Thursday, January 29, 2015

We Are Indiana Agriculture: Hardin Farms

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Hardin Farms is made up of Hardin Pork, LLC, a farrow-to-finish swine operation and the individual grain farms of David and John Hardin.  Both David and John raise identity preserved (IP) corn, soybeans and winter wheat.  IP grain is frequently referred to as specialty, high-value, and premium- or niche-market grains.  They are produced with a specific end use in mind—such as human food, animal feed, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, or industrial use.

Located near Danville, Hardin Farms has been operating for three generations.  “Our family has been farming in the Hendricks/Marion county area continuously since 1827,” David explains.  “My grandfather was the one who started our focus on swine over the other livestock species. “  David and his wife, Danielle, have four young children who enjoy coming to the farm and “helping out.”

David says that he enjoys the challenges and opportunities that we face in agriculture today.  “No two years are exactly the same when it comes to growing conditions and markets.  It keeps you from getting complacent.  I also enjoy the idea that the products of my hard work are going to feeding hungry people right here in Indiana and around the world.”

Technology on the farm has advanced drastically over the years.  “Consumers or voters often don’t like to hear how farmers are more efficient, but they should.  By using farm equipment with mapping and auto-tracking capabilities, we are able to plant and harvest more acres with less manpower.  The data we derive from that equipment allows us to use less fertilizer and chemicals while producing more food.  With the hogs, we are able to use advances in artificial insemination and improved nutrition to produce more meat from fewer sows.”

“Just because farms may be larger than in the past and use technologies that may seem futuristic, the farmers’ goals are the same as they were in the past: to raise safe, nutritious, and affordable food.  Even though stories about food recalls grab media attention, food safety has never been better.  Farmers have dramatically lowered their carbon foot print over the last couple decades.  ‘GMO’ is not a bad word.  I encourage consumers to educate themselves about the facts of GMOs, not just take for gospel what the media says.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

Fuel Your New Year’s Resolution with Protein

By Danielle Sovinski of Winners Drink Milk

Whether your New Year’s resolution is maintaining a regular exercise schedule or starting a new workout routine, protein can benefit your active lifestyle:

Build more learn muscle. A higher protein diet along with resistance exercise can help build healthy muscles and support weight management.

Reduce muscle loss during aging. Protein can help preserve muscle as you age.

Enhance muscle recovery after resistance exercise or weight training.
  • If you’re a regular exerciser, consuming high-quality dairy protein may help nourish your muscles after a tough workout.
  • If you’re a serious athlete, consuming carbohydrates and high-quality dairy protein           together, after intense exercise, may enhance the replacement of muscle energy stores. The result is a faster recovery in preparation for your next workout.

Consume protein immediately before exercise or within one hour after exercise for best results. As little as 10 grams of protein has been shown to stimulate muscle growth following exercise.

Consuming approximately 20-30 grams of high-quality protein at each meal can help you build and maintain muscle. Each example below will provide 20 grams of protein or more:

Eating two, 6-ounce containers of Greek-style yogurt
Adding 2 ounces of your favorite cheese and a chopped egg to a salad
Combining approximately 2 ounces of cheese and ½ cup beans to a veggie burrito
Choosing 3 to 4 ounces of lean beef, pork or poultry

Did you know? Low-fat chocolate milk is a great way to fuel up after a hard workout. A good source of high-quality protein, chocolate milk is packed with nine essential nutrients and can help replenish what the body has lost through sweat. It also has the right carb-to-protein ratio that many athletes look for post-workout. In addition to protein, dairy foods (milk, cheese and yogurt) are important sources of calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, vitamins A, D and B12 and riboflavin in the U.S. diet.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

We Are Indiana Agriculture:

By Sarah Mahan of This Farm Family's Life

Established in the 1890’s, Kuehnert Dairy Farm is a sixth-generation family farm.  “Today the fourth and fifth generations work here daily, and the sixth generation plays here every day,” Sarah Kuehnert says.  “We are very privileged to have four generations all working together daily to produce you with one of nature’s most perfect foods—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.”

Sarah, a registered dietitian, is a fifth-generation dairy farmer and mother to Allie, 7 and Bryar, 5.  She was born and raised in Decatur on a dairy farm that her parents, Gregg and Alison Kukelhan continue to operate today along with Sarah’s brothers, Royce and Bryce.  Sarah’s husband, Nathan, is a fifth-generation dairy farmer as well.  “When Nathan and I got married in 2005, we built a house on his family’s dairy farm.”

Kuehnert Dairy Farm is located just a stone’s throw away from the city limits of Fort Wayne.  Currently, they milk 320 registered Holsteins and farm 1100 acres of corn, alfalfa, soybeans and rye; all of which is used to feed the cows.  In September of 2014, Kuehnert’s transitioned into robotic milking with the installation of four Lely Astronaut milking robots. 

In the fall of 2013, Kuehnert Dairy Farm opened its operations as an agritourism venture to the general public by hosting its 1st Annual Kuehnert Dairy Fall Festival.  “The festival gives people an opportunity to experience the daily operations of a working dairy farm as well as provides a variety of fall entertainment for all ages to enjoy, “Sarah explains.  “It is our passion to share our farm, family, and cows and to tell others our family farm story.  We want consumers to see what life is like on a dairy farm, how we care for our cows and the land.  It is our desire to educate the general public, so that they know the importance of milk in a healthy diet.  It is a joy to see children playing and interacting with their parents and grandparents while enjoying the festival.  We are trying to do our part to cultivate healthy lifestyles by promoting positive family time and outdoor physical activity in a unique educational environment.”

There are four generations working on Kuehnert Dairy Farm every day.  Sarah shares that her hope is that her children will have the same profound love for agriculture and the dairy cow as she and Nathan.  “We were both raised on dairy farms where our families worked hard every day to produce nutritious food to help feed the world.  We have great respect for the land and cattle that God has so graciously given to us."

As a Registered Dietitian, Sarah stresses that consuming three servings of dairy every day is important for building strong bones and healthy bodies and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.  “It is so important to me that consumers know where their food comes from, that they know it is safe to eat, and how food nourishes their bodies.  And, having grown up on a dairy farm myself, I have a special love for the dairy cow and milk.  So, here is my motto: As a dairy farmer, registered dietitian, and a mother, I know how important it is to get at least three servings of dairy every day.  It all starts with milk!  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 8-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 of milk!  Milk is not just a cool, nutritious, thirst-quenching drink, it is truly one of nature’s purest gifts!”