Joe Loewith & Sons, of Copetown, donate farm tour birthday parties to local charity auctions to provide unique experiences for bidders.
“Every now and then there are auctions, Rotary Clubs, or different events like that, where they are looking for more unique experiences (for donations), instead of just a product. We thought this was a good way to get the kids and parents out to see the farm,” says Ben Loewith.
Why it matters: Creative consumer-relations ideas, like farm-tour birthday parties, can help consumers to better understand farming.
The donation comes with pizza and cake for the party along with an hour and a half tour through the dairy farm facilities, including the milking parlour, maternity pens, calf hutches and two main dairy barns. The family milks 470 cows.
The cause usually brings in a couple of hundred dollars for the charity auction.
The age range of party goers has been between eight and 12, sometimes younger, and the tour includes basic information and is given by one of the Loewiths.
Loewith says they try to arrange the parties so the kids are able to see a milking.
“We get (the kids) to put their finger in a milk unit, feel the pulsation. Usually when I am in the parlour I have the birthday kid strip out one of the cows. I squirt a couple of kids with milk from the parlour and everyone squeals.”
Feb. 29 marked their sixth birthday party tour and this group was lucky to witness a calf being born.
“It was just a question of standing there for 10 minutes and watching her doing her final pushes. I couldn’t have scripted it any better.”
Loewith says the tours have been great and the participants really seem to enjoy the experience. It’s a birthday party that also educates parents.
“It’s not just getting the kids out. It’s a chance for the parents (to learn) what dairy farmers do, why we do it and a bit of the technology behind it. The hope is that some of the parents also walk away thinking it was pretty cool.”