The best use of a quarter

By Michelle Plummer

The drought is profoundly affecting American agriculture and dairy farmers are some of the hardest hit. Dairy farmers appreciate Americans understanding their situation, and recognize these are tough time s for everyone.  Consumers can show their support for dairy farmers by continuing to enjoy and purchase nutritious, and great tasting dairy products.

Dairy farmers don’t control the price of milk at the store and a higher cost at retail doesn’t mean farmers make more money, on average farmers receive 30% of the retail cost.  Thinking about all the farmers do every day to make sure they deliver a perfect product, that isn’t much money!  An 8-ounce glass of milk costs about a quarter and provides so much benefit.

At the American Dairy Association we have a slogan and it seems to never go out of style that Dairy is always in season!  Today I want to share three of my very favorite dairy recipes that are good for you and your wallet!  Just in time for the Fall Season.

Maple and Fruit Oatmeal

½ cup oats                                                                           1 cup milk

2 tablespoons maple syrup                                          ½ banana sliced

In microwave safe bowl combine oats and milk.  Place in microwave for 2 minutes on high; stir halfway through cooking time.  Remove from microwave and top with maple syrup and sliced bananas.  Delicious!  Additional toppers: Peanut butter and fruit, nuts, spices, wheat germ (the sky’s the limit, be creative!)

Creamy Mac and Cheese

2 tablespoons butter                                                      2 tablespoons onion

2 tablespoons flour                                                         2 cups milk

8 ounces of macaroni                                                     2 dashes each Worcestershire, tabasco, cayenne pepper

2 cups assorted cheese, cubed                                  1 cup cooked chicken

½ cup peas and carrots

Cook macaroni in boiling water until tender; drain.  Meanwhile, in pan the macaroni was cooked in add butter, and onion.  Sauté for 3 minutes, add flour and stir for 3 minutes.  Add milk and whisk until smooth and add the Worcestershire, tabasco, cayenne and cheese.  Cook until smooth.  Add macaroni and chicken and combine.  Lastly add peas and carrots.  Here is the decision — bake or stove top?  At our house I like stove top and others like the crunchy edges—either way if you bake it place contents in the pan to a prepared baking dish and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees F or until you see the crunchy edges.  You can also add spinach or red peppers or salsa…. just open the fridge and get a bit wild! 

Ole’ Quesadillas!

4- 7” flour tortillas                                                            16 ounce package of onion pepper medley

1 tablespoon taco seasoning                                       1 cup grated cheese, assorted mild and sharp

Salsa                                                                                      avocado slices

In large skillet place frozen onion pepper mixture and add taco seasoning plus ¼ cup water.  Cook until tender about 5 minutes and mixture is dry.  On griddle place the tortillas add ¼ of the pepper mixture to each and top with ¼ of cheese on half of the tortilla.  Flip the top over the mixture and griddle until golden then flip to second side and griddle until golden.  Remove from griddle and place on platters. Serve with salsa, taco sauce, sour cream or plain yogurt and avocado.  Using a pizza cutter cut each quesadilla into fourths and serve with a green salad topped with salsa!  OLE!

Farming with Grandpa

By Kimmi Devaney

It’s no secret I am passionate about the dairy industry. After all, this industry has given me so many joys and opportunities over the years. However, none of it would be possible without one special man in my life—my grandpa.

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A Day Gone to the Dogs- National Dog Day


August 26th – A day that has gone to the dogs! It is National Dog Day! This is a special day for dogs and dog lovers that is celebrated annually in the United States. I am an animal lover and especially love dogs. Gunther, my dog who should have his own reality show, has provided me with so much happiness.

He also causes me a little stress. He likes to get into the trash, ignores me when I say ‘Gunther come!’, eats whatever he can get is grubby little paws on, and the list goes on and on. He also will only eat his dog food if it is mixed with cottage cheese. I don’t blame him, because I do love cottage cheese plus it’s high in protein and calcium. (But he doesn’t know that- he is just being difficult.)

This little brown 30 pound ball of fur is a handful. This is one of the many reasons why I have an immense respect for dairy farmers. Not only does the average Indiana dairy farmer take care of  100 + cows that weigh about 1400 pounds a piece, they help produce a wholesome product for the Hoosier state! A dairy cow helps feed the world. Gunther eats my shoes.

What he does provide is great companionship and happens to be a great motivator to go for a run or walk. After all, dogs are man’s best friend, right? If you need a couple more reasons to have a dog let me rattle off some for you:

  • If you drop food on the floor- they will clean it right up!
  • They are always happy to see you.
  • They listen and provide unconditional love.
  • They help teach responsibility.

If you have always wanted to adopt a dog but just never found the right time to do so – today is the day!

Indiana Crowns 2012 Dairy Princess

By Kimmi Devaney

Being a dairy princess is so much more than just a tiara. It’s an opportunity to educate others about the dairy industry and to grow so much personally and professionally. For young ladies in the dairy industry, this is an honor many dream about since they are little girls.

On Tuesday July 24th, Indiana crowned a new dairy princess. 2012 Indiana Dairy Princess Annie Achen, 17, is the daughter of Craig and Cindy Achen of Ambia, Indiana. She was selected from an excellent group of nine candidates to represent Indiana dairy farmers throughout the next year.

Annie lives and works on her family’s 3,000 cow dairy in Benton County Indiana where she also assists with farm tours. Her family has been active exhibiting dairy cattle at county fairs through 4-H and FFA and at national shows with the Milking Shorthorn and Brown Swiss breeds. Her long-term career goal is to own and operate her own dairy farm somewhere in the Midwest.

As Indiana Dairy Princess, Annie will serve as an ambassador for the dairy industry, representing Indiana dairy farmers, at numerous events throughout her reign. Annie will also be actively involved in promoting dairy at the Indiana State Fair as we celebrate the Year of Dairy Cows August 3-19, 2012.

Raise a glass of milk and join us as we congratulate Annie and all the wonderful young ladies representing the dairy industry. Here’s to a great year!

Indiana’s 5th annual Brunch on the Farm, Saturday, June 23

Free breakfast and a behind-the-scenes look at modern dairy farming are on the menu at the American Dairy Association of Indiana’s 5th annual Brunch on the Farm, Saturday, June 23.

The event, in celebration of National Dairy Month, takes place from 9 am to 12 noon on the Willemsen Dairy Farm, 6615 W 500 N, Frankton.

Throughout the morning, representatives of the American Dairy Association and radio promotional partner WFMS will join members of the Willemsen Family for festivities – meeting and greeting guests, serving up brunch, handing out a variety of prizes, and leading farm tours for an up-close look at how delicious, nutritious dairy products are produced.

Some of the  brunch menu includes sausage egg and cheese biscuits, string cheese, yogurt, and, of course, ice cold milk.

Guests are asked to bring non-perishable food items for contribution to the Frankton Community Food Pantry.

For additional information about this June Dairy Month event, including directions to the Willemsen Dairy Farm, visit,

Celebrate June Dairy Month!

By Kimmi Devaney

June is Dairy Month! As you sit down to dinner tonight, raise a glass of milk to the hard working dairy farmers dedicated to providing you with nutritious dairy foods every day of the year. Dairy foods—such as milk, cheese and yogurt—provide nine essential nutrients that healthy bodies need every day, including calcium, vitamin D and protein.

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Meet the 2012 Rookie Milkman

By Duane Hill

Never in my life when I was a little boy milking cows would I have thought about the privilege of handing milk to the winning race team at the Indianapolis 500.  Hard work and desire have always paid off in my life in some surprising ways.

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