfast last Saturday at Mighty Grand Dairy Farm. The annual Racine County Breakfast on the Farm event, set for Saturday, July 22, will focus on a different aspect of agriculture when it’s held at the Jasperson Sod Farm in the Town of Norway. (Photo by Jason Arndt)

Jasperson Sod Farm to host annual breakfast

By Jason Arndt

Editor

It’s no secret that the past decade has been brutal for dairy farmers in Racine County and the rest of the dairy state. And while the number of dairy farms in the area has declined, agriculture remains a staple of life for many in the county.

Racine County Breakfast on the Farm promises to highlight that point and deliver family fun on Saturday, when Jasperson Sod Farm in the Town of Norway hosts the annual event

The Racine County Breakfast on the Farm Committee selected Jasperson Sod Farm, 22901 Burmeister Rd., to showcase a non-traditional farming operation.

“The agriculture industry has a diverse portfolio,” said Public Relations Chairwoman Dormie Roberts. “As a committee, it is our goal to bridge the gap between consumers and producers about the agriculture industry in Racine County.”

“It is also a fun and educational event for the whole family.”

Hilda and Randy Jasperson will host the annual Racine County Dairy Breakfast on their third-generation family farm they operate alongside other relatives on Sunday.

Farm features

The event features a big farm breakfast, including eggs, sausage, milk and ice cream, which will be served from 7 to 11 a.m.

Cost for tickets is $6 while children younger than 3 are admitted free.

In addition, there will be activities, like a children’s game tent, petting pen, equipment display, sod production demonstrations and other attractions.

Officials plan to showcase how the farm harvests sod, according to part owner Randy Jasperson.

“During the late 1950s, sod was harvested by a walk-behind, hand sod cutter,” Jasperson said. “Throughout the years, our family has seen many advancements in sod harvesting technologies and we are looking forward hosting this year’s breakfast.”

Rich history

Randy Jasperson owns and operates Jasperson Sod Farm with Hilda Jasperson, son, Mark Jasperson, and daughter and son-in-law Dawn and Ryan Menken.

In 1942, brothers Lyle and Vernon Jasperson started the farm, harvesting vegetables, but grew to sod production by 1959.

Since 1959, when the farm raised one acre of Marion Bluegrass, Jasperson Sod Farm has increased sod production exponentially.

According to Randy, the farm boasts 1,400 acres, with about 800 reserved for mostly Kentucky bluegrass.

“We are raising about 800 acres of sod annually,” he said, noting soybeans and corn are raised on the rest of the land.

Home to other events

Jasperson Sod Farm has hosted multiple turf events dating back decades.

Last July, the farm held a regional turf show, and has also hosted field days.

“We have hosted other things – maybe not to this magnitude,” Randy said. “We have hosted field days at our farm multiple times over the last 25 years.”

Jasperson Sod Farm has provided grass for athletic complexes, residential units, golf courses and other venues, Randy said.

“We have a pretty wide customer base, we do sports fields, we do homes, we do contractors and golf courses.”

Raising awareness

The Racine County Breakfast on the Farm Committee said the annual event strives to enhance awareness and understanding of the area’s agriculture industry.

Last year, Jeremy and Jackie Bratz hosted the breakfast on their Town of Raymond farm.

Jasperson Sod Farm becomes the fifth straight host of the event after a 15-year hiatus.

Off-site parking

Shuttle service to the breakfast will be provided at four different locations, instead of parking at the farm, according to organizers.

“Due to the excessive rain Wisconsin has had this month, the committee is asking that everyone use off-site parking and be shuttled to the Breakfast,” the news release states.

Shuttle busses will run to and from the breakfast every 20 minutes during the event.

Parking is available at the following locations: Yorkville School, 18621 Washington Ave., Yorkville; St. Clare’s Church, 7616 Fritz St., Wind Lake; Norway Town Hall, 6419 Heg Park Road, Wind Lake; and Norway Lutheran Church, 6321 Heg Park Road, Wind Lake.