Monday, January 31, 2011

Food Safety Part One: Cleaning

By The Indiana Board of Animal Health's Denise Derrer

This week, we are covering the four aspects of food safety through a four-part series.  Along the way Fight BAC!®, the Partnership for Food Safety Education mascot, and some of his friends will pass along quick tips for proper food safety. 

One of our lucky facebook fans who comments on our facebook page will be chosen at random this week to receive a food safety kit that has been put together with items highlighting and essential to the four parts of good food safety. So, be sure to tell all your facebook friends to like us on Facebook to be entered to win!

Part One: Clean
Wash your hands.  That command is repeated time and time again, but no other time is it more important than when working with food.  Microorganisms that cause foodborne illnesses cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted, but they lurk on every surface of your kitchen.  And objects such as hands, knives, and cutting boards can transmit the microorganisms from infected foods causing serious illness or worse. 

Keeping you and your family safe is as basic as soap and water. 

Fight BAC!® recommends “The Big 3” ways to keep your surfaces clean to lessen the chances of contracting a foodborne illness. 

  1. Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.
  2. Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils and countertops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.
  3. Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces so you can throw the towel away when you are done. 
To help the food safety kit winner stay clean, two travel-sized soap dispensers are included in the kit.  The paper thin soaps will leave no doubt of cleanliness.

Additional tips about keeping your kitchen clean can be found on the Indiana State Board of Animal Health website,, or the Fight BAC!® webpage

To enter to win the kit, leave a comment on our Facebook page on what tips you use to keep your food areas clean.

Friday, January 28, 2011

From Our Tables to Yours: Buffalo Chicken Chili

Guest Post by Dennis Henry of the Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Hello, Dennis here!  I am the Licensing Officer for the Indiana Grain Buyers & Warehouse Licensing Agency (a mouthful) and on the Social Media Team with the Indiana State Department of Agriculture.  Our team was tasked with bringing you a favorite recipe and we decided with the cold weather a good Chili recipe would be good.  Well I knew right off the bat; I had the recipe to showcase.

 I by no means am any gourmet chef, I like simple food that tastes good, is easy to make and has a little different twist to it.  I love Chili and from growing up in Michigan I found out there are many different varieties when I moved here to Indiana.  It seems that every area of the country has their own way of making this warm and hearty dish.  Knowing this, I am always trying out different recipes. 

When visiting my Sister on Holiday, we were looking thru some of her Recipe Magazines and I stumbled across this one I am going to share with you.  This Buffalo Chicken Chili has become a household favorite, we have even taken the ingredients with us to make during our camping trips one autumn trip.  What a wonderful dish to eat around the campfire during the cool autumn camping season.  I found that if I chop my vegetables and boiling my chicken breast before we leave and place them in containers, I can whip up a batch in no time.

Ok enough about me, here is my favorite Chili recipe; Buffalo Chicken Chili.

1 Tbs. Canola Oil
2 Ribs Celery, diced
1 large Green Pepper, diced
1 large Onion, diced
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
2 lbs boneless, skinless Chicken Breast, cut into 1” pieces
1 pkg. (1.6 oz.) Buffalo Wings seasoning mix
1 can (14 oz.) diced Tomatoes with Mild Green Chilies
1 can (6oz.) Tomato Paste
1 can (19 oz.) Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups Vegetable or Tomato Juice
2 tsp. Frank’s RedHot Sauce
1 cup chopped fresh Cilantro*
1 bottle of your favorite Bleu Cheese salad dressing

I begin by heating the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.  

Then I added the Celery, Green Pepper and Onion to the pan and sautéed until the vegetables start to soften, at which time I added the Garlic and continued to sauté for a total of about 5 minutes. 

I then added the diced Chicken to brown.  I add in the Buffalo Seasoning Mix and continue to stir often, to brown all sides of the Chicken.

 Once the Chicken has done, I then transfer the mixture to my slow cooker.  After this I add the tomatoes with their juice, the tomato paste, beans, vegetable juice and the hot sauce.  

I let this slow cook on High for a good two hours or on Low for four to six hours.  About ½ hour before you serve, add 2/3 cup of Cilantro.  *I prefer this recipe without the Cilantro, so I reserve and let each guest add their own.  The more it cooks, the better it gets!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Cookie Time!

When she's not out selling cookies, Girl Scout Cadette Elaina Derrer enjoys a few Thin Mints with milk. Her mom had the foresight to buy extra and freeze them to enjoy year-round!

Craving some Thin Mints to go with your milk? Indiana's Dairy Farmers and the Indiana Board of Animal Health are giving away cookies and milk this week on Indiana Family of Farmer's Facebook page

Hop over there and tell us which Girl Scout Cookie Flavor is your favorite and you just might find yourself the winner of some cookies and milk from Indiana's farmers!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Girl Scout Cookies and Milk: The Inside Scoop

By Guest Blogger:  Denise Derrer, Full-time Public Information Director for the State Board of Animal Health and Part-time Girl Scout Troop Leader

If you haven’t been asked to buy a box of Girl Scout cookies yet, you probably haven’t been out of the house lately! It’s that time of year again when girls all over Indiana are racking up orders for Samoas, Tag-a-Longs and (my personal fav) Thin Mints.

When those cookies arrive in a couple of weeks, nothing will complete snack time like a tall, cold glass of milk. Have you thought about what goes into making sure that milk is wholesome and safe for everyone to enjoy?

The Indiana State Board of Animal Health (BOAH) manages Indiana’s dairy inspection program. Every day, inspectors are visiting dairy farms and the processing facilities that pasteurize, manufacture and package the milk, cheese, yogurt and ice cream we all enjoy. Since this is something few people ever really see, I thought I’d give you the “inside scoop” on what some of my coworkers do in the field.

Milk is among the most highly inspected and regulated food products on the market. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets the standards by which all milk must be produced. State agencies, such as BOAH, work with the farmers and plant operators of all sizes—from mom-and-pop to international companies—to make sure final products are safe.

By law, farms must be thoroughly inspected at least twice each year. Sometimes our inspectors make spot checks or revisit operations that need to correct issues from a previous inspection.
Inspections start with a general look at the farm itself: 

Is the place generally clean? Are rodents and pets kept out of the milking facility? Are weeds kept trimmed? Are the cows free of manure? Do the doors to the milk house seal tightly? Are there paper towels at the sink? Do employees wash their hands?

Those questions only scratch the surface of what’s involved in a farm inspection. There’s so much to look at!

Every piece of milking equipment is closely scrutinized. BOAH dairy inspectors look like detectives, armed with flashlights to help them peer into bulk tanks to make sure no protein residue accumulates on the sides. They’ll disassemble the stainless steel pipes, pumps and hoses to verify the insides are getting proper daily cleanings. Gaskets and seals are inspected. Thermometers are checked to ensure they are accurate, and milk is kept below 40 degrees.

Inspectors also verify any medications used on the farm are approved for use on dairy cattle. Meds must be stored properly, have the veterinary labels attached and not be expired.

Likewise, inspecting a dairy plant (where milk is bottled or cheese is made) is much like inspecting the milking facility portion of the farm—only with a lot more pipes and tanks. And I mean a lot. Some of these plants take many, many hours to inspect, often in the wee hours of the morning, when the bottling operation is shut down.

Those inspections do not even cover all the product testing that goes on to ensure product safety.

Four types of tests are completed regularly to ensure dairy products are safe:
  1. Somatic cell counts, which are an indicator of the general health of the cows. Only healthy cows may be milked.
  2. Bacteria levels, which can affect the shelf-life, quality and safety of the product. Each load of milk must be tested as it is delivered to the processing plant to ensure it meets federal standards. Dairy cooperatives (which buy the milk from farmers) test the milk at the farm-level another five to six times a month to ensure their herd is producing top-quality milk. Cheese makers will frequently test their finished products for other organisms to ensure they are safe to eat.
  3. Antibiotic drug residues, which is an issue of food safety. Just like people, cows can become ill. And, like people, they may be prescribed medications to help them heal. Milk from cows being treated cannot go into the human food chain, yet the treated cows still have to be milked daily. That means their milk has to be dumped. So the milk supply is checked frequently (and multiple times) to ensure no mistakes were made. Milk is tested for drug residues on the farm, again on the truck as it arrives at the processor (before it is unloaded), and again as the final product at the plant.
  4. Water quality, because the water used to clean the equipment and nourish the cows must be free of contaminants, including bacteria like e. coli.
All of these factors, together, help determine if a dairy farm or processing facility meets the standard to ship milk or dairy products. Any time the operation doesn’t meet the standard, the milk will be rejected. That is why farmers and plant operators work so hard to make sure they produce high-quality, safe products.

So, when you sit back to enjoy those Girl Scout cookies with a glass of milk, don’t just thank a farmer. Thank an inspector, too!

If you'd like to win some Girl Scout Cookies and Milk this week, visit us over on our Facebook Page and tell us your Favorite Girl Scout Cookie Flavor. Winner will be chosen at random on Facebook. 

Friday, January 21, 2011

In the Kitchen with Real Farmwives of America and Friend's Ott, A

By Real Farmwives of America and Friends' Ott, A  of A Latte with Ott, A.

NOTE: Scroll to the bottom of the post to see the winner of this week's giveaway.


Whether it’s a special occasion or just your average evening dinner around the table Lamb is a great entrée to serve for your family.  Lamb burgers are great to eat as they are or to break up and add to tacos or spaghetti sauce.  Lamb chops are great to marinate and serve up for nice dinner.  But today I share with you a recipe for Leg of Lamb Steaks. 


This recipe for Mediterranean Lamb Steaks is very versatile as to how you prefer to cook the steaks.  We use it year round but based on your preferences it can be thrown on the grill in the summer months, warmed up in the oven during the spring and fall, or cooked in your crock pot on those cold winter days.  The ingredients stay the same, it’s just what you are in the mood for in terms of preparation.  Serve it with some vegetables and rolls and you will have one tasty dinner.

Mediterranean Lamb Steaks 

This recipe card is for the crock pot version.


For grilling place all ingredients along with the steaks in a bag and marinate for 6-8 hours.  Then place the steaks on the grill and cook till thermometer reads 160 degrees.  Drain liquid off tomatoes and then serve the tomatoes on top of the plated steak.

For Oven cooking: Place all ingredients along with the steaks in an oven bag.  Place bag in baking dish and cook at 350 for 30 minutes or until thermometer inserted into meat reads 160 degrees.

If you haven’t tried lamb before give this recipe a try, I’m sure you will be pleased with the taste.  Also, when you are shopping for lamb in the grocery store be sure to look and see if it’s American Raised Lamb.  There are over 70,000 sheep farms in the US and they produce around 300 million pounds of lamb per year.

You don't have to miss a minute of the fun with Ott, A and the Real Farmwives of America and Friends, now you can join them on Facebook

Now for this week's giveaway...

Congrats Jent! 

You are the winner of the skeins of yarn this week. Send us a message at and let us know where to mail your prize!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Have you any wool?

Today, Hoosier sheep farmer Holly Brady of Crawfordsville, Ind. shares some photos of her sheep with us.

Holly’s granddaughter Lyla and purebred Coopworth ewe Lucy share an apple.

These Dorset sheep enjoy a bale of hay. Sheep are ruminants, so they have four stomach chambers.

This curious Dorset Coopworth crossbred sheep handles the snow just fine.

Twins are common among sheep. These little lambs are this mama’s first babies.

The finished product. These two 4-oz skeins of wool from Indiana sheep that we happen to be giving away this week. Have you entered to win?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Just the facts... and spinning some "yarns" too

Today we are sharing a couple of fun farm facts and a giveaway!
  • Indiana sheep produced 240,000 pounds of wool in 2009.
  • Llama wool is lanolin-free
  • If you leave a sheep in the rain, it won’t shrink.
  • There is 150 yards (450 feet) of wool yarn in a baseball.
  • Llamas communicate by humming and clucking.
  • A baby llama or alpaca is called a cria.

Calling all crafters! This week's giveaway is two 4 oz. skeins of wool from sheep right here in the Hoosier state. One is white and the other is natural gray.

Enter to win this week's giveaway by leaving a comment and telling us what beautiful creation you would make with this wool.

Entries will be accepted until 9 PM EDT on Thursday and the winner will be selected by random on Friday morning.

Friday, January 14, 2011


NOTE: Scroll to the bottom of this post for the announcement of this week's giveaway winner.

Guest Post By Beth Gormong of Bag N It All

My dad and mom both grew up on farms in Indiana, but I was raised in town. So visiting Aunt Helen’s family nursery in central western Indiana was exciting to me. There were rows after rows of trees and flowers to wander through, water features to gaze into and decorative pots to hide behind.  But the best part of visiting my Aunt Helen was the day she taught me to crochet. My sister had helped me embroider at the age of three. My mom taught me to sew pajama pants for my brother at thirteen. But my Aunt introduced me to the world of yarn. That first project was meant to be a baby afghan. But when I took over the half finished afghan, my fingers held on a little too tightly to the yarn. Over the course of a few rows, the rectangle had morphed into a triangle. That didn’t matter to me. I was hooked. (No pun intended.)

I crocheted off and on for years. My biggest project was an afghan that grew and grew as I lay a prisoner to my bed while pregnant with my youngest. When the doctor ordered bed rest, the crochet hook and balls of yarn were placed next to me. I crafted my way through the days. I crocheted till there was no yarn left, and the finished project was enormous Though it matches nothing in my house, I can’t bear to part with it because of the memories it holds in each tiny stitch. So it has its own special shelf in my linen closet. And I put away my hooks.

Years later a friend taught me to knit and the obsession began again. Now I have a cabinet full of yarn, needles in every size, and enough books of patterns to knit my life away. Fortunately, bed rest is only a memory now. And knitting is a craft that fills my free time instead. When I’m sitting at the end of a field waiting for my farmer husband to finish the row, I just reach across the seat and finish a few rows myself. When I wait at the school to pick up a daughter, I knit a few more rows. When I’m alone at home during planting and harvest season, I knit more than just a few rows.

My latest project is yet unfinished. It’s a scarf for the 2012 Super Bowl. Indianapolis hosts the 2012 Super Bowl and is asking individuals to knit up a scarf or two for the Super Bowl volunteer in Colts blue and white of course. Mine is from a pattern from the booklet, “Simple Hip Knit Scarves.” The pattern is Claredon. I’m knitting the blue now. The white will come later. So if you have some free time this month and would like to contribute, check out this website for more information:

And the winner of our $25 Burpee Seed Gift Card is...

Congrats Linda from Parker's Paradise! Contact us at and let us know where to send your gift certificate. Happy Planting!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Warm & Toasty

By Mindy Reef of Indiana Farm Bureau

One a cold day like this one, would you rather a farm kept animals in the kind of barn pictured above or a new modern barn like the animals below?

Our farmers’ livelihood depends on the quality of animals in our care, which is why we put their medical and nutritional needs first. Today’s farm buildings are equipped to provide animals with comfortable, state-of-the-art housing systems that protect against food- and air-borne illnesses- not to mention warm and toasty on days like today.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Does the Winter's chill make you long for your Spring garden?

As seed magazines cram your mailbox over the next couple months, Indiana's Family of Farmers are making it a little easier to start your garden this year! We are giving away a $25 gift card for Burpee seeds this week.

To enter please leave a separate comment below for each of the following entries:

1. Follow the Indiana Family of Farmers blog through Google Friend Connect (see right column)
3. Become a fan of Family of Farmers on Facebook
4. Share this on Facebook
5. Share this #giveaway on Twitter and reference @familyoffarmers

Entries will be accepted until 9 pm EDT on Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday morning. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

News Release: Students encouraged to enter essay contest on food and its role in our lives

For Immediate Release

Students encouraged to enter essay contest on food and its role in our lives
Written and video essays accepted; prizes include Flip VideoTM Camcorders and Apple iPads

INDIANAPOLIS (Jan. 7, 2011)—Students in grades 4-12 are encouraged to capture their love of Indiana food and its farmers on paper or on video for the 2011 Ag Essay Contest titled “Our Food, Our Farmers.”

Sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers and the Indiana Humanities Council, the essay contest asks students to explain how Indiana agriculture plays a positive role in their life—and in the lives of those around them. There are two categories of competition: video essay and written essay; and three grade levels: 4-6; 7-9 and 10-12. Entries must be received by Feb. 15, 2011.

“Indiana’s family farms, large and small, are committed to providing a safe, stable and affordable food supply that feeds a growing population,” said Indiana Agriculture Director, Joe Kelsay. “But today's farmers do more than feed and clothe us. They contribute to the economy, protect the environment and improve our health. We want to help young Hoosiers understand and appreciate this impact.”

A winner from each grade level, in each category, will receive a Flip VideoTM Camcorder and be invited to a presentation at the Indiana Statehouse on March 7, 2011. The overall winner in each category will receive an Apple iPad.

This contest is part of the Indiana Humanities Council’s two-year Food for Thought initiative. Food for Thought is an examination and celebration of the ways food helps to define Indiana’s culture, considering food in the context of history, law, politics, science, the arts, religion, ethnicity and our place in the world.

About Indiana’s Family of Farmers
Indiana’s Family of Farmers was formed in 2009. Its purpose is to bring awareness that Indiana’s farmers are among the top producers of grains, produce and meats you eat every day because we believe that quality farming means quality food that is good for you, your families and the environment. That’s our promise:  FOOD FOR YOUR FAMILY, FROM OUR FAMILY. Learn more at
About the Indiana Humanities Council
The Indiana Humanities Council connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage people to think, read, talk and listen. Learn more at


Contact information:
Jeannie Keating, Manager of Media Relations
Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Kristen Fuhs Wells, Indiana Humanities Council
317.638.1500 x125,

How’s your New Year’s Resolution?

By Guest Blogger: Jeannie Keating of Jeannie's Gym Journey 

Note: Scroll to the bottom of this post to see the winner of this week's giveaway.

Okay, it’s now Day 7 of 2011. How’s your New Year’s Resolution going? 
If you are on track – congrats and keep up the good work!

However, if you’ve already fallen off the New Year’s band wagon, than you are among the 25% of all resolution makers that quit after the first week. 
But why not start again? There are no rules or New Year Resolution police.

Start again.

If you are a little embarrassed that you vowed to make 2011 “the year” you lost weight and by January 3rd you … well… ate “just a couple” of cookies that turned into fifteen.  And the witness of your misdeed, “the critic,” (Yes, we all have one) was all too happy to give you the “I told you so” look, so what?  Remember…

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."
-- Theodore Roosevelt
"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Start again.  

The journey of weight loss is full of screw ups and you are not alone. Forgive yourself, learn and move on but don’t let “the critic” encourage you to give up.

Never give in, never give in, never; never; never; never- - in nothing, great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense.”
-- Winston Churchill
Start again.  

Believe in yourself! And remember your Indiana’s Family of Farmers grows the meats, vegetables and fruit to provide you fresh as well as clean and lean nutrient sources of protein, carbohydrates and fats you need for a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. Need more nutrition ideas? Don’t diet

Before I go, I want you to meet someone who succeeded in this weight loss journey, my friend and client Kim Young.

She began her weight loss journey January 1, 2010.

I was privileged to help her lose 70 pounds (Yes that is not a typo) from January till September 2010 when she competed in her first Figure Competition.

I would encourage you to read Kim’s story. Her story is an inspiration to not just someone who wants to lose weight, but anyone who wants to change their life. Frankly, she has always inspired me.

Start again. 

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to become the best of which you are capable.”
-- John Wooden

The winner of this week's giveaway is "in it to win it"...

Congrats tuttlem99! Here's to your year of change! Contact us at to claim your prize.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Weight Loss Success – Just Keep It Simple

By Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Jeannie Keating

It’s January 5. Day Five of the Weight Loss Resolution for many people. So let’s keep your January 1st enthusiasm and success going with some fresh but simple exercise examples provided by the Sett to Win Training Team at Anytime Fitness at Indy South and Avalon Crossing. 

Squat Shoulder Press
Demonstrated by 
Jesse “The Shark” Dale
IFPA Professional Athlete                             
NASM, WITS, ISSA, ISSA Specialist in Nutrition, ACE                           

This movement provides a cardiovascular component as well as resistance training. This targets the shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings and gluts. Try three sets of 9-12 repetitions. If you want to try this at home, you can replace the dumbbells with cans of soup.

Bosu Push Up
Demonstrated by
Jesse “The Shark” Dale
IFPA Professional Athlete                             
NASM, WITS, ISSA, ISSA Specialist in Nutrition, ACE                  

This movement primarily works the chest but also the anterior (or front deltoid) and triceps. Because you are moving side-to-side, there is also a bonus cardiovascular component as well.  Try three sets of 7-9 repetitions.

Upright Row
Demonstrated by:
Donny Vogas, NASM
Anytime Fitness Personal Trainer

This movement hits the medial deltoids and by being done in a Smith Machine rack, provides a very safe and controlled movement. Try three sets of 7-9 repetitions.

Kettle Swing
Demonstrated by
Nick George, ACE
Anytime Fitness Personal Trainer

This movement targets the shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings, gluts and core. Try three sets of 9-12 repetitions.

Keep it simple and you’ll be successful.

Oh! And remember successful weight loss also doesn’t require “dieting” or calculating every calorie. Keep your blood sugar even by enjoying a snack of your favorite protein with some kind of carbohydrate every 3-4 hours. The carbohydrates keep your energy up and the protein keep your blood sugar even so you aren’t’ suddenly “starving” and grab that that king size candy bar in the middle of the afternoon.  This is a simple and sustainable “diet” for successful weight loss.  A good protein/carb combo could be two hard boiled eggs and some grapes – it is whatever you enjoy but the combination is the key.

Protein foods such as eggs, dairyporkbeef and chicken – are all part of a lean and clean weight loss program that are readily available and affordable for you and your family thanks to Indiana’s Family of Farmers.  

Psst... Have you entered this week's gym membership giveaway?

Monday, January 3, 2011

2011: Visualize, Set and Plan for Success

By Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Jeannie Keating

The holidays are complete. We hope that you’ve savored the season with some tasty treats such as Winter White Chili,  Indiana wines or  Honey Gingerbread Cookies made from foods grown right here in the Hoosier state by our Indiana’s Family of Farmers.   

But now it is the New Year. Have you begun your New Year’s resolution?

It is estimated that 40 to 45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year. And statistics show that people who are explicitly committed to their resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who just make resolutions to break them.

If you have committed to weight loss for 2011 - congratulations on your first step to a new you!

This can be your year - even if you’ve had the same weight loss resolution last year and the year before that.

Weight loss is a journey. It can be a windy road full of detours and distractions but here are three things you can do to ensure a successful weight loss journey for yourself:   
  • Visualize your success 
  • Set your goal
  • Make a solid plan (this is especially key)

The first two steps you can do completely on your own.  The third might require some assistance from professional resources, but we’ll get to that.

First, let’s visualize. For example, picture yourself in those cool spring shorts you’ve seen in all the magazines.  Go ahead …take a minute and truly picture yourself. (Seriously, do it right now.)

Can you see yourself? Bet you look great, don’t you?

Now, let’s set our goal. When do you want to wear those shorts? On spring break when you take a trip to Florida? At the annual Easter brunch you host every year in April? Or how about on your birthday for the first time in years?  Write it down: “I will wear the new shorts I’ve always wanted at the St. Patrick’s Day party in March 2011 (or whatever date suits your goal).”

Writing down your goal makes it real.

A plan makes it attainable and sustainable.

Your success is too important to be left to chance. It begins with a well-conceived plan. And “well-conceived” is not the “plan” pulled from a fashion magazine pitching a diet of just “low-fat tofu and broccoli.” Not only are such diets unrealistic and unhealthy – they set you up for failure because we all know that it will end the moment your husband walks in the house with a bag of McDonald’s fries!

You will achieve more working towards goals with a simple but disciplined plan of action. If you lack experience or confidence in developing a nutrition or exercise program because “you’ve done this before”, getting some professional help is highly recommended.

According to the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, statistics show that working out with a personal trainer will yield five times quicker results than working out on your own.

By investing your efforts in your New Year’s resolution, you give yourself a launch pad for truly creating change in the New Year.

Enter below to win a one-month free membership at the Anytime Fitness locations in Beech Grove or Avalon Crossing.  This will include a one-hour first-time workout with the Sett to Win Training Team that will go over a plan of nutrition, resistance training and cardio to send you on your way to success. They keep it simple and sustainable!

Enter today – and congratulations on taking that first step toward a new you in 2011.

To enter please leave a separate comment below for each of the following entries:

1. Follow the Indiana Family of Farmers blog through Google Friend Connect (see right column)
3. Become a fan of Family of Farmers on Facebook
4. Share this on Facebook
5. Share this #giveaway on Twitter and reference @familyoffarmers

Entries will be accepted until 9 pm EDT on Thursday. The winner will be chosen at random and announced on Friday morning.