Friday, December 28, 2012

Have your chocolate and eat it too!

By Diane Ruyack of Winners Drink Milk

The holiday season is a time to indulge in delicious sweets, but that doesn't mean you have to take in a lot of fat and calories. There are dozens of tempting cookies that give you all the sweet taste you expect without the diet-wrecking consequences. Consider recipes that use health-conscious ingredients, such as oats, whole-wheat flour, and dark chocolate. Current research indicates that cocoa-rich confections actually help control blood pressure, promote blood flow, and keep the heart healthy. So go ahead, indulge! These cookies make great hostess gifts.

Dark Chocolate Florentines

1/3 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
2 cups quick-cooking oats
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup toasted almonds or walnuts, finely chopped
1/2 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips    
1/2 cup apricot preserves

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil or nonstick baking mats.
2. Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Remove from the heat. Add oil, oats, sugar, flour, milk, vanilla, salt and nuts and mix well. Drop level teaspoons of dough 3 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets. Spread each cookie into a thin, 2-inch circle.
3. Bake the cookies, in batches, until set, 5 to 7 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from the foil or mats.
4. When the cookies are cool, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water (or microwave in 15-second intervals, stirring in between). Spread the chocolate on the flat side of half (about 36) of the cookies. Spread a little jam on the flat side of the remaining cookies. Press the apricot and chocolate halves together to make sandwich cookies.

Chocolate Bark

1 1/2 cups walnut halves (6 ounces)
9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup dried sour cherries (4 ounces), coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spread the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment or wax paper. In a glass bowl, heat two-thirds of the chocolate in a microwave oven at high power in 30-second bursts until just melted. Stir until smooth. Add the remaining chocolate and stir until melted. Stir in the walnuts, cherries and crystallized ginger until evenly coated. Scrape the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread it into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Refrigerate for 10 minutes, or until firm enough to cut.
3. Cut the bark into 48 pieces (6 rows by 8 rows) and transfer to a plate. Serve cold or at room temperature.
4. Make Ahead: The bark can be kept in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hoosier Bloggers Celebrate with Special Holiday Dishes


By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

"The holidays are a great time to fix main entrees that are special and unique for your guests," says Amy Ott.

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On Amy's blog, A Latte With Ott, A.  Amy shares several delicious recipes with her readers as well as household tips, crafts, and the occasional canning recipe. The new mom also shares stories of her new job as a stay-at-home mom. 
Amy shares her "go to" recipe of Orange Lamb Roast that is perfect for a holiday gathering and will definitely impress your guests.

 amyott

Orange Lamb Roast

Ingredients:
1 lamb roast
½ c. orange juice
½ c. orange marmalade
2 tsp. garlic salt
2 T. butter
1 c. Sprite
¼ c. lemon juice
In a small bowl mix orange juice, marmalade, garlic salt, sprite and lemon juice.  Place roast in a greased crock pot.  Pour mixture over roast.  Add butter then cover and cook on low for eight hours.  Amy suggests letting the roast cook all day so the juices and flavors can bake right into the roast.  A helpful tip when using a crockpot: Don't remove the lid until it's done because you lose about 30 minutes of cooking time when you do.  When you are ready to serve, simply remove the netting and cut into your desired portion sizes.
To find more of Amy's delicious recipes, visit her blog at www.alattewithotta.com.



Check out our Table Talk Contributors below to see how they are celebrating Hoosier Holiday style!

Katie Unscripted's Turkey and Noodles 
Basilmomma's Brown Sugar Chicken
Everyday Mom's Meals' Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Indiana Farmers Donate Local Food to New Habitat for Humanity Homeowners



INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (December 3, 2012) — On November 30, Indiana’s Family of Farmers presented almost 60 pounds of food to Habitat for Humanity homeowners Keon Ballard and Corey Justice of Indianapolis.  The donation included local beef, pork, poultry and dairy products.

The men’s new home, dubbed “The House that Agriculture Built,” was constructed in just 14 days at the 2012 State Fair with the help of 25 ag-related sponsors and hundreds of volunteers.  A deep freezer was also donated by Indiana’s Family of Farmers and will serve as storage for the frozen foods. 

“Our family is proud to help out and provide beef straight from the farm to our urban neighbors,” said Ryan Batt, a Salem, Ind. farmer who donated $200 worth of beef to Keon and Corey.

Along with the beef donated by the Batt family, dairy, poultry and pork products from a number of Hoosier farmers were also included in the freezer donation. 

“We are so thrilled that Indiana’s Family of Farmers helped out the recipient family once again this year,” said Ted Mosey, Corporate and Faith Relations Coordinator for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Indianapolis.  “This food will help get the family on its feet right away and we couldn’t be happier for them.” 

During the State Fair, other fairgoers could register to win their own freezer as a part of the annual Indiana’s Family of Farmers Recipe Trail. Connie Bruno from Indianapolis was the winner in this year’s freezer giveaway.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Indiana Students Encouraged to Participate in 3rd Annual "Our Food, Our Farmers" Essay Contest

IFOFLogo       humanities



Prizes for written essays include Apple iPad and Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones

INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 13, 2012)-Students in grades 4-12 are again encouraged to consider the impact of Indiana foods and farmers for the 3rd Annual Ag Essay Contest titled "Our Food, Our Farmers: Nourishing Generations of Hoosiers." 

The essay competition includes three grade levels: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12, and aligns with a number of state standards. A breakdown of the state core academic standards met by the essay contest is available on the Indiana's Family of Farmers website. Entries must be received by Feb. 1, 2013.

"This essay contest is a great way for teachers to meet curriculum demands while providing an interesting and engaging outlet for students to learn about one of the state's most important industries," said Keira Amstutz, president and CEO of Indiana Humanities. "By participating in this contest, we hope students will think, read and talk more about Indiana's rich agricultural history and its future."

Sponsored by Indiana's Family of Farmers and Indiana Humanities, the essay contest encourages students to recognize and share all the ways Indiana agriculture plays a positive role in their own lives -as well as in the lives of those around them. 

For the 2013 competition, we are asking the same question of all three grade levels: 

Describe how Indiana farmers 1) nourish our families, 2) our animals, and 3) our earth (soil). Please provide an example from each of the three areas.

There will be a first and second place winner from each grade level. First place winners will receive an Apple iPad and second place winners will receive a Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones.  All winners will be invited to attend a special recognition ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse on March 5, 2013 in celebration of National Ag Day. 

"Indiana's family farmers are committed to providing an abundant supply of healthy food and fiber to nourish Hoosiers, while also caring for our natural resources," said Indiana Agriculture Director Joe Kelsay. "We look forward to hearing from our next generation and learning how these foods impact their lives and the lives of their families." 

Entry guidelines can be found at: www.indianahumanities.org or www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com.

This contest is part of Indiana Humanities' two-year Spirit of Competition initiative. Spirit of Competition will celebrate the role competition plays in our lives by examining core elements of competition such as civility, rivalry, innovation, passion and failure. 

###

About Indiana's Family of Farmers
Indiana's Family of Farmers grows the grains, produce and meat you eat every day. We believe that quality farming means quality food that is good for you, your family and the environment.  Food for your family, from our family. 

Learn more at www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com.

About Indiana Humanities
Indiana Humanities connects people, opens minds and enriches lives by creating and facilitating programs that encourage people to think, read and talk. 

Learn more at www.indianahumanities.org.

Contact information:
Jeannie Keating                                                                       
Manager of Media Relations                                          
Indiana State Department of Agriculture                          
317.696.9695                                                           
jkeating@isda.in.gov                                              

Kristen Fuhs Wells  
Director of Communications
 Indiana Humanities
 317.638.1500 x125

Monday, November 12, 2012

Prepping for Holiday Meals


Submitted by Denise Derrer of BOAH from (FightBac.org)

Once you've selected your menu and collected all the recipes, purchase all non-perishables ahead of time (Check the local newspaper and web sites for holiday food coupons and grocery store bargains!)

Shop for fresh items (perishables) on your final shopping trip.

Remember to order your turkey in advance! A frozen turkey should be timed for pickup so it can go straight into the refrigerator to thaw. Plan on 24 hours for each 4-1/2 pounds of whole turkey. A fresh turkey should only be picked up one or two days in advance.


    

The Partnership for Food Safety Education is your resource for promoting food safety this Holiday season.  Holidayfoodsafety.org is a free, go-to resource for consumers.  

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Soup's On!

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk


Hearty Soups and Stews


The leaves are on the ground and the winds are chilly and this is the perfect weather for making homemade soups and stews which I believe are the ultimate comfort food, add a piece of warm bread and butter and this is simple elegance.

Rachel Ray is the self-proclaimed queen of "stoups" which are rich soups and thickened to eat like a stew.  In just 30 minutes your family can have a rich hearty stoup that makes the feasters clean their bowls.
  
I am a big fan of thick and rich soups and stews.  My favorite being potato soup and then beef stew.  I found this recipe much like other readers, searching the web for a twist on the basic!  WOW, this is twice baked potato soup meets ranch dip!  The flavors mingle and marry to make a soup that is thick and each spoonful is an adventure.  Serve with a family favorite Katrina’s Bread (recipe below) and the meal is cheesy, creamy, crunchy and more than comfort food!

I love beef stew, the texture, the richness and the appearance.  For years I have made and served mediocre beef stew, it was OK, but for all the work I was disappointed until I came across this Tyler Florence recipe.  I must admit this is a weekend meal, it takes about four hours from start to finish but well worth it!  I really enjoy the horseradish sour cream topping, it steals the show.  Don’t take my word for it but try it, there are many cold weekends ahead of us, there is one just perfect for this stew.  

Katrina’s Bread

1 loaf Italian bread sliced down the middle horizontally

In measuring cup combine:
1 stick butter, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 cup salad dressing and 3 tablespoons of your favorite herbs (these change with the dish and season).  

Combine well, spread over bread, place on baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 20 minutes or golden brown.  

Remove from oven, cut into pieces and serve warm with stew.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Table Talk: This Time of Year


It is that time a year again. 

While farmers all over the Hoosier state are finishing up harvest, the fall air is turning crisp and cool and causing everyone to grab for those warmer clothes in the back of the closet.

This season also marks the time of year that a lot of Hoosiers settle into some familiar traditions. So, we asked our Table Talk Contributors to share with us about this time of year and loved seeing all the great activities Indiana families are digging into.


Like many families, Michelle and her crew took every advantage that this past October had to offer. From pumpkin patching to apple picking and corn mazing, they got their fall fun in.


Bloggers Beth and Angie also participated in all the fall fun by visiting a local dairy farm. Angie soon discovered that once her kiddos got up close and personal with "Where milk comes from," the questions started flowing and used this seasons ample opportunities to help teach them about the food they eat.

Last but not least, Sarah shares how this time of year gets her back to baking, much to her family's delight. Sharing that this season leaves little to want... except more counter space.

What is it about this time of year that you love most?


Monday, October 22, 2012

Thawing Frozen Foods Safely

Submitted by Denise of BOAH (From FightBac.Org)


One of the advantages of freezing foods at or below 0 °F is that they can be preserved indefinitely. But, once the food begins to thaw in temperatures warmer than 40 °F, bacteria can multiply rapidly and the food can become unsafe to eat.  

Before preparing frozen meat, poultry, seafood, or frozen fruits, thaw them using one of these methods:  
1.      In the refrigerator - never at room temperature or in warm water 
2.      Under cool, running water (less than 70°F) as long as the food is small enough to be thawed in under two hours.
3.      In a microwave, if the food is going to be cooked immediately or use a microwave for thawing fruits that will be served with some ice crystals remaining.



Monday, October 8, 2012

Fall Family Fun

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

If you are looking for a fun fall activity for your family, Kelsay Farms is one example of the many farms that open their doors to the public throughout the year. The Kelsays are a sixth generation dairy farm that milks around 500 cows and they open their farm to the public on the weekends throughout October.  They also farm approximately 2,200 acres. 

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Kelsay Farms was land-granted by President Van Buren in 1837 making this year their 175th anniversary!  Amy Kelsay states, "We are blessed to have four generations on the farm today-from Great Grandma all the way down to our children.  It's amazing when you think about it that we are still farming the same ground that has been in our family for all of those years!"

When asked why they decided to open their farm to the public Amy explained, "I have always loved working with children and in Ag/Youth Education so in 2007 I decided to combine the two and open our farm up for school field trips and to the public.  We live in a highly populated county and it's been a pleasure to give thousands of children the opportunity to see first-hand where their milk and other dairy foods come from."

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The Kelsays have taken things around the farm that they loved to do as kids such as: play in the corn, climb on straw bales, roast a hotdog on a campfire-and they have recreated them for our customers to enjoy.  According to Amy, "Most kids today don't get the opportunity to walk through a corn field or take a hayride, so we really enjoy not only providing that experience, but also watching them as they may experience it for the first time."

So if you and your family would like to experience dairy farm tours, baby calves, a 7 acre corn maze with a scavenger hunt, hayrides, Moo Choo train rides, Bale Mountain, Corn Crib, Baby Barnyard play area and many other games and fall activities then visit Kelsay Farms at 6848 N. 250 E. Whiteland, IN 46184.  You can also visit their website:www.kelsayfarms.com or www.twomaidsamilking.com or follow them on Facebook at Kelsay Farm Tours or Twitter at @Kelsay Farms.

If you are interesting in finding more great Indiana Farms to visit this fall, check out the Indiana State Department of Agriculture's Agritourism Guide and My Indiana Home's Pumpkin Patch Locator and Corn Maze Locator.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Food Recall Basics: What You Should Know

Submitted by Denise of BOAH (From FightBac.Org)

Food recalls are issued for your safety and should not cause panic. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family is to be informed and pay attention to guidance issued when a major food recall occurs.

Food recall notices are given in the news, at your local grocery store, or online at www.recalls.gov.

Understand that the recall of one product does not mean all forms of that product are a potential problem. 

Find more on Recall Basics and a FAQ's flyer here.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Table Talk: Healthy Snacks On the Go


It seems as though the busy season is upon us... Between practices, games and fall family fun, a lot of families are constantly on the go. So, this past month, we asked our Table Talk Contributors to share a bit about the healthy snacks they prepare their families on-the-go.


Crystal over on Mom For Less reminds us that even healthy snacks can turn unhealthy quick if they aren't handled and stored properly. She shares resources for keeping food safe and goes on to give readers a great list of snack ideas for busy families.


Heather over on Miscellaneous Mom has three very active girls that keeps her calendar full and her need for quick and easy snacks constant. Check out her tips for planning ahead to keep her girls full of energy for their full schedules!


You might recall a while back that DeDe from Winners Drink Milk shared her tips for after school snacks. Here is a taste of what she shared:
Try to avoid non-nutritious goodies as in chips, sweets and sweetened beverages and stock up with healthy, fun foods from the FIVE food groups.  Here are some easy suggestions: DAIRY: go for lower-fat dairy treats, as in: 
  • String cheese or small chunks of cheese
  • Top a small bowl of cottage cheese with applesauce or salsa.
  • Mix some herbs into fat-free plain yogurt and serve with carrot and celery sticks, or small broccoli or cauliflower bunches.
  • Have flavored yogurt on hand for them to gobble up.
  • Make smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruit.
What are your favorite snacks for the kiddos?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

State Fair Recipe Trail Results in Donation to Indiana’s Hungry



Thanks to the more than 3,000 visitors who completed the Recipe Trail at this year’s Indiana State Fair, Indiana’s Family of Farmers (IFoF) will donate 3,132 pounds of food to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH).  The cash equivalent of $5,199.12 will be used to purchase food – enough for 2,610 meals – to feed Hoosier families. 


“Indiana’s Family of Farmers is a valuable partner in FIsH’s mission of feeding those in need,” said Emily Weikert Bryant, executive director of Feeding Indiana’s Hungry.  “At a time when one is six Hoosiers is at risk of hunger, and the number of Indiana children is as high as one in four, the assistance of Indiana’s agricultural community is crucial in getting food from the farm to the tables of those most in need of assistance.”


This donation was made possible through the IFoF Recipe Trail at the Indiana State Fair in August where fairgoers picked up recipes in eight locations around the fairgrounds.  For every person who went through the trail, one pound of food was committed to FIsH and its 11 member food banks around Indiana. 
This year, 3,132 people completed the trail. The Feeding America network values donated poundage at $1.66 per pound, equating to a total donation of $5,199.12.  The agriculture coalition plans to continue the recipe trail during the 2013 State Fair.


“The recipe trail is a win-win for those who participate,” said Kevin Wilson, a farmer from Walton, Ind. and president of Indiana Soybean Alliance, an IFoF partner.  “Fairgoers really enjoyed the recipe hunt and were excited to know their efforts would result in food for their neighbors.”
“What Indiana’s Family of Farmers does best is grow safe, nutritious food, so what better way to help than to do what we can to feed families in need,” Wilson added.

Feeding Indiana's Hungry (FIsH) is the statewide association of Feeding America affiliated food banks (formerly America’s Second Harvest).  Our eleven member food banks serve more than 1,700 agencies in all 92 counties, providing emergency food assistance to Hoosiers in need.
  
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc. food banks statewide include:
Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Gary
Food Bank of Northern Indiana, South Bend
Food Finders Food Bank, Inc., Lafayette
Community Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Indiana, Ft. Wayne
Second Harvest Food Bank of East Central Indiana, Inc., Muncie
Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana, Indianapolis
Terre Haute Catholic Charities Foodbank, Terre Haute
Hoosier Hills Food Bank, Bloomington
Tri-State Food Bank, Inc., Evansville
Dare to Care Food Bank, Louisville, KY
Freestore Foodbank, Cincinnati, OH
 
For more information on Feeding Indiana’s Hungry, Inc., visit www.feedingindianashungry.org

Friday, September 7, 2012

Crock Pot Table Talk

Summer is coming to a close and school is back in full swing. This means a more hectic schedule for many. There is homework to complete, practices to attend and games to cheer on your athlete at on top of everything else on your plate.

The evening meal is an important one. If you are fortunate enough to be able to eat it together, you still have to have time to make it. If schedules do not allow for everyone to be at the table at the same time, you need something that will work for everyone at the time they can eat. Whether you are a meal planner or not, our Table Talk Contributors are here to help you figure out how to feed your family on a tight schedule.

Ann-Marie from Chaos is Bliss shares what her "New Normal" is now that the kids are back in school as well as her Slow Cooker Chicken & Noodles recipe.



Over at Angel's Homestead, April shows us how to make Crock Pot Roast Chicken. She also tells us of the many benefits of using a crock pot for preparing a meal.


Chicken Curry with Chick Peas is what's on the menu at Katy's house from Indianapolis with Kids. Katy also clues us in on how even someone who isn't an organized food planner can make meal time easy with a slow cooker.


Heather, the one and only Basilmomma, gives us tips on packing lunches, healthy snacking and dinner in a snap. We also learn the secret to her yummy Crock Pot BBQ Chicken.

Are you in the mood for some mouth watering ribs? Check out WritRam to see Jacqueline's Easy Crock Pot Barbecued Baby Back Ribs.


Whatever the reason for the fast paced schedule in your life, these recipes are sure to give you a delicious meal that is low maintenance and easy clean up! Now that is something that everyone can appreciate.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Healthy After School Snacks for Hoosier Kids

By DeDe Hausmann of Winners Drink Milk

It’s that time of year again --- kids are headed back to school.  You’ve been buying school supplies and clothes but you also need to think about healthy after-school treats.  Your kids will have had long days of reading, writing, etc. and hopefully they’ve had physical activity via recess and before/after school “play” time.  Be prepared for them to come home FAMISHED!!!  Have loads of healthy snacks for them.


Try to avoid non-nutritious goodies as in chips, sweets and sweetened beverages and stock up with healthy, fun foods from the FIVE food groups.  Here are some easy suggestions: DAIRY: go for lower-fat dairy treats, as in:
  • String cheese or small chunks of cheese
  • Top a small bowl of cottage cheese with applesauce or salsa.
  • Mix some herbs into fat-free plain yogurt and serve with carrot and celery sticks, or small broccoli or cauliflower bunches.
  • Have flavored yogurt on hand for them to gobble up.
  • Make smoothies with milk, yogurt and fruit.
GRAINS: look for WHOLE grains on nutrition labels when buying cereals, crackers, bread, etc.
  • Have them dish up a bowl of cereal and milk.
  • Top toasted waffles with peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly/jam OR with flavored yogurt.
  • Purchase mini rice cakes.  Top with thin cheese and/or veggie slices.
  • Popcorn is great if you don’t pile on the salt and butter---a little goes a long way!!!
FRUITS: whether fresh, canned or frozen, all are healthy.
  • Apple slices contain loads of healthy nutrients and can be dipped in peanut butter or flavored yogurt.
  • Berries are great to add to smoothies.
  • Fruit parfaits are easy to assemble: low-fat vanilla yogurt and fruit bits topped with low-fat granola.
VEGGIES: are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals.
  • Have small chunks or slices of carrots, cucs, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, and cherry or grape tomatoes washed and ready to be enjoyed with herbs or seasoning mixes blended into low-fat PLAIN yogurt OR cottage cheese.
  • Quesadillas assembled and ready to be heated in the microwave are a great treat.  Use whole grain tortillas topped with thin slices/bits of veggies, shredded low-fat cheese, and salsa and then top with another tortilla.  Heat, cut in serving sizes and watch them be devoured!!
MEATS/FISH/BEANS: nutrient-packed, especially with protein.
  • Have tuna, chicken or egg salad chilled so your kids can enjoy with wheat crackers, tortillas or bread.
  • Kids can toast ½ bagel and top with peanut butter.
  • Thin slices of lunch meat rolled around a celery stick are great munchies.
  • Spread low-fat refried beans on a toasted English muffin and top with salsa and shredded cheese.  Pop in the microwave, melt the cheese and it’s ready.
Nutritious snacks can taste great. The key for healthy, after-school treats is to plan before you shop.  Then let your kids know what is on hand to enjoy.  Take the time to teach them how to prepare their own nutritious snacks and enjoy the finished products with them!!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Pack a Safe Lunch



Summer is drawing to a close and it's almost time for the first school session (if it hasn't started already). Take a quick refresher course in packing a safe school lunch for both kids and adults. 

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food.  Make sure food preparation surfaces and utensils are clean.
  • Insulated, soft-sided lunch totes are best for keeping perishable foods chilled.  A cold source, such as a small frozen gel pack or frozen juice box, should be packed with perishable foods.   
  • Frozen gel packs will keep foods chilled until lunchtime, but are not recommended for all-day storage.  
  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten.
For more detail, visit BAC to School. Class dismissed!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Meet the Kuehnerts

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Kuehnert Dairy Farm is a fifth generation dairy located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.  "There are currently four generations at the farm on a daily basis," according to Sarah Kuehnert.  Her husband, Nathan and his brother Andrew make up the fifth generation.  Their children, Allie, 4 and Bryar, 2 are the potential sixth generation to carry on the "dairying legacy." 

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Nathan's Grandfather Melvin is at the farm every day and is their "do anything man".  He performs daily tasks like driving tractors and repairing equipment.  However, his favorite job is giving is great-grandchildren a ride on his ATV.  Sarah states,   "My father-in-law Alan and Nathan's uncle, Stan manage all the daily functions on the dairy from feeding the cows to harvesting the crops.  My mother-in-law Cindy feeds all the baby calves every day, with the help of myself, sister-in-law Brittany, and Allie and Bryar, of course!  My husband's main duty is helping to keep the cows healthy and happy by providing the proper care and administering the right medications.  My brother-in-law, Andrew, is in charge of the nutrition, ensuring that the cows get a balanced diet every single day.  We are also very lucky to have some young men who work with us that are like family: Kyle Walters, Luke Hesterman, Colten Brown, and Austin Bridgewater."

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The Kuehnerts currently milk 270 registered Holsteins with 330 heifers under two years of age.  They are bottle feeding 30 heifer calves less than two months of age.  A heifer is a young cow that has not yet given birth.  They also farm a total of 850 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans, and rye.  The majority of the crops they produce go to feeding the cows.  An adult cow will consume up to 90 pounds of feed per day and drink up to 30-50 gallons of water a day.

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As a dairy farmer, Registered Dietitian, and a mother, Sarah knows how important it is to get at least three servings of dairy every day.  "It all starts with milk," she explains.  "We drink it.  We use it as an ingredient and we make a lot of other products from it.  I believe it is important for people of all ages to know the importance of milk in their daily lives.  One eight ounce glass of milk provides these minimum daily allowances: 30% calcium, 25% vitamin D, 24% Riboflavin, 16% protein, 13% vitamin B12, 11% Potassium, 10% vitamin A, and 10% Niacin.  That's just one 8-ounce glass!  Milk is not just a cool, nutritious, thirst-quenching drink; it is truly one of nature's purest gifts."

When asked to share a story about her kids on the farm Sarah explained, "Dairy farming is a full seven day, 100 hour work week.  The cows must always have fresh feed in front of them, clean and dry bedding, and be milked three times a day here at Kuehnert Dairy.  With this in mind, it is hard to take a vacation.  Like most families, we enjoy time at the lake, but find it difficult to make it to the lake, so we brought the lake to us.  We built a two and a half acre pond that we call Lake Kuehnert!  During the summer days, we make time to spend a couple hours together with the entire family fishing, boating or swimming in our pond.  Lake Kuehnert has helped to make some of our most enjoyable times for my children and creates wonderful memories for generations to cherish."

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"Dairy farmers know the future depends on what we do today, so we are devoted to producing wholesome, nutritious milk as well as compassionate animal care and sound environmental stewardship.   With the current drought conditions in Indiana, we are facing a huge challenge to produce enough feed for our cows.  The dry conditions are not only affecting the beauty of your lawns, flowers, and landscaping, but it is affecting our ability to operate our family's dairy operation. We work diligently every day to make wise business decisions so that we can continue to produce our world with food however; this occupation of farming depends highly on the weather.  We keep our faith in God and know that he will provide. Here at Kuehnert Dairy we are very privileged to have four generations working together daily to produce you with nature's most perfect food, milk!  We take great pride in the work we do to provide you with the purest, most high quality, and nutritious milk that we can. This is all possible by maintaining a healthy, happy cow."

Friday, August 17, 2012

Year of Dairy Cows: Milking it for all it’s Worth

By Sarah the Intern


It’s the Year of Dairy Cows at the Indiana State Fair, and you will not want to miss any of the special events taking place every day this year!

Buttercup’s Big Day Book Readings.  Buttercup (the American Dairy Association of Indiana Mascot- go here to meet her!) will be reading her book Buttercup’s Big Day every day at 6:00 in front of the Dairy Bar. After she reads her story she will be giving away and signing copies of the book.

The Dairy Bar.  Be sure to try the special Year of Dairy Cows treats- Moo Chews and lemon chiller shakes.  The lemon milkshakes and double grilled cheese sandwiches are in addition to their regular menu of mozzarella sticks, milkshakes, hand-dipped ice cream, milk, and grilled cheese sandwiches, are reasonably priced, and will be served by celebrity servers at certain times throughout the fair.

The LegenDairy Marketplace.  Check out the dairy facts presented, enter to win a year of free dairy products, and pick up some great handouts at this booth in the DuPont Food Pavilion.
Pioneer Dairying.  Check out the homemade ice cream and pioneer dairy demonstrations in the Pioneer Village!
Cowtown USA.  The Family Fun Park will give visitors an opportunity to milk a cow, pasteurize milk, and make butter, cheese, and ice cream.  The best part?  You can sample the homemade treats when they’re done!

Farm Families Feeding Families

By Sarah the Intern

Indiana’s Family of Farmers has set a goal to donate over 3,000 pounds of food to Feeding Indiana’s Hungry this year, and we can’t do it without your help!  We will donate one pound for every person who completes the Recipe Trail at the State Fair.  This is how it works:  Eight recipes (including one for Layered Turtle Cheesecake that looks amazing) are spread around the fairgrounds- 3 in the DuPont Food Pavilion,
1 in the Farm Bureau Building,

1 at the Pathway to Water Quality,

1 at the Habitat for Humanity build site,

1 at BeanGo Land,

 and 1 at the Normandy Barn.

After you have collected all eight, bring them back to the Indiana Family of Farmers booth.

There we will give you a heat-resistant silicone basting brush AND you get to keep the recipes!  The recipe cards are recipes from real Indiana farmers and include wine pairings!  You also have the opportunity to sign up to win free cheese or a new freezer at the booth.  We hope to see you soon with a stack of recipe cards in your hand!