Celebrate National Nutrition & Ag Month

By Kimmi Devaney

It’s hard to believe it’s already March…2012 is flying by! This month is great for two reasons in particular: it’s Nutrition Month AND it’s Agriculture Month! While this gives us an ‘official’ reason to celebrate, those involved in both the nutrition and agricultural fields celebrate every day. It’s very fitting that we celebrate them together since farmers work hard every day to produce high-quality, nutritious products—regardless of whether they are dairy farmers, corn farmers or any other kind of farmer. Those in nutrition—such as dietitians—help the public make smart choices about what they eat. Both groups are essential in today’s society. Continue reading

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!

Super Bowl Snack Ideas

By Diane Ruyack

Super Bowl XLVI is less than a week away, and it’s time to start planning the menu!  Take some inspiration from the following game day statistics to either follow the trends or to take the food path less traveled with healthy and gourmet game day snacks.

  • Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest day of food consumption behind Thanksgiving.
  • 1,200 calories: Amount the average Super Bowl watcher will consume while snacking.
  • Football fans are expected to eat an estimated 69.6 million pounds of avocados during this year’s Super Bowl (mostly in guacamole).
  • .An astounding 14,500 tons of chips and 4,000 tons of popcorn are eaten on Super Bowl Sunday.

So let’s Grab every bowl in your cupboard and fill them up with healthy and nutritious Super Bowl snacks!  Start out popping popcorn and then add all kinds of toppings: Continue reading

Is there really more than corn in Indiana?

By Michelle Plummer

Sure! There is POPCORN in Indiana!

  • Did you know that Indiana ranks second in popcorn growing!
  • Did you know January 19, 2012 was National Popcorn day?  Popcorn Indiana did the day up right this year!
  • Did you even know there was a Popcorn Indiana?  Not familiar with Popcorn Indiana? They located just south-west of Bloomington.
  • Did you know that the Weaver Popcorn Company, based in Van Buren, Indiana, is one of the largest popcorn companies in the United States. Founded in 1928 by Ira E. Weaver, whose family still controls the company, it develops, grows, processes, packages, and ships a variety of popcorn products for sale around the world. Its customers include store chains around the world, as well as concessionaires, and international popcorn distributors.

Things to do with Popcorn:

Here are some great ways to use popcorn for the super bowl:

Nutrition Fun with Popcorn:

Popcorn is on the list of whole-grain foods included in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It is fourth on the list of most commonly consumed grains in the United States, after whole wheat, whole oats and whole-grain corn. That makes it a significant contributor to the grain and fiber intake of the average American. At least half of the six daily servings of grains recommended in the dietary guidelines should come from whole grains. According to a study published in the May 2008 issue of the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association,” popcorn eaters consume more than twice as many whole grains and more than 22 percent more fiber than people who don’t eat popcorn. Learn more.

During the Super Bowl there are at least 46 ways to enjoy popcorn.  What is your favorite way?  Psst… Check out our upcoming Twitter Party to get ready for the Super Bowl and a healthy new year!

You’re Invited to a Twitter Party

Party Topic

Join Mom it Forward ,the American Dairy Association of Indiana and our panel of experts as we discuss health, wellness, and physical activity! The party will be held on Tuesday January 31 from 9-11 ET (8CT, 7MT, 6PT). Click here to see details about the giveaway and enter for a chance to win.

Party Details

Hope to see you there!

Top 10 Memories from 2011

We had another busy year and made many memories.  It’s tough to choose just 10; but here, in no particular order, is my top 10 list:

Celebrating 80 years of nutrition education in Indiana through our Dairy Council.  Indiana dairy farmers are long time supporters of nutrition research and education for the health of Hoosiers.

Dining at the home of Jim Irsay!  We partner with the Colts to bring improved nutrition and fitness experiences to Indiana school students.  That partnership yielded an invitation that I was thrilled to accept and gave me a rare opportunity to chat with Mr. Irsay about our Fuel Up to Play 60 program.

Celebrating 100 years of Indy car racing at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Indiana dairy farmers and the racing fraternity have a special bond:  milk.  We produce it.  They drink it to celebrate winning the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race.  That’s why, in Indiana, we know that Winners drink milk!®

Helping our two dairy farmer milkmen get ready to present the famous bottle of milk in Victory Circle following the Indianapolis 500.  This year I was very close to the action!  How exciting!

Attending our annual Dairy Summit.  More than 250 registered dietitians and school nutrition professionals came to the conference to learn from experts about the new dietary guidelines, the benefits of flavored milk at school and chocolate milk as a sports recovery drink.

Visiting several dairy farms during the Kentuckiana Dairy Exchange in Indiana.  Each year, dairy farmers from Kentucky and Indiana get together to tour farms and swap ideas.  We have a varied and vibrant dairy industry in Indiana and it was great to spend some time on several fascinating farms.

Watching Diane Ruyack receive her 35-year service award at our annual meeting.  I’ve had the privilege to work with Diane for many years and was so grateful to see her be recognized for a long career sharing the good nutrition news about dairy products on behalf of Indiana’s dairy farmers.

Unveiling the cheese sculpture at the Indiana State Fair.  For several years, we’ve brought Sarah Kaufmann, cheese sculptor, to our great state fair to create a work of art from huge blocks of cheese delighting thousands of fair-goers!

Hosting Dairy Day at Victory Field.  We entertained Indiana dairy farmers at the beautiful ball park in June.  It was a great time for visiting and showcasing dairy at the ball game.

Announcing that 2012 is the Year of Dairy Cows at the Indiana State Fair!

National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week

By Kimmi Devaney

As we give thanks for our families, friends and good health, let’s not forget the less fortunate. Throughout the week of November 12-20 the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness are co-sponsoring their annual National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Throughout this time, a number of schools, communities and cities take part in a nationwide effort to bring greater awareness to the problems of hunger and homelessness.  Continue reading