Born out of a commitment for service, matured through the processes of service to health and education, the dairy industry developed and nurtured what is known today as the Dairy & Nutrition Council of Indiana, Inc. Those words written thirty years ago evoke strong feelings. Looking back and reading those words once again, I feel [...]
I realize the Indiana State Fair has been over for almost a month, but I still want to share my experiences from it since I’ve attended it every year since I was in the 4th grade. To make it even better, this year I got to experience it as the 2010 Indiana Dairy Princess. First, I had the privilege of handing out ribbons and welcoming everyone to the dairy shows. I was also able to attend one of the milking events where we taught the public about the milking process and allowed them to ask questions about it and dairy cows in general.
The National School Lunch Program provides meals for over 30 million children in the US every day. Everywhere you look, school meals have come under more scrutiny by the media, parents, students, and those concerned with the health of our youth. Recently, Newsweek issued a “Back to School” feature article highlighting school lunch deficiencies and improvements across the country, and just last week, the South Bend Tribune featured “Send the School Menu to Detention”, written by a seventh grader concerned with the fat content of meals at LaSalle Intermediate Academy in South Bend. Wanting to know more, I set out to interview some of the people involved in meal planning and preparation, as well as observe and experience, for myself, some of our local school meal offerings.
Cheese and wine just make everything better! Don’t you agree? Before I came to the American Dairy Association of Indiana (ADAI), I enjoyed many imported cheeses made from a variety of animal milks, such as the creaminess of the buffalo mozzarella, the sharpness of aged goat cheese, and the saltiness of sheep’s milk feta. Each has their own history and culture.Indiana truly has its share of Hoosier cheeses as there are many local cheese makers creating fine artisan products that are available locally and online. Some of the farmers markets also have a wonderful variety of choices to enjoy. What is your favorite domestic cheese? If it is locally made, who is your favorite cheese artisan?
Last week we had the opportunity to visit Kelsay and Sons Dairy Farm in Whiteland, Indiana. This local dairy farm is just outside Indianapolis off of I-65 South. They work hard to not only run an efficient operation but make the public feel welcome on their farm, as well. They love teaching consumers about agriculture, food production, and what farmers do to care for their animals. It was a neat experience to learn about how a dairy farm actually operates and is managed. Throughout the year they open up their facilities to group tours. Then, in the fall, they have a corn maze, pumpkin patch, hay rides, and other fun activities for all age groups. More information, an event schedule, and pictures of this LOCAL dairy farm are found at www.KelsayFarms.com.
I have enjoyed my first couple of days helping out with the Milk the Moment and “got milk?” promotional programs at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. We talked with lots of parents and their children, who stopped by our table to win a football which promoted the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program, get their picture taken with a real milk mustache, and have a free sample of milk with a crazy straw. Some parents said their children didn’t like milk so we suggested that they work to include other dairy sources in their diet each day. For example, including yogurt, string cheese, or even ice cream on occasion are all excellent ways to get three of dairy every day.
Sure seems odd to be blogging about water use when things are so very dry here right now!! I water only 5 pots of flowers by the house here – even though things look so rough! Neighbors’ crop field irrigation systems have been going on a frequent basis this summer. This spring sure seemed like it could never get wetter – all of our crops were delayed by the wet and cool spring that we experienced! Now they are drying too fast! Every day we practice water conservation on our farm! Our cows drink about a bathtub of water every day. The cow’s water comes from the same well that provides my family with our drinking water! So water is a big piece of their budget! What they drink goes in and around the cycle of milk production – what is good for the cows is good for us, you, me and our children, in the way of a wholesome, nutritious, safe, dairy product!!
On my first day of interning, I was sent to the Indianapolis Zoo to help promote milk with the Milk Mobile! There, I was able to promote the 3 Every Day of milk and the “Fuel Up to Play 60” program sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League. Dean’s Dairy was able to sponsor the event and provide children and parents with free samples of their white or chocolate milk! The milk mobile also had a station for children and parents to get their milk mustache picture taken as well as the chance to enter a contest to win a trip to dine with the Food Network Star Tyler Florence in San Francisco by describing their family’s “Milk Moment”!
Ever worn your favorite NFL jersey to the barn? Have a unique idea for your cows to show your NFL spirit? Here’s an opportunity to combine your dairy and NFL enthusiasm and creativity on camera! The NFL is asking sponsors and partners such as America’s dairy producers to help kick off its “Back to Football Friday” school campaign and build excitement for the upcoming season. Through your dairy checkoff investment, your partnership with the NFL introduced the Fuel Up to Play 60 program to America’s youth. FUTP60 encourages kids to “fuel up” on nutrient-rich foods, including low-fat and fat-free dairy, and get 60 minutes of physical activity each day.
Throughout the past four weeks I have gotten to experience many different things, from being on the radio to going to my first county fair there has never been a dull moment. One of the last opportunities I had was to visit the Indiana State Fair.
Arriving at the fair, we were just in time to see the unveiling of the 1500 pound cheese sculpture. There was a huge crowd eagerly waiting to see the completed work of art including Buttercup, the Indiana Dairy Council’s mascot, and Blue, the Indianapolis Colts mascot. Ever try a CHOCOLATE PIG?