Tuesday, June 28, 2011

July Screams for Ice Cream!

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

July being National Ice Cream month is quite an honor, but do you know why we celebrate this great treat?

Proclamation 5219 -- National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day, 1984

July 9, 1984 By the President of the United State of America

A Proclamation

Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food. Over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States in 1983.

The ice cream industry generates approximately $3.5 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. Indeed, nearly ten percent of all the milk produced by the United States dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, thereby contributing substantially to the economic well-being of the Nation's dairy industry.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 298, has designated July 1984 as ``National Ice Cream Month,'' and July 15, 1984, as ``National Ice Cream Day,'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of these events.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984, as National Ice Cream Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Ronald Reagan              [Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:32 a.m., July 10, 1984]

….so now we know why and what and who about this day!  What else can we learn as we stroll down the sidewalk licking our cone, or enjoy a malted on a Sunday drive?

  • It takes twelve gallons of milk to make one gallon of ice cream
  • The United States has an average of 48 pints of ice cream per person, per year
  • It takes an average of 50 licks to finish off a single scoop ice cream cone
  • The invention of the ice cream cone goes back to 1904 in St. Louis at the world fair.
  • Vanilla is the number one selling flavor of ice cream
  • The top five ice cream producing states are California, Indiana, Ohio, Texas and New York
  • Children age 2 through 12 and adults over 45 eat the most ice cream
  • More ice cream is sold on Sundays than any other day
  • Ice cream is an 11 billion dollar retail industry
  • 98 percent of homes in the United States have ice cream in them

The largest ice cream manufacturer in the world is in Indiana.  Edy’s Grand Ice Cream is located in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.  Edy’s is the owner of the largest ice cream maker in the world.

As I write this, I am wondering, did President Reagan have a bit of sweet tooth?  Wasn’t he also the President who kept jelly beans on his desk?  Just think if jelly beans brought down a wall, what can ice cream do?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer on the Farm

By Lauren Ransom of Four Ransoms & Real Farmwives of America & Friends

Summer fun on the farm...oh boy, where do I begin?!  Our Spring and Summer is spent mostly outside.  The television is rarely turned on and supper isn’t ready until sundown (for us adults, at least).  It’s a time of year we thoroughly look forward to...and try to enjoy to its fullest before we hibernate after harvest...And it is not entirely consumed by tractor rides or late nights in the field...those days have passed until Fall. 

Aside from the regular kid friendly and fun farm duties...there is an endless amount of fun a kid can have.  With 18.5 acres to explore at our main base, life never gets boring for our 3 year old and 18 month old!  And in the midst of all the fun they are having...we are always teaching them how to respect our animals and how to be safe around dad and grandpas equipment...

Our kids need to know that a combine or tractor is not a jungle gym...though it seems like it sometimes.  Many life lessons are being taught through the Summer months without them evening knowing it...especially with our son!  The whole respecting of the farm starts at a very young age...and we can already see the passion in our sons eyes...It just amazes us.  

 And all we can hope for with this lifestyle is that we are instilling amazing memories for our children on our family farm.  Between picnics in the backyard while watching our cattle, running around on the dirt pad where our new barn will go, catching lightening bugs in the unused pasture, to late night rides on grandpas restored old tractors...their life is truly unique and something we hope they cherish forever. 

Our farm can be a child’s dream world where their imagination can run wild...without restriction (most of the time)!  And you know what the best part is?...Children that sleep until 8:30 the next day...mom likes that one a lot! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

June Dairy Month Events Connect Farmers and Consumers

By Kimmi Devaney of Winners Drink Milk

As we wrap up June Dairy Month, don’t forget to show appreciation for all the hard work dairy farmers do day in and day out to provide you with your favorite dairy products.

June is a time to celebrate the men and women who produce one of the safest products in our food supply—milk. Dairy farmers don’t work ‘9 to 5’ and they don’t always get weekends or holidays off. Cows may need attention in the middle of the night or on Christmas morning. But this means no two days are the same.

Dairy farmers are dedicated and passionate about the land they farm, cows they take care of and providing you with wholesome, nutritious dairy products. This past Saturday, more than 500 people attended Brunch on the Farm at Nor-Bert Farms in Bremen, Indiana, and saw this firsthand.

This was an excellent opportunity to tour a working dairy farm, see robotic milking machines in action (they are pretty neat!) and to enjoy breakfast with the family. The event was free, but participants were encouraged to bring canned goods to be donated to a local food pantry. In all, we donated 602.5 pounds of food! Thanks to everyone who helped make that happen.

Attendees ranged from dairy farmers to those who had never seen cows before. We caught up with a few of our younger visitors to get their opinion on the farm. Claire, Hanna and Joel from Osceola had never been to a farm before and thought it was “cool” and “fun.” After the tour, they all agreed their favorite part of the morning was watching the robots milk the cows. Laura from Muncie visited with her entire family. They are involved in agritourism, so she had a closer connection to the industry. “I really liked being on a farm,” she said. “I miss my cows!”  Like the others, Laura also enjoyed watching the robotic milking machines.

For more information on future events, visit WinnersDrinkMilk.com.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Real Farmwives Discuss: Differences Between Dairy Cows and Beef Cows

By Real Farmwives Ginny from Gin and Juicy Juice and Liz from Two Maids a Milking

1. Markings and Spots

Ginny – Beef cows can come in many different colors.  They can be black, red, white, or any combination of those colors with spots and stripes and more.  In the US, there are more than 20 different breeds and each breed began with its own distinct color pattern.  The most common colors include solid black, solid red, red with a white face or different shades of solid white.  There is even a breed of cow that is black with a white belt and looks like an Oreo Cookie.

Liz – There are 6 main breeds of dairy cows. The most popular is Holstein, with the black and white spots. Holsteins also have a recessive gene which can result in a red and white marking.

2. Does my butt look big?

Ginny – Beef cows tend to be shorter and stockier than dairy cows.  It’s kind of like comparing a body building competitor to a marathon runner.  The beef animal uses its energy to build muscle and store fat.  That’s why they taste so good.

Liz – Dairy cows are naturally taller (except for Jerseys) than beef cows and usually appear skinnier than beef cows. That is because dairy cows use the energy in their food to produce milk not cover on their body.

3. Battle of the Sexes

Ginny – Most male calves that are born in the US are steered (castrated) and fed so that they grow and can be used for their meat, just like a majority of the male dairy calves.  The very best male calves get to remain intact and are used to breed the females to produce the next generation.  Just like dairy cows, before a female beef animal has a calf, it’s called a heifer.  After it has had a calf, it is referred to as a cow.  The cow’s main job in life is to raise a baby every year so that we continue to have new animals that we can use for their meat.

Liz – Females, prior to giving birth, are called calves or heifers. Once they give birth, female dairy animals are called cows. All cows give milk once they have a calf. Most male dairy cows or bulls are raised for beef just like beef cows.

4. The next generation
Both beef and dairy cows have a 9 month gestation period.

Ginny – Most beef farmers use a bull to breed most of their cows naturally.  You have to be careful when handling the bulls though, because they grow up and there’s definitely a lot of BULL.  Some farmers also use artificial insemination (AI), using the best bulls out there, to help produce the next generation of beef cows.  The bulls that get used via artificial insemination are often so expensive that most farmers can’t afford to own them themselves, but by using AI, they can benefit from the good traits that those bulls have in their genes.

Liz - Due to the size of dairy bulls and safety concerns most dairy farmers use artificial insemination to breed their cows. Could you imagine 2,000 pounds of bull hopping on your back…yikes!

5. What’s on the menu?

Both Dairy farmers and Beef Cattle producers feed rations (diets) that are formulated by a nutritionist. It would be like every family having a dietitian to help them plan their meals everyday!

A cow has one stomach with four different chambers, which is why many people say that a cow has four stomachs

Ginny – Beef cattle can eat many different types of feed.  Most beef animals start their life at a cow-calf operation where the cows graze on pasture and may be supplemented during the winter or dry periods with hay, silage or by-products such as distiller’s grains from ethanol plants.  Once the babies are weaned, usually after 6 or 7 months of age, there are a lot of options available to farmers.  Some chose to move the animals to a feedlot where they get a specially balanced diet of corn, roughages such as hay or silage and supplements to help them grow and these animals are usually ready in about 12 to 14 months of age.  Some farmers move the calves to other pastures and let them eat grass and may provide other supplements as well.  It is very difficult to get grass to grow all year round so these calves tend to grow slower in some months, require more land (which isn’t cheap) and take more management to be efficient.  It often takes up to 18 to 24 months for these animals to reach market.  No matter how the beef animal is raised, they spend the majority of their lives grazing on grass pasture.

Dairy – Dairy cows eat nearly 100 pounds of feed a day which is a combination of hay, grain and silage (fermented corn or grass). They drink a lot of water too – up to 50 gallons a day

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Grilled T-Bone Steaks with BBQ Rub

Have you seen this great Father's Day Recipe from www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com ?

Father's Day

Father’s Day is a time for Dad to kick back and enjoy a great meal. Prepare his favorite steak or let him reign supreme as King of the Grill. Either way, Father’s Day is a great reason to make beef the center piece of a meaningful meal celebrating Dad.
Grilled T-Bone Steaks with BBQ Rub
Total recipe time: 25 minutes Makes 4 servings


2 to 4 beef T-Bone or Porterhouse steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 2 to 4 pounds)
BBQ Rub:
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons cider vinegar
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1.       Combine BBQ Rub ingredients; press evenly onto beef steaks.
2.       Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 11 to 16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 15 to 19 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Remove bones and carve steaks into slices, if desired. Season with salt, as desired.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Family Night at the Ball Park

Hello there!

I am so excited to tell you all about a fun upcoming event sponsored by Indiana Family of Farmers (IFOF).

They are sponsoring an upcoming Indians Game at Victory Field in Indianapolis on July 19th and they have decided to turn it into a festive night for some lucky Hoosier families--filled with family, food and fun!

And while this is all exciting enough, I am delighted to announce that they will be working with Indiana bloggers to pick those lucky families by giving away tickets to the event on their blogs!

I just heart bloggers and especially Indiana blogs! It is going to be so much fun visiting all their great sites and sharing them with you for your family's chance to win!

Winners will receive up to 8 tickets to the event for their family and friends to join IFOF at the July 19th Indians Game at 7 PM. Winners will also get a wristband to join IFOF in the picnic area for a special picnic at the park that will include a choice of hot dog, hamburger or pulled chicken BBQ-- Yum! Baked beans, pasta salad, fruit salad, cookies and drinks will also be served!

Psst... I am pretty sure some of my Real Farmwives of America and Friends pals will be there too!

Over the next couple weeks we will make sure to let you know which Indiana bloggers are giving away tickets, where to find them and when to enter via IFOF's Facebook posts and Twitter feed-- so follow them so you don't miss your opportunities to win!

Oh and if you are an Indiana blogger that is interested in hosting a giveaway, contact me for details!

Friday, June 10, 2011

And the winner is...

Congrats to the reader that commented:

glenise.ewalt said...

ah, the little smokies wrapped in bacon with brown sugar are called, Pigs in Leather Jackets ;) Ive several pork receipes we love but Ill have to say, the easiest recipe with the biggest taste comes from my brother-in-law. He marinates pork loin in A-1 sauce and then grills it. Deeeee-lish!!! dish
You won the Guy Fieri Cookbook Giveaway!
Email us at indianafarmers@gmail.com and let us know where to ship your prize.


Guest Post By Lana of Real Farmwives of America and Walking the Off-Beaten Path

Chores…..On the farm….. Where do I begin?

Maybe the biggest job that separates what we do on the farm from what others do is our chores.  Especially if you have livestock.  It’s one of those 24/7, 2-3 time a day things we HAVE TO DO or else our critters will not live very long.  I had my eyes opened to that while dating my dairyman husband for six years.  Right before we married, my husband’s family sold the dairy, and we had a cow/calf operation for a few years, but we ended up with feeder cattle.  Raising feeder cattle means we buy then when they are just weaned, at about 500-600 pounds, and feed them out to market size, which is around 12,000-13,000 pounds.  To gain this weight within a year’s time, they have to be fed at least twice a day, and their feed is mixed up right here on the farm with a variety of ingredients that we either raise or buy.

My husband does most of the feeding because it is a bit complicated, and our feeding conveyors and mechanisms are a bit antiquated.

However, I did pull feeding duty for a couple of two month stretches when my husband had two of is three back surgeries.  Both times were in the dead of winter. 

Good news?  The manure was frozen most of the time.  Bad news?  Everything else tended to freeze up too.

The manure starts to thaw around March.

Here’s a picture of the buttons I had to push.  They are numbered in a certain order, but I never used that particular order.

And I had to keep this gauge right around the 25 mark.  That told me how fast the silage came out of the silo on to the conveyor.

We raise and cut our own silage right around the end of August or first of September, depending on how soon the corn starts to dry down.  Silage is just regular field corn harvested just before it starts to turn brown.

We also feed the cows grass hay that we bale in the summer time.

To go along with all this, we purchase a variety of ingredients prescribed by our feed man.  One main ingredient is corn gluten.

So, all of these steps are vital in the process of feeding our cows.  My husband grinds feed about once every ten days, and he feeds the cows twice a day, regardless of weather and important life events like taking his wife out for dinner for our tenth anniversary coming up at the end of the month! ;-)

I jest, kind of, BUT this “have to do now” business of farming reeks havoc on calendars and schedules.  It is very hard to commit to plans too far in advance; we simply do not know what we will be doing.  Want to get together for the 4th of July? Well……that’s about the time we harvest wheat and bale straw.  It all depends on the weather and maturity of the crop.  Not sure if we will have all the beans sprayed either.  I can’t give you a definite yes or no, and I may not know until that day what we can and cannot do.  We also have to make sure that the cows get fed that night.   Friends of farmers need to understand this aspect of farming.  It is farm and livestock first, THEN we can think about the gravy. 

Do the girls help with chores?  Nope, at least not yet.  Our cows are too big for them to be out and about with, at least for me they are.  This summer we are introducing chores for both girls that involve a lot of household stuff and taking care of our smaller four-legged critters. 

This will get them ready for next year when our oldest will be old enough to show animals at the fair.  Not too sure what if any animal she will show, but this year she is getting her feet, uhm, let’s stay with wet in the business of livestock care.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Guy Fieri Loves Pork – and We Love Guy Fieri!

Guest Post By Indiana Pork's Sarah Ford

Many of you are familiar with the spikey-haired guy from the Food Channel – his name is Guy Fieri and he is a HUGE pork fan so naturally we love him. 

In fact, he is currently on a road tour right now traveling the country talking about all things food – he just recently made an appearance in Hammond, IN.

So in honor of Guy, we are offering a FREE copy of his brand new book Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It to a lucky fan.  Just comment with your favorite pork recipe (including what makes it so yummy) and we’ll choose a winner.

And remember, the USDA just lowered the safe cooking temperature for pork to 145 degrees.  No more hockey puck pork – leave a little pink in the middle and your taste buds will thank you!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays: Race Recap

Photo Credit: IMS Photo by Jim Haines

Try On Traminette - Indiana's Signature Wine

By Jeanette Merritt of Indiana Wine Grape Council

One of the most common comments I hear when travelling the state promoting Indiana wineries is that people don’t realize Indiana has over 60 wineries. Everyone knows the big one, Oliver Winery in Bloomington, or they know the ones in their backyards. But they don’t realize just how large the industry is.

It was with that idea in mind that the Purdue Wine Grape Team decided to explore the idea of a Signature Wine and Grape for Indiana. I got the idea from a counterpart in Missouri, who promote Norton as their state grape. And I have seen the success Missouri has had with name recognition, industry growth and wine quality. So I decided we needed to move forward with a grape identity!

We approached our industry and asked them what grape Indiana should be known for. After some deliberation, Traminette was chosen.  Traminette is a grape that grows well all over the state. It is the second most-planted grape in Indiana, and rapidly moving to first. Traminette is a combination of Gewurztraminer and J.S. 23-416.  Cornell University’s Grape Breeding Program is given credit for developing the varietal – one that is well adapted to the climate and soils of the Midwest, making it ideal for Indiana winemakers to grow.

Currently, more than 30 of the state’s 62 wineries are offering their own unique take on this new signature wine.  Nearly every new vineyard being planted in the state has Traminette in their acreage. And the same goes for every new winery! They all either have a Traminette or plan to have it soon!

Traminette is a wine that anyone can drink. I like it for those who say they don’t drink wine but want to start. The wine styles vary from semi-dry to sweet.  Although most fall in the semi-dry to semi-sweet category. It’s a fantastic summer wine. Enjoy it cold on the back porch on a warm evening.

Traminette has many different smells and tastes. But I often think of citrus fruit, spicy, floral, rose, and apricot when I drink it. And if you want to pair it with a meal, try turkey or other poultry, seafood, and Asian cuisine.

Since the launch of the Signature grape program in December 2009, accolades and awards have poured in.  At the 2010 Indy International Wine Competition, French Lick Winery’s Traminette won White Wine of the Year, beating out nearly 1000 white wines from all around the world for one the competitions highest honors.

So Try On Traminette with your next meal. Or simply enjoy it while sitting in your favorite chair on the patio!