Celebrate the 4th Annual International Day of Rural Women

By Kimmi Devaney

Farmers work hard year round to provide us with wholesome, nutritious food for your family. For many, this is a 24/7/365 job. However, let’s not forget about the women of the operation.

On many farms, women work side by side with their husbands and families. My Granny is a great example of this. She was a city girl from Tacoma, Washington, who married a dairy farmer from Enumclaw, Washington. My Grandpa worked at the mill and ran the farm. While he was at the mill, she would clean the barn, get things ready for the next milking and do anything around the farm that needed to be done. She even did this when she was pregnant with my mom, aunt and uncle. It took both of them to successfully run the farm. Today, my grandparents are in their 80s and while we don’t milk cows anymore, we still have the farm and cows to eat down the pastures. Granny spends much less time in the barn now, but she’s still the glue that holds our family together.

Why am I telling you this?

Rural women are an essential part of society. As you can see from Granny’s story, many farms could not survive without the help of both the husband and wife.

In fact, the world has been celebrating the International Day of Rural Women on October 15th every year since its creation in 2008. This day recognizes the role of rural women in enhancing agricultural and rural development, improving food security and eradicating rural poverty.

Television, radio, online, and print media broadcast or publish special features to promote the day. Panel discussions, research papers, and conferences are also held to review and analyze rural women’s role in society, particularly in areas such as economic improvement and agricultural development.

Other activities and events held to promote the day include:

  • Global exchange programs for women in agriculture.
  • The launch of fundraising projects to support rural women.
  • Expos and workshops showcasing rural women’s contribution to their societies.
  • Strategic meetings to present issues on topics, such as empowering women farmers, to policy makers.

Some world leaders inspired by this initiative previously proclaimed October 15th as International Rural Women’s Day, drawing special focus on the role of rural women in their countries.

Fall Fun on the Farm

By Kimmi Devaney

Now that summer is officially over, it’s time to put on a few more layers and find some outdoor family activities. Most of my favorite fall activities involve visiting farms. This time of year, several farms open their doors to the public for agritourism activities. Corn mazes, pumpkin patches, hay rides, kiddie games, animals—you name it, they have it. If you didn’t grow up on a farm, you definitely need to add this to your to-do list this month!

There is literally something for everyone. The kids will love visiting the baby animals, while you can learn more about agriculture and food and the great people who work hard to produce it.

Many of these farms also have a pumpkin patch. Halloween is just around the corner, so you may want to stock up now.

The corn maze is my favorite. My Dairy Princess advisor back home has one and it is always a blast. Check out the photo of a few of my fellow Dairy Princesses and me from the corn maze a few years ago. We had a great time navigating the maze and you will too!

The memories you will create with your family during your farm visit are priceless. And don’t forget about those Christmas card photos…this is the PERFECT photo op!

Here are two Indiana dairies worth checking out this fall:

Enjoy your farm visit, and don’t forget your camera!

Farming with Grandpa

Special Note: Today as our country remembers all of the lives changed that fateful day 10 years ago, we are thankful for the heroes then and now that protect our freedoms to be able to live out our dreams and follow our passions that are often passed down from those we love, like that of a grandparent.

By Kimmi Devaney

Thinking about my childhood brings back memories of showing cows, putting in hay, riding bikes through the pasture and hanging out with my grandparents. Those who know me know that I am very passionate about agriculture, specifically dairy farming. My Grandpa is the reason why. Farming is in his blood. It’s in all of ours.

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DigIN 2011

By Michelle Plummer

A perfect Sunday afternoon, 240 volunteers, 30 local Indiana Chefs, 11 Indiana Breweries, and 8 Indiana Wineries all converge at White River State Park in Downtown Indianapolis for DIG-IN  to celebrate the 2nd annual Farm to Fork festival!  This event highlights the farmers, producers and chefs, who grow, sell and use Indiana produce and meats.

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Time for U-Pick Farms

By Diane Ruyack

It is time to think about harvesting your own garden produce or checking out u-pick farms. This website will give you all the information you would need to pick your own tomatoes, peaches or blueberries that will be in season in August. There is nothing better than to pick your own fruit or veggies. It is also a great way to help your children learn where their food comes from. We are so isolated from the farm that most people have never been involved in agriculture. In this economy, freezing or canning your own food would be an economic savings.

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Top 10 Must Sees @ the Indiana State Fair

Enjoy this video recap: The top ten things you have to see and do next time you go to the fair!

State Fair Food…Yes, It IS possible to eat healthy.

That State Fair is just around the corner and it is filled with seventeen days of food and fun. So let’s talk about the food, which is one of the main reasons people attend the State Fair. Some people have their favorite stops and some people like to go for the most exotic, obscure food they can find. Sure, the State Fair is known for its greasy, fatty, and fried food but I think you can ALWAYS find a lighter side to anything.

Here are a couple of tips on how to eat a bit healthier at the fair:

Enjoy at least one indulgence. Part of the allure of a fair is the specialty foods, so don’t deprive yourself.

Don’t arrive starving. You might think you are ‘saving’ calories by not eating all day so you can splurge at the fair. But you will end up eating more than if you would have eaten a small snack beforehand.

Keep things small by sharing with your friends. An easy way to try out fun carnival food without going overboard is to split dishes with your friends.

There ARE healhy options at the fair.

Choose healthy when you can. Not all fair food is bad, but some is definitely better than others. Look for grilled items instead. Grilled corn on the cob, meat kabobs, and barbecue turkey legs are available at most fairs. I know at the Dairy Bar they are serving cottage cheese  and milk which is low fat and packed with nutrition.

Know what you are eating! Believe it or not if you eat horrible one day, it’s not the end of the world. You can eat a little less the next day and make sure you get in some physical activity. But you have to at least know you consumed too many calories in order to ‘fix’ it. Here are the approximate calories of some common fair food:

  • Turkey leg the size of a small baby: 1,050 calories
  • Krispy Kreme burger: About 1,500 calories
  • Cup of fries: 600 calories
  • Funnel cake: 600 calories
  • Pulled pork sandwich: 350 to 400 calories
  • Corn dog: 300 calories
  • Grilled chicken: 300 calories
  • Chicken kebab: 250 calories
  • 1 piece fudge: 150 calories
  • Bag of cotton candy: 150 calories
  • Frozen banana with chocolate: 150 calories
  • Corn on the cob: 50 calories; with butter, 150 calories

The fair is and always will be about food, but you can also focus on creating special memories with your family.