Friday, July 29, 2011

State Fair Memories

By Amy from Two Maids A Milking

I am a State Fair junkie. There, I said it! I just love that place. I have so many memories from all stages of my life that I really think I could write a book! From the time I was born, my family would take day trips to the State Fair every summer. Through 4-H, I exhibited pigs for all 10 years. I was a 4-H intern and lived there one summer. I worked in the Swine Barn for 5 years with Lonnie and the Extension staff. And now I get to take my kids and just have fun at the fair!

Believe it or not, I have only missed one year that I know of. (I’m not sure about my first few years of life though!) Yeah- that’s right. I missed the State Fair of 2006 because our Wild One was only 8 weeks old and my Miss Bug (2 years at the time) was really sick and I mean sick. I was so devasted to miss but it just didn’t work out that year.

So, thinking of my fondest memories at the great Indiana State Fair, here’s what I came up with:

As a really young child - 1) Having lunch out of the back of our Mini Van in the infield - my grandma would slice a fresh tomato and we would throw it on a bologna sandwich for lunch!  2) Getting to pick something out in the Exposition Hall for $5 or under 3) Watching the World’s Largest Boar contest

As a 4-H member – 1) Making all kinds of friends in the livestock projects 2) Seeing George Strait for the first time from the 3rd row 3) Exhibiting my chocolate cake in the 4-H Foods project 4) Watching the Hot Air Balloon launch in the infield at 6:00 AM 5) Enjoying the Dairy Bar chocolate shakes 6) Serving as the Purebred Pork Queen in 1991 (yes, there is such a thing and yes – I’m really proud of it!!!)

And later in life – 1) Interning at the fair and riding in the parade every day 2) Meeting my hubby for the very first time – YES – now you see why that place is so special! We met in 1995 right there in the middle of the fair in the FFA Pavilion! I was volunteering with 4-H and he was serving as a State FFA officer.
It’s funny how that place has impacted my life! I have so many fond memories. It made me who I am – the friends I made, the career I chose and the hubby that I have!! I just love that I get to take my kiddos to the fair now and show them all of the things that I love about it. I look SO forward to their 4-H years and the memories that we will make as a family! So, here’s to the GREAT Indiana State Fair – a place where memories are definitely made!

And the State Fair Tickets Winner is....

The four state fair tickets and Indiana Beef coupons go to.....

Diane who said she had Beef Roast in her freezer! 

Diane please contact us within 48 hours to claim your prize. Claim your prize by emailing

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

State Fairgoers: Collect, Win and Help Feed the Hungry

Indiana’s Family of Farmers Recipe Trail offers daily giveaways and a chance to give back

Indianapolis (July 27, 2011) Indiana State Fair attendees are invited to follow the Indiana’s Family of Farmers Recipe Trail–and WIN! Collect recipe cards from all 12 locations around the Fairgrounds, (maps available online and on the Fairgrounds), bring them to the final destination—the Food for Thought display at the Ellison Bakery Home and Family Arts Building and win a complimentary Indiana’s Family of Farmers spatula (while supplies last) for just completing the trail.

And you can help feed the hungry.

Register for the Heartland Steaks daily steak giveaway and the grand prize, a Frigidaire® chest freezer. For each person who finishes the recipe trail and registers for the daily giveaway, Indiana’s Family of Farmers is partnering with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) to donate one pound of food to food banks in Indiana.

Recipe card locations:
  • Pioneer Our Land Pavilion (6 recipes), Normandy Barn, Habitat House, Indiana Farm Bureau Building, 4-H Centennial Hall, Pathway to Water Quality, and Ellison Bakery Home and Family Arts Building.
·         Start at any location!
·         Redeem your recipes and sign up for prizes at the final stop – The Food for Thought Display at the Ellison Bakery Home and Family Arts Building.
·         Winners of the daily giveaway are selected by a random drawing at the close of each day of the Fair.
·          The grand prize winner of the Frigidaire® chest freezer will be selected by a random drawing at the end of the fair. Winners will be notified by email.

 “The Indiana State Fair is always an engaging event to remind the community how food impacts all of our lives every day,” said Joe Kelsay, Indiana agriculture director for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. "We look forward to another opportunity to share the perspective of Indiana farmers with consumers, and this year to also help the hungry."

The Indiana’s Family of Farmers recipe cards will again feature a recipe highlighting Indiana’s commodities such as pork, beef, poultry, soybeans, corn, lamb, fish and dairy along with an Indiana wine pairing. On the flip side of the cards, State Fairgoers will meet a featured Indiana farmer and read a personal food story from their family. 
More information on the 2011 Recipe Trail is on the Indiana’s Family of Farmers website.


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.

Jeannie Keating
Manager of Media Relations
Indiana State Department of Agriculture
One North Capitol, Suite 600
Indianapolis, IN 46204
(317) 696-9695

Monday, July 25, 2011

Come "Chill" with us at the State Fair and you could win!

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If you want to collect some great recipes, and get a prize for doing it, we have just the thing for you!  Follow the recipe trail at the Indiana State Fair!

Find the recipes at the Normandy Barn, the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion, the Habitat House, and the Farm Bureau Building.  Bonus recipes are in the 4H Centennial hall and the Pathway to Water Quality exhibit.  Collect 10 out of the 12, and win a special prize.  You can also sign up to win a Frigidaire chest freezer!  Check it out here. 

And don’t forget to sign up for a daily steak giveaway. 

To top it off, for each person that finishes the recipe trail, the Indiana Family of Farmers is working with Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) to give one pound of food per person who goes through the recipe trail to a local food bank.  Not only do you get to have fun collecting recipes, but you will help the hungry people in Indiana as well. 

Each card has a great recipe, along with a story from an Indiana farmer.  These recipes come from all around the state from many different types of farmers.  They incorporate classic Indiana ingredients into great dishes. 
We hope to see you there!

To get the celebration started early, we are giving away a family 4 pack of Indiana State Fair tickets and Indiana Beef Tent coupons.  To enter, just tell us one thing in your freezer right now! Winner will be selected at random and announced on Friday!

Friday, July 22, 2011

And the State Fair Dairy Bar food winners are....

And the State Fair Dairy Bar food winners are....

Heather Perkins
Amy (of 4th Frog Blog)
Jamie Whitlock

Please send us an address to mail your free food coupons at

Monday, July 18, 2011

Dairy Bar, Cattle Barn and Cheeselady- Oh My!

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

Can you believe the State Fair is only four weeks away!  I am so excited to tell you what the American Dairy Association is doing to begin the celebration!  To start the Dairy Bar wants to give away 10  pairs of tickets to the Dairy Bar.  Each pair of tickets would be a coupon for a ‘Fuel Up to Play 60 Kids Meal and a Shake and Sandwich coupon.  Learn how to enter later in the post.

Visit the fair during the 13-17th and see the real dairy farmers and cows.  See how the animals are cared for and actually pet a calf and receive a coupon for a glass of milk in the Cattle Barn.  Walk along and visit the exhibits in Our Land Pavilion and have an opportunity to step back in time to see how milk was delivered in the early ‘30’s, see the old timey posters of milk promotions and follow the carbon foot print of dairy farming since the late ‘30’s. Visit Sarah Kaufmann, aka the Cheeselady, and see what she is carving this year to help celebrate the 80 years of Dairy & Nutrition Council delivering the facts and fun of the dairy industry in Indiana.  

Mark your calendar for August 10, when we unveil the sculpture for the fair goers to see.  There will be cooking demos using assorted dairy products and featuring Ivy Tech student who actually developed lactose free recipes for consumers who have difficult time drinking milk.  For the kids on the 7th and 14th we will host the Shake it Up with Dairy demo giving kids the opportunity to drink a new dairy product and meet Buttercup in person

Are you ready for a snack? Stop by the Dairy Bar and enjoy a gooey and creamy grilled cheese, a delicious shake or a dish of hand scooped ice cream!  To enter to win the coupons tell us just one of the five cheeses used at the dairy bar. Winners will be chosen randomly and announced on Friday! Have a great day at the fair, we sure are!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Picnicking on the Farm

Guest Post by Sarah of This Farm Family's Life

When the guys are in the fields planting, harvesting, spraying, fertilizing, etc. they like to have the meals delivered to the fields.  If they are close to home, they will come in the house and eat, but if they are far away I take it to them. 

At the beginning of the season I am a bit rusty, but by the end I have my groove back and have it down to a Science.
Everything is loaded in the car...
Plastic ware....check!
Beverage of choice (on this particular day it was sweet tea)...check!
Paper towel (always keep a roll in the Tahoe that way I don't have to worry about packing napkins)....check!
Clorox Wipes (I have learned this is a necessity)....check!
Main Dish (this day it was Hungry Jack Casserole and Cottage cheese)...check!
Ranch dressing (another necessity in this family)...check!
Two cutie pies...check!...

Our youngest daughter has been taking meals to the fields since she was about 2 weeks old!
Every. Single. Toy we own....check!

The grub all set up and ready to be devoured...

The guys break for a short time and then it's time to go again...

SPECIAL NOTE: Congrats to State Fair Ticket Winner that we randomly drew from Monday's post's comments:
Anonymous Holly said...
We LOVE the Indiana State Fair (even though we are Buckeyes). I know my kids will have fun looking for all the giant soybeans this year. Register us for the free ticket giveaway!
July 11, 2011 11:08 AM
We will be in touch soon!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Perfect for Picnics: Orange Poultry Salad

By Denise Derrer
The Indiana StateBoard of Animal Health (BOAH) is the home agency to Indiana’s meat and poultry and dairy inspection programs. In addition to serving as the staff“germ-o-phobe,” Denise Derrer is the Public Information Director for BOAH.

A town near us does an outdoor concert on July 4th, followed by fireworks after dark. That’s one picnic opportunity my family just can’t miss.

We usually go really early to stake out a good spot on the lawn, before the girls and I go play in the nearby creek, while my husband chills out to the music on the blankets. That means packing along dinner, because we’re usually there for 5 or 6 hours.

I like to keep things simple by packing ready-to-eat foods, like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, chips, grapes, pasta salad and cookies. Lunch meat or a meat-based salad (like tuna or chicken) packs well, along with pita bread, buns or tortilla shells.

Try this Orange Poultry* Salad for a change of pace from traditional chicken salad.

*I’m calling it poultry, because I use either cooked and diced turkey or chicken—whatever I have on hand.

Orange Poultry Salad
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1 T. Dijon mustard
½ t. ground ginger
½ t. sesame seeds
¼ c. Mandarin orange juice (retained from a can of fruit)

Mix these ingredients and set aside for dressing.

2 c. cooked turkey or chicken, chopped
1 c. celery, chopped
¼ c. onion, chopped
1 small can Mandarin oranges, drained (juice retained)

Mix turkey, celery and onion together.
Add dressing and toss to coat. Mix in oranges. Chill.

Monday, July 11, 2011


By Chris an ISA State Fair Intern

Hey there!
When it comes to the State Fair, you can’t beat all the unique food and fun flavors! Did you know that this year, there is a way you can get free food at the Indiana State Fair and have fun while doing it?  That’s right!
This year at the Indiana State Fair, you can play BEANGO!  Eight larger-than-life soybeans will be on display all around the fairgrounds.  The giant soybeans will include everything from a farmer, to a pig to a chicken! 
While on the grounds, you can play a game by visiting each of these big beans, answering questions and getting BEANGO!  Get three facts correct in a row on the BeanGo card and come back to the Indiana Soybean exhibit in the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion for a coupon for a free pork burger, milkshake, or an all-beef hotdog. (Did you know that most of the soybeans raised in Indiana go to feed livestock, like pigs, chickens and cows?)  If you complete the Beango game card, we will have an extra special prize for you!
The free BeanGo cards will be available through an app on both iPhone and Android as well as a game card that you can find in the State Fair program or at our exhibit. You can also look for the game card in the state fair program.    As you walk around the fair, be on the lookout for these soybeans.  They are your ticket to free food. 
Look for soybeans all over the fair, and look for me at our booth in the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion.  I hope to see you there!

To get the State Fair celebration started, we are giving away a family 4 pack of State Fair tickets to on Indiana's Family of Farmer reader! Just leave us a comment in the blog comment area (make sure to leave your email address) and we will choose a winner by random on Friday! Good luck!

Friday, July 8, 2011

What's Growing In My Garden...


By Amy Eizinger of A Latte' With Ott, A and  The Real Farmwives of America & Friends

After a bit of a rainy start our garden is really starting to take off. Lots of the plants are blooming or starting to put on fruit. So here's a little peak at what's growing in my garden.

1.) Potatoes, but not just any potatoes Blue Adirondack Potatoes that will be purple in color on both the inside and the outside. We are anticipating harvesting these soon.

2.) Butternut Squash. We did have some Spring Greens planted and after we were done with them we planted squash in its place to be ready this fall.

3.) Kohlrabi. Not many people know what Kohlrabi is but it a bulb like vegetable that kind of taste like a radish uncooked or broccoli after it's cooked.

4.) Tomatoes. I've got several blooming and several starting to put on fruit and I cannot wait for them to turn red so we can start to enjoy them.

5.) Zucchini. These guys have just started to bloom and take off.

6.) A Sunflower. I always plant sunflowers in my garden because they look so pretty, and this one is almost as tall am me.

7.) Green Beans. This year we tried pole bean which are growing up a fence.  I'm hoping this will make for some easier harvesting.

8.) Cilantro. We are trying herbs in our garden for the first time this year and this is going to taste great when I make fresh salsa.

9.) Eggplant. This is one of many blooms on our eggplants, and I love the purple color.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

What's Your Temperature IQ?

By Denise Derrer of BOAH

The Indiana StateBoard of Animal Health (BOAH) is the home agency to Indiana’s meat and poultry and dairy inspection programs.

Test your temperature IQ.
At what cooking temperature are the following foods safe to eat?
1.        Steaks
2.       Pork chops
3.       Hamburgers
4.       Chicken breasts

When you’re grilling out this summer, don’t forget the meat thermometer. And check the temperature of your meat to be sure it’s safe to eat. Color is not a good indicator.

Answers are:
1.       Steaks:  145°F
2.       Pork chops:  145°F
3.       Hamburgers:  165°F
4.       Chicken breasts:  165°F

More safe cooking tips for meat products are on the BOAH website, at

Monday, July 4, 2011

Picnic Food Safety Tips

By Denise Derrer

The Indiana StateBoard of Animal Health (BOAH) is the home agency to Indiana’s meat and poultry and dairy inspection programs. In addition to serving as the staff “germ-o-phobe,” Denise Derrer is the Public Information Director for BOAH.

I don’t know what it is about warm weather, but as soon as the temperatures start to rise, my kids are begging to go on a picnic. And not just on weekends. What is it about eating outside at the park—bugs and all—that makes dinner so much more fun?

So, now that picnic season is here, today, I thought I’d share some food safety tips for your next outing. Later this week, I’ll share one of my favorite go-to recipes an easy picnic meal that my kids love.

Be cool.
When the thermometer rises, so does the likelihood of food spoiling quickly. So make sure you keep your perishable foods in the cooler as long as possible when you are eating outside in the heat. Normally, the food safety guidelines recommend not allowing foods to sit out more than two hours. However, if the temperature is hovering around or above 90 degrees, that time limit drops to just one hour!

So scoop that potato salad or cole slaw onto plates and get it back in the cooler!

Go As Ready As Possible.
When my family does a picnic, I prefer to put the focus on the eating, instead of the cooking and on-site preparation. That’s why we rarely ever cook foods at the picnic destination. I, personally, prefer to bring foods that are basically ready to serve.

Benefits being:  1.  Less to worry about when it comes to raw meats cross-contaminating other foods; and 2. Everyone (including Mom!) can spend more time playing in the creek or riding bikes than tending to the charcoal. (We leave the cook-outs and weenie roasts for the backyard or camping trips.)

Those few times I do take raw meats, I make sure the burgers are already formed into patties and ready to go straight on the grill ahead of time. That means less handling in a less-than-sterile environment. I also make sure to double-bag any raw meats, so ensure the juices don’t leak onto the drinks, ice or other foods.

I also prefer to pack items that will end up on the grill apart from ready-to-eat food, to reduce the chances of contamination. That means packing two coolers, sometimes.

I also pre-peel and cut all the fruits and veggies I bring along.

Keeping It Clean.
Now, some might suggest that I have a bit of a “thing” about germs… And maybe I do, but there’s nothing wrong with a little cleanliness at a picnic. In addition to paper plates and napkins and a vinyl tablecloth, I always pack a cleaning kit:
·         disinfecting wipes (great for cleaning up grill tools),
·         hand sanitizer (aka, cootie killer),
·         baby wipes (nothing better for cleaning up toasted marshmallow sticky),
·         Paper towels,
·         A pre-wetted washcloth in a plastic baggie

If you want more information on food safety in all seasons, check out this tip list Or visit our BOAH website at: .

Friday, July 1, 2011

Make Your Own Ice Cream in a Bag!

Celebrate National Ice Cream Month!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream!!!

What a great way to celebrate summer – ice cream sundaes, ice cream cones, milk shakes, and especially homemade ice cream! We do our fair share of consuming ice cream ALL year round but July is actually National Ice Cream Month! In 1984, President Ronald Reagan made this designation because he loved ice cream so much. In fact, the third Sunday of the month is even National Ice Cream Day – which happens to be on Sunday, July 17th this year.

If you’ve ever wanted to make homemade ice cream but don’t have an ice cream maker, you are in luck! Here is a simple, easy, and super tasty treat that you can make with ingredients that you probably already have at home. This one is always a winner with kids too because they can get involved and make their own!

Being a dairy farm family, we love to find ways to enjoy our dairy products and this one was a huge hit with a group of kids at our farm during a summer cow camp! We hope you enjoy!

Ice Cream in a Bag
1 T. sugar
½ C. whole milk or half & half
¼ t. vanilla extract
6 T. rock salt
1 pint-size Ziploc plastic bag
1 gallon-size Ziploc plastic bag
How To Make It
  1. Fill the large bag half full of ice, and add the rock salt. Seal the bag.
  2. Put milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.
  3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal again carefully.
  4. Shake until mixture is ice cream, 5-10 minutes.
  5. Wipe off top of small bag, then open carefully and enjoy.
  6. Feel free to add chocolate syrup, nuts, strawberries or any other ice cream topping!