When the next Independence Holiday rolls around, imagine 4,000 people showing up at your farm for breakfast. That’s exactly what happened this past July 3, in Door County, Wisconsin, on the Mike and Jamie Henschel farm.
But it’s not the first time Mike and Jamie, along with their three sons, Mark, Brian, and Kevin, have hosted a major dairy event like this one. The five-generation strong family did so in 2001 and 2012, as well. The picturesque farm with its beautiful landscaping, exquisitely maintained buildings, and clean barns welcomed attendees from as far away as Florida, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and surrounding states bordering Wisconsin, too.
The Door County Breakfast on the Farm event is different from most other farm breakfast gatherings—which are prevalent the entire month of June in Wisconsin. In most counties, the events are operated by the county dairy promotion committee. But in Door County, it’s run by an FFA alumni group as their major fundraiser to help the small rural school district.
The event is always scheduled during the Fourth of July weekend, so several thousand tourists from across the country can attend. Heinen said some attendees were experiencing the breakfast for the first time and were amazed that it was so well run and put together with volunteers instead of a professional management team.
They also have six honey bee hives, allowing them to process the honey, along with 1,400 tapped trees for maple syrup, yielding between 400 and 450 gallons annually.
36 years ago, the Henschel Sawmill was established to further diversify the family business. Located a mile east of the farm, it has now grown to multiple semi-loads of logs delivered annually. Henschel Sawmill supplies a variety of dimension lumber from cedar, pine, and ash logs. Kiln drying and lumber planing is also available, along with mulch and slab wood.
Mike and Jamie’s two oldest sons, Mark and Brian, work full time on this multi-dimensional farm. Their youngest son, Kevin, is a carpenter working for a neighboring farm and helps out when needed.