Archive for Thursday, May 25, 2006

Festival salutes city’s history

May 25, 2006

Dairy farming was at one time a way of life for many families in Basehor and Leavenworth County. The passing of the family dairy farm from generation to generation was commonplace.

It is this rich heritage that the Basehor Dairy Days steering committee is honoring with the Dairy Farmers Luncheon at the inaugural festival.

"It was important to us to honor the dairy families of past and present," said Debbie Breuer, event chair. "We wanted to have a time of reunion and sharing of memories. Dairying was just a way of life for many families, including mine."

The luncheon will feature a home-style meal at noon June 3 with Albert Knapp recounting the dairy history of Leavenworth County.

Knapp, who has been involved in dairy farming since he was a boy, hauled milk and was a fieldman in the area for more than 50 years.

"Dairy farmers are some of the best people in the world," said Knapp who retired in 1996.

The Basehor Dairy Days steering committee asked Knapp to speak because "he knows everyone. He saw dairying boom and saw many dairies close," said Breuer.

Knapp said recently that in 1975 there were 95 grade-A dairies in Leavenworth County. Today, there are 15.

"It takes dedicated people to dairy," said Knapp. "They are at it twice a day, seven days a week. It's a simple, but good life."

Knapp's wife of 60 years, Bertha, said that being involved in the dairy industry has lead them to meet "lovely people who are friends for life."

The Dairy Farmers Luncheon is the cornerstone event of Basehor Dairy Days, which will be held June 3 on the athletic grounds of Basehor-Linwood High School. The steering committee has sent invitations to local dairy farming families, local and state dignitaries and dairy association.

For more information about the luncheon or to purchase tickets contact Debbie Breuer at (913) 724-9901.

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