Meet the Troyers

Susan Troyer (and kids Anne & Crist)

Dairy Farmers

Goshen, IN

Q: Why did you get into the dairy business?

A: Susan: I like the cows and the flexibility to work full time as a Mom and a dairy farmer.  I get up early and do chores (feed, water, etc.) for the calves, heifers, chickens, sheep and horses; then I milk the cows and come back into the house to get children on the bus.  Some days I am busy with animal work all day until it is time to do the afternoon chores.   Some days I go to town for errands.  Or some days I go to school activities.  I also like to be active in the industry on various Dairy Boards as this keeps my mind busy!

I worked on the dairy farm at the University of Delaware.  I did my masters project at the dairy farm at Purdue.  I worked in Ag Extension. I married onto the farm.

 Q:    How does your family ensure your cows stay comfortable?

 A: Susan: We do chores (feeding, water, bedding, etc) twice a day, every day – even holidays or if we are sick! We have a vaccination program (just like for my children). The Veterinarian comes monthly for a routine check of the animals.

The cows sleep on sand bedding – like a day on the beach.  It is comfortable and resistant to bacterial growth so it is good for their legs and the udder health.

In the summer we have fans to keep the animals cooler.  In the winter we do extra bedding and feed to help keep them warm.

Q: What do you love most about being in the dairy industry?

A:     Anne:   Being around animals and getting to take care of them- getting the farm experience.  You get to be outside almost every day and have fresh air.  Also life lessons like “you all have to pitch in to get things done” and “you always have to try your best”.

Crist:   I like all the life lessons, “you don’t get anything by sitting around on your behind” and  “you’ve got to work for what you get”.

Susan:  The animals and most of the people I have met.  I take pride in producing a food that is so good for everyone.  I think it is so cool that the cow can take that feed/hay/grain/water and almost magically metabolize that into some of the most delicious treats ever – and the only leftover is fertilizer (manure) to grow more cow (and people) food!  Every morning when I am milking I have cheese to get me through – and a “little coffee in my milk” to give me a jump start!

Not All Snacks Are Created Equal!

By DeDe Hausmann

Let’s get real here.  When you think of snacks do you think of red, ripe delicious-tasting apples or a big chunk of chocolate?  As for me I’ll go for chocolate anytime over an apple EXCEPT when I know I need that nutritious apple, and I have recently had some mouth-watering chocolate.

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For The Love Of Chocolate

Oh yes, for the love of chocolate! Chocolate might be the number one favorite food in America. Are you a chocolate lover? Even if you aren’t chances are that you have given someone that you love chocolate as a gift. There are chocolate lover clubs, websites and mailing lists. It has been proven that chocolate enhances your mood and does reduce depression. Dark chocolate contains healthy antioxidants. Like we NEEDED a reason to eat chocolate?!? And, of course, what goes amazing with chocolate? (…yes, wine does go perfect…) But milk is a close tie! You can feel good about eating your chocolate and drinking a glass of milk that is packed with nutrition. If you love chocolate try chocolate milk, which has the same nine essential nutrients as white.

It would be PERFECT if chocolate grew on trees wouldn’t it? Well an important ingredient used to make chocolate does grow on trees, the cacao bean. These valuable beans grow inside of large pods that sprout from the trunk of a large tree.

This summary of chocolate terminology will familiarize you with some of the most common chocolate varieties.

Milk Chocolate: This consists of at least 10% chocolate liquor (“raw” chocolate pressed from carob nibs) and 12% milk solids combined with sugar, cocoa butter and vanilla.

Sweet and Semi-Sweet Chocolate are made from 15-35% chocolate liquor, plus sugar, cocoa butter, and vanilla. Vagueness of the two terms causes them to commonly be called “dark” or “plain” chocolate.

Bittersweet and Bitter Chocolate: Bittersweet usually contains 50% chocolate liquor and has a distinct “bite” to the taste. Bitter or unsweetened chocolate liquor also is used in baking and is also referred to as “bakers” chocolate.

White Chocolate: White chocolate gets its name from the cocoa butter it contains, but does not contain chocolate liquor or any other cocoa products. By law, white chocolate must contain a minimum 20% cocoa butter, 14% milk solids, and a maximum of 55% sugar.

Hershey’s is one of the chocolate ‘greats.’ You can learn how they make chocolate and much more on their site!

Taste The Rainbow Of Fruits & Veggies! (Red for Heart Month!)

I am sure you have heard it before, “Eat fat least five servings of fruits and veggies a day.”  You might not have heard what fruit or what vegetable? Do they have to be a certain color?  Eating fruits and vegetables of a variety of different colors can provide you the best all-around health benefits. Each color contains unique health components that are essential to our health.

Eating plenty of healthy vegetables and fruits helps prevent heart disease and strokes, control your blood pressure, prevent some types of cancers, and the list goes on! The phrase “eating a rainbow” of fruits and vegetables is a simple way of remembering to get as much color variety in your diet as possible, so that you can maximize your intake of a broad range of nutrients.

All fruit and vegetables count – fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice. Whole fruits, however, usually contain more fiber. The colors of fruits and vegetables give you a hint as to what vitamins and nutrients you are eating. Eat all colors to make sure you get all the nutrients you need for optimal health

Since it is Heart Month and Valentine’s Day was just a week ago, let’s chat about RED fruits and vegetables!   They contain nutrients such as lycopene and phytochemicals. These nutrients reduce the risk of some types of cancer, lower blood pressure and reduce LDL cholesterol levels. An apple a day really might keep the doctor away! 

Try these red fruits & vegetables:

  • Tomatoes
  • Red bell pepper (good source of beta-carotene)
  • Radishes
  • Beets
  • Papaya
  • Raspberries
  • Pomegranate

Don’t forget to eat a variety of foods from all the food groups every day, including lean protein, whole grains and low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt. For more info and tips visit

Fuel Up to Play 60 Update

By Mary Nicholson

Well, the big game is over, this NFL season is history, but Fuel Up to Play 60 continues to reach more than 850,000 Indiana students on a regular basis.  That means 73% of Indiana students are in schools that participate in Fuel Up to Play 60 at some level.  So what’s been going on?

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Presidential Trivia

PresidentsBy Jenni Purcell

On our blog we love to share information of all kinds and usually we give you tons of info on food and recipes. But today we are going to ‘chat up’ Presidents. Happy Presidents Day weekend! In the United States, Presidents Day is always celebrated on the third Monday of February.

I have been accused of having a strange sense of humor, but I am not alone!  Some of you out there would like to take part and remember our former presidents for the silly things they have ‘accomplished’.  After taking a look around the internet I found some great facts about our former commander in chiefs.

Let me invade your mind with some meaningless, but interesting, trivia about our presidents:

  • JFK: Of course he has inspired a generation but did you know he got into Harvard despite a shoddy application?
  • FDR: Made phenomenal changes to our nation BUT he had a movie credit!
  • Abraham Lincoln will always be remembered for ending slavery. Not everyone knows he won a wrestling match.
  • Ulysses S. Grant, our 18th President, actually received a speeding ticket ON A HORSE?!? You would have thought he could have talked his way out of that one!
  • Thomas Jefferson had two pet bears! (Check out this website for more info!)

Here are a few more if you are still wanting some more fun Presidential Facts to get you through the weekend.

  • George Washington donated some of his own silver spoons and forks when our new country needed silver and gold to make money.
  • Warren G. Harding once gambled and lost all the White House china on one hand of cards.
  • Andrew Johnson family was too poor to send him to school. His wife taught him to read and write.

Celebrate Presidents’ Day this year by learning fun historical facts and passing them along!

Keeping Your Skin Hydrated

By Kimmi Devaney

Many of us know that it’s important to stay hydrated, especially during warmer weather. But did you know that colder weather actually increases the chances of dehydration? According to a study at the University of New Hampshire, colder weather affects the release of a hormone responsible for sensing thirst. So, since we don’t feel thirsty, we usually do not drink enough fluids.

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