Dairy farmers set to deliver Victory Circle milk

 Every driver in the 2010 Indianapolis 500-Mile Race will want to make the acquaintance of two Hoosier dairy farmers on Sunday afternoon.  And they’ll know exactly where to find them.  Franklin Weaver and Richard Thomas will be standing, cooler in hand, on some of Central Indiana’s most valuable real estate – Victory Circle at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Richard Thomas is one of the milk men this year for the Indianapolis 500.

Weaver, a dairy farmer from the small southeastern Indiana community of Bennington, and Thomas, a dairy farmer from the northern Indiana town of Middlebury, are assuming responsibility for continuing one of Indianapolis’ most treasured traditions.  The “Milkmen” will deliver the fabled Bottle of Milk to the winner of the 94th 500-Mile Race, courtesy of the American Dairy Association of Indiana (ADAI).  Both are board members of Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, ADAI’s parent organization.

 We are honored to be selected by our peers to continue the tradition that means so much to those of us involved in the dairy industry here in Indiana as well as throughout the U.S.,” Franklin said.  “We appreciate the support of this tradition by the Hulman-George Family, and recognize the important place it holds in the hearts of everyone who loves the Indianapolis 500.”

 “Just as everyone around the world thinks of the 500-Mile Race when they hear the word ‘Indiana-polis,’ most also are aware of how every winner toasts victory at this great track,” added Richard.  “Franklin and I take the responsibility of representing this tradition very seriously, and look forward to the great opportunity of carrying it forward come Sunday.”

 A drivers’ poll conducted annually by the American Dairy Association of Indiana provides the “Milkmen” with the information needed to hand the race winner exactly the type of ice-cold milk he, or she, likes best.  This year’s results are:

  •  2 Percent Milk (14 drivers)
  • Whole Milk (5 drivers)
  •  Non-fat (Skim) Milk (8 drivers)
  •  No Preference! (6 drivers)

  2010 marks the 55th consecutive year for the beloved tradition of drinking milk in Victory Circle – one that Franklin Weaver and Richard Thomas intend to see live on come Sunday.

Get Out the Grill… It’s Time to Tailgate!

According to www.askmen.com there is an “art” to having a mobile, yet stationary parking lot party!  So, I have been to tailgates, written menus for tailgates (all incorrectly I might add, too fancy, not enough ‘man food’) and prepared the food for tailgating. However, the whole event seems a bit odd to me; is it a picnic? Bar-B-Que? Party? Or all of the above? Regardless of what you consider it this website can provide some great ideas to make your tailgate a success.

The Indianapolis 500 race is a great location for tailgating! Park in the Coke lot, lower the tailgate, grab the grill, and begin the party when the first cooler is opened! Divide and conquer the setup: hoist the grill from the truck, add the charcoal and light, and set up the prep area for ribs, chops, chicken and more.  Meanwhile, as the meats cook, think about those side dishes that really accentuate them!  Burgers make a great beginning as you are getting settled and ready for the BIG SHOW, but you can’t forget the sides.

If any of you attended the 2009 Vintage Wine Fest you saw a demo using 32 ounces of dark ale, fresh rosemary, and garlic to marinade a chunk of cheddar for a day (or as you go to the new destination). Remove the cheese from the brine and the amber hue yields to the rich flavor the ale gives the cheese.  Simple, easy, and delicious as the snack, appetizer, or sliced to top a burger!

Below are additional delicious recipes for your weekend of tailgating at the track:


1 package hash brown potatoes (ready prepared)
1 can (10 ¾ ounce) cream of mushroom
1/2 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon pepper and thyme
½ cup sharp white cheddar
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
½ cup chopped mushrooms and onions

Mix all ingredients in a large resealable bag.  Blend well.  Spray a non-stick spray on a disposable baking dish, add mixture when time to cook, cover and bake for 30 minutes on indirect heat of grill.  Serve with chicken, steaks, or chops and if you wish add frozen peas for a bit of color and sweetness.  Servings: 8


8 cups assorted frozen veggies (cauliflower, green beans, peppers, potatoes, small onions)
2 tablespoons each of olive oil & butter
4 tablespoons Mrs. Dash seasoning (blend of your choice)

Mix olive oil and butter, then drizzle over veggies. Add Mrs. Dash. Mix all ingredients together; pour onto double strength foil, make a pouch and place on medium heat grill (indirect heat; use direct heat for brats, chicken, burgers).  Roast for 30 minutes, turning half way during cooking process.  Open after 30 minutes, check for doneness and serve.  Top with Parmesan cheese.  Servings: 8 large

Avoid Uninspected and Raw Milk/Dairy Products

Onset of warm weather signals the return of one of the Midwest’s finest summer traditions:  farmer’s markets. While enjoying the bounty of Hoosier farms, the Indiana State Board of Animal Health’s Dairy Division and the American Dairy Association of Indiana remind consumers to avoid buying milk and dairy products that have not been inspected, including raw products. Also, in Indiana there is a ban on the sale of raw milk for human consumption, and federal law prohibits the retail sale of unpasteurized milk across state borders.                       

“The local foods movement has motivated more people to begin processing their own dairy products on the farm for sale to neighbors and local markets,” explains Terry Philibeck, director of BOAH’s Dairy Division. “Selling these products without proper licensing and inspection is not only illegal, but can be unsafe.”

Unpasteurized milk and dairy products (often called “raw”) can carry illness-causing organisms, such E. coli, campylobacter and listeria. These organisms can result in severe illness, or even death, particularly in susceptible individuals like the very young, very old, pregnant or immune-compromised. Pasteurization is a heat-treatment process that kills harmful pathogens without affecting the nutritional value of the milk.

Recently, nearly two dozen people in Michigan and Indiana were sickened by campylobacter after consuming raw milk linked to an unlicensed Elkhart County, Indiana dairy farm. The products were produced and sold without sanitary inspection.

How does a consumer know if a product is inspected? First, check the label, Philibeck advises.

“Labels on all state-inspected products will list a plant or facility code,” he says. “This number is two digits, followed by a hyphen and four more numbers. The packaging used must be of professional quality and approved by the state, including required listings of ingredients and nutritional content.”

Dairy products are among the most tested and regulated foods in this country.  All dairy products sold in Indiana must originate from a state-licensed and inspected farm, with appropriate processing, packaging and labeling at a state-inspected processing facility, including those operated on farmstead sites. This standard applies to all dairy products, including milk produced by cows, goats and sheep. The only exception to this law is an allowance for certain raw milk cheeses that are produced under official state inspection using very specific aging processes.

The Board of Animal Health works with local health departments across the state to ensure that products offered to the public are safe to eat. For more information about safe dairy products, visit the BOAH Web site at www.boah.in.gov.

Lactose Intolerant? Maybe not?

Lactose is the sugar naturally found in milk and many milk products. In order to digest lactose, the body needs lactase, an enzyme that is made by the body. Sadly, some people don’t make enough lactase to break down lactose (milk sugar), so they may experience physical symptoms when consuming foods that contain lactose. This is often referred to as lactose intolerance.

However, lactose intolerance doesn’t have to mean dairy intolerance. And, many health authorities agree that milk and other dairy foods are an important and practical source of key nutrients, for all people – including those who are lactose intolerant. Avoiding dairy due to lactose intolerance may pose diet and health risks. Eliminating dairy, a nutrient rich food, may reduce bone building, may increase hypertension, and exacerbate other conditions.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) conference on lactose intolerance convened and released information for people with lactose intolerance. It has been found that most of those individuals can tolerate the amount of lactose in about one cup of milk with no or minor symptoms. Plus, gradually re-introducing dairy into the diet can help manage symptoms.

The following are tips for those who are lactose intolerant and wanting dairy to be a part of their diet.

D stands for drinking milk with food, not on an empty stomach.

A stands for aged cheese such as swiss & cheddar that have low lactose.

means to introduce dairy slowly. ¼ cup with food, then increase amount.

means to use reduced lactose dairy products like lactose free milk, etc. or add lactase enzymes to your diet.

stands for yogurt, a cultured dairy product that has live active bacteria that digest lactose.

The NIH conference was an unbiased and evidence based assessment of medical issues. It was to evaluate the available research on lactose intolerance and develop a statement that will advance the understanding of the issue and help guide the advice given by health professionals and directed to the public.

The Race Is On!

Although Bump Day is not a nationally recognized holiday, it is in my house!  That’s the day that the field for the Indy 500 is set.  After watching several practices during the week, you’re always wondering who will be there on Sunday, May 30, and who won’t.  The drivers and their teams work so hard to get their cars ready for this huge event, and we know what the weather can be like in Indianapolis in May!  I was scheduled to take an Indy 2-seater ride last Friday, but Mother Nature’s total cooperation wasn’t there that day, so I didn’t get to take my ride just yet.

Ana Beatriz

My job is so much fun during the month of May.  One of our biggest events of the year occurs the Tuesday before Race Day, and it is the annual Fastest Rookie Luncheon.  This occasion has been part of the Indy 500 tradition for more than 30 years now, and it celebrates the rookie driver who qualifies with the fastest time.  These drivers aren’t new to racing they are just new to the Indy 500. On Saturday, three of the seven rookie drivers qualified to be in the field, and Ana Beatriz was the fastest rookie at that time.  But Bump Day can change a lot of things! 

Mario Romancini

The fastest rookie that was who was honored today at the Fastest Rookie Luncheon was Mario Romancini, driving for Conquest Racing.  He qualified on Sunday at a faster average lap speed than Ana had on Saturday.  But because he didn’t qualify until Sunday, he will be starting two rows behind Ana on Race Day.  Mario was the honored guest, but the remaining five “newbies” to the Indy 500 were also introduced and recognized.  Who knows, maybe one of them will be taking a drink of ice cold milk in Victory Circle on Sunday!

Did Your Family Have Breakfast Today?

Heather Cupp, a Registered Dietitian working for Riley Hospital, is back for another guest blog sharing her experiences in the morning as a busy mom of two children. We hope that her ideas will you to ensure your childrend have a nutritious breakfast every single day!

The morning rush can be a hectic time of getting everyone ready and out the door.  All too often, breakfast is overlooked in this dash to work and school.  Children and parents alike skip this vital meal for the sake of saving time and/or having a few extra minutes of sleep.  We have all seen and heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and research has actually shown that kids perform better in school when they have it.  Also, we are better able to maintain our weight when we eat a nutritious breakfast.  Think about this:  if you are hungry is it easy to concentrate?  Are you more likely to overeat or make bad food choices when you do finally eat?

Set a good example for your child by eating breakfast and expecting them to do so as well.  We expect them to complete their homework and maintain their grades for their future.  Making sure they eat a healthy breakfast can make a difference in their health which, in turn, affects their future.  When serving breakfast, try to include many food groups to provide as many key nutrients as possible. 

Here are a few ideas to help with breakfast:

  • Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal:  Take a packet of cooked plain oatmeal. Add a little brown sugar, a dash of cinnamon & a dollop of canned pumpkin, then mix.  Yum!  Add a few chopped walnuts or a hard-cooked egg for some protein, 1 cup of low-fat milk to drink & a banana on the side.  Voilà! An easy meal with all 5 food groups.
  • Let your little one make their own fun breakfast trail mix with partial boxes of cereal, dried fruit & nuts.  Try this:  1 cup cheerios with ¼ cup dried cherries & ¼ cup of almonds.  Pair this with a glass of low-fat milk for an easy breakfast on the go!  Small bags of homemade trail mix can be made in advance for several days of quick & easy breakfasts!
  • Leftover pizza can be a healthy alternative to breakfast! 1 slice of veggie or cheese pizza coupled with a fresh apple can provide a variety of nutrients.
  • Healthier fast food breakfast?  An Egg McMuffin is a healthier alternate to breakfast fast food.  Stay away from juice, have apple slices on the side, & again you have 4 of the 5 food groups.  The key is to limit higher fat items like biscuits, croissants, bacon & sausage.
  • How about an easy yogurt parfait?  Try low-fat lemon yogurt with raspberries or vanilla yogurt with diced apples & cinnamon.  Add a slice of whole wheat toast or  English muffin on the side. 
  • Last, but definitely not least, is peanut butter & bananas.  Use this combo as a topper for bread, tortillas, or English muffins.  Add a glass of low-fat milk and once again you have a breakfast of champions!

Refuel at the Geist Half Marathon

We will be at the Geist Marathon with chocolate milk!

The Indy Mini Marathon just finished up, and the next race on the list is the Geist Half Marathon! The 3rd Running of the Geist Half Marathon & 5K takes place on Saturday, May 22, 2010. This boutique race has sold out every year, including this year with 6,500 runners and walkers! Proceeds benefit health and wellness programs in local schools. Participants benefit from the scenery–running over five bridges along the tree-lined winding course and the beautiful Geist Reservoir. We will have chocolate milk at the end waiting for the runners.  Buttercup, Dairy Association of Indiana’s mascot, will also make a special appearance.

The way you treat your body before, after, and in-between workouts can make a difference in maximizing your endurance, comfort, and potential. Remember a couple of things in between races: Refuel and hydrate!

An effective option for refueling your tired muscles is lowfat chocolate milk. The unique mixture of nutrients in lowfat chocolate milk makes this delicious beverage the ideal post-exercise choice. Also make sure you keep the carbs coming. Carbohydrates are essential for muscle recovery after strenuous exercise. Experts recommend eating as soon as tolerable after exercise. In addition, continue to eat foods that are rich in carbohydrates for several weeks following a race to replenish your carbohydrate stores.

Staying hydrated is important before, during, and after your race. Sweating is your body’s natural way of releasing heat from your hard-working muscles. However, during strenuous exercise, you can become dangerously dehydrated from too much water loss. Aim to minimize dehydration by drinking fluids during activities. Also when you sweat, you lose important electrolytes like sodium and potassium. Pizza, pretzels, and bananas are typical recover favorites that contain the necessary sodium and potassium to help your body rebalance. And, of course, don’t forget milk – it contains potassium and other minerals such as calcium that are also lost in sweat.

After the race is finished remember to congratulate yourself on a job well done and start preparing for your next competition!