Monday, February 27, 2012

What does a Hunger Hoosier look like?

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

Can you pick them out of a crowd?  Are they rich or poor, clean or dirty, standing on a street corner or working every day?  Each year, 15,000 people are homeless in central Indiana and daily Second Helpings prepares more than 3,500 meals daily to be served to agencies and families that otherwise would not have adequate food resources.

Hungry Hoosiers can be the neighbor next door, the family of a school mate or an office employee.  There is NOT a defined face of hunger any more than there is a defined face of healthy.  As Hoosier, we need to check in on our elderly neighbors (take them an extra meal one or two times a week, they would not be leftovers then!)  Who doesn’t like a home cooked meal served to them?  It wasn’t until my Mother moved into assisted living I even realized many people go hungry just because it is too tiring to cook!

The average age of a homeless person is nine years old!  Have you asked your child’s teacher how you can help a family?  How many times have leftovers been discarded?  Is there a way these leftovers can be used to feed a family in your community with discretion?

An estimated 103,000 children live in poverty in Indiana.  Donating to a food bank or shelter helps reduce this statistic.  Many families are one pay check away from hard times.  How can you help? Look in your pantry or donate the money saved from not dining out and cook in as a family!

Hunger is a term which has three meanings (Oxford English Dictionary 1971)
  •  the uneasy or painful sensation caused by want of food; craving appetite. Also the exhausted condition caused by want of food
  • the want or scarcity of food in a country
  • a strong desire or craving

I provided you the definition of hunger to see where you are; personally I have a strong desire to end Hoosier Hunger.  Here is how you can help below:

Do you want to know how Indiana ranks in taking care of their own? Go to: 

Do you want to volunteer?

Monday, February 20, 2012

Southwest Beef Pot Roast

By Ginny Tauer of Indiana Beef 

·         1 beef bottom round roast (3-4 lbs.)
·         2 tsp. vegetable oil
·         2 tsp. ground cumin
·         1 jar (16 oz.) prepared thick-and-chunky style salsa
·         1/2 tsp. salt
·         1/4 tsp. pepper
·         1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed, drained
·         1 1/2 cups frozen corn, optional          

Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat until hot. Press cumin evenly onto all surfaces of roast. Brown roast in hot oil on all sides. Pour off drippings.

Season roast with salt and pepper; add salsa. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 1/2 to 3 1/4 hours or until roast is fork-tender.

Remove roast from pan; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Stir in beans and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until liquid is slightly thickened.

Carve roast into thin slices. Serve with bean mixture.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Meet an Indiana Dairy Farmer: The Estes Family

By Kimmi Devaney of Winners Drink Milk

Kerry Estes
Dairy Farmer
Fountaintown, Indiana

About Kerry: Kerry milks about 160 cows with his wife, Christiana, and four kids in central Indiana. While his cows primarily graze on pasture, the Estes also provide them with comfortable waterbeds in the free stall barn. Kerry also coaches football for the local youth league.

Q:  Why did you get into the dairy business? 
A: We decided to dairy because we believe it is the best place to raise a family.

Q: How does your family ensure your cows stay comfortable? 
A: Since we utilize grazing and a free stall barn, we are able to give the cows the best of both worlds.  During the warm months, cows do the majority of their grazing during the cool hours of the day and during the night.  When the day begins to get hot, we bring cows back to the barn where they have plenty of fresh water, shade, and comfortable stalls to lie in.  Our barn is quite open and airy with great natural light.  The cows lie on waterbeds, which keeps them quite comfortable. 

Q: If you weren’t a dairy farmer, what would you do? 
A: I would probably do several things including raising heifers, hay production, coaching football, and marriage counseling.

Q: How many generations are currently working on your farm?
A: We are the first generation on our farm and currently in our seventh year milking cows. We started our farm in 2005.

Q: What do you love most about being in the dairy industry? 
A: I enjoy the responsibility of being self-employed as well as working with the great people that support our operation.

Q: What do you want the general public to know about dairy farming?
A:  I want the general public to realize the commitment we as dairy farmers have made to produce a safe, quality product in a responsible manner. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

#Tractor2Truck: The Don't Miss Indy Food Truck Event!

Indy Food Trucks and Indiana’s Family of Farmers Celebrate National Ag Day and Nutrition Month

By Jeannie Keating of Indiana State Department of Agriculture

Join Indiana’s Family of Farmers for a menu of delicious fun featuring six of Indy’s AMAZING Food Trucks coming out to support National Ag Day and Nutrition Month. Come hungry Thursday, March 8 when Food Trucks will be serving from 11 a.m. – 2p.m. at the Indiana Government Center South on Senate Avenue.

And you can chew on some interesting farm facts at each Food Truck with a local celebrity “Food Truck Partner” from noon – 12:30 to help encourage the crowd to learn more about the Indiana farm product assigned to their truck. 

Here’s some interesting fodder about dairy that you will find with Scout’s Treats …

Did you know:
Cows can smell something up to six miles away?!  

And, if you want to learn more, an FFA Officer will be available at each truck to help answer any farm questions.

But wait there’s more! 
Get Your Plate in Shape with some “udderly” delicious FREE Prairie Farms Milk in front of each truck to help promote Nutrition Month and apples and carrots from Piazza Produce. Psst….remember it’s not what you take away, but what you add to your nutrition that matters–everything in moderation!

And the IPad goes to…
A brief presentation to celebrate Indiana’s agriculture and farmers will take place from 11:30 to 11:45. At that time we will also recognize the “Our Food, Our Farmers Ag Essay Contest” winners.

We would like to thank these outstanding Indy Food Trucks for coming on site for this event, their support of Indiana agriculture and Nutrition Month. We look forward to the opportunity to support their local business.

Can’t "corn"trol the need for more "ag"citing farm info?
Here’s a preview – look for more March 8!

Scratch Truck @scratchtruck
Farm Product – Beef
Celebrity Partner - Chikage Windler of WTHR 
Did you know?:
Cattle help produce more than 100 different medicines
Everyday 76 million Americans eat beef

Scout’s Treats @scoutstreats
Farm Product – Dairy
Celebrity Partner - TBA
Did you know?:
The average cow drinks 30-50 gallons of water a day...  That's enough to fill a bathtub!
The average Indiana dairy herd has 84 cows

Tacos Without Borders @tacoswoborders
Farm Product - Poultry
Celebrity Partner - TBA
Did you know?:
There are more chickens living on earth than people.
Chickens can run at a speed of 9 mph.

New York Slice @TheNYslice
Farm Product - Pork
Celebrity Partner -Deb Honeycutt of WFMS
Did you know?:
Pork is 16% leaner than it was 15 years ago!
"Loin" is the leanest cut of pork!

West Coast Tacos @westcoasttacos
Farm Product - Corn
Celebrity Partner – TBA
Did you know?:
One bushel of corn is about the size of a laundry basket.
An ear of corn averages 800 kernels in 16 rows.

Some of this! Some of that! @SOTSOT1
Farm Product - Soybeans
Celebrity Partner – TBA
Did you know?:
The vegetable oil in your pantry is most likely soybean oil
Candles and crayons made from soybeans were invented by Purdue students’ right here in Indiana.

See you March 8!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Tomorrow's Great Leaders

By Casie C. Conley of Indiana FFA

What does “youth leadership” mean to you?  For us, as proud Indiana FFA members, it is what our organization thrives on.  

Leadership from our youth is not only important for the FFA, but also for the future of our country.  As we look forward we want to make sure we are developing strong and influential people.  In the FFA, we strive on doing just that. Our motto is “learning to do, doing to learn, earning to live, living to serve”, the last line really says it all… youth leaders should live their lives to serve.  

Since it is youth leadership month there is no better time to celebrate the leaders of tomorrow, our youth. Organizations like 4-H, FFA, and Junior Leaders do an excellent job in promoting and molding the leadership that will come from this generation.  Today’s youth know that they have a responsibility to step and take action; they know that the future is in their hands.  Take time to encourage the young ladies and gentlemen in your life that are becoming great leaders. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

National Hot Breakfast Month

By Michelle Plummer of Winners Drink Milk

February has been named National Hot Breakfast Month. The history of celebrating Breakfast in the month of February was actually created by the Jimmy Dean Foods division of the Sara Lee Corporation. Description: Dean Foods is known for producing heat-and-serve breakfast dishes (most notably with Jimmy Dean Brand Sausage) and found that over 60% of Americans eat cold cereal or another non-hot breakfast each day. This is why they started a month-long holiday to promote interest in hot breakfast options.

Today we always hear that breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, but why? First, breakfast starts your day off right and gives you needed energy to get your body going for the day. Second in regards to weight loss, having a complete diet also gives the body balance and weight control. Not only can it help improve the way your body functions, but it also helps with improving focus and performance at school and at work.

Jimmy Dean may have created National Hot Breakfast Month, but Moms have been serving up hot breakfasts for years, long before cold cereal!  A warm bowl of cream of wheat on a snowy day, or oatmeal served with a dollop of peanut butter and jelly, my personal favorite!  Warm breakfast can be made easily by making a few extra pancakes on the weekend and heating them in the toaster with a sausage link or cream cheese and berries nestled in the filling later in the week as the kiddos are going off to school.

 Hot breakfast is a great start to your day,  but  think of foods you enjoy that are not typically considered breakfast foods;  Burritos, pizza rolls, grits loaded with cheese all can be breakfast foods to satisfy the body and mind, breakfast does not have rules.  It is a great way to get your day started and keep you going.

Grilled Cheddar Cheese on English muffin is one of my favorite Hot Breakfasts ever!  The cheese melts into the little holes of the muffin and it is crispy on the outside and yummy on the inside!  Sometimes I will add just a touch of salsa, but really I like it better when I can dunk the cheese bites into the salsa! 

Tell us what you enjoy for Hot Breakfast Month and enter below to win a hot breakfast on us!  The benefits to this wonderful meal are enormous and can be a wonderful start to anyone's day. Make breakfast a part of your morning routine!