It’s All Over… My Time at the Dairy Council & Fairs That Is!

Written by guest blogger, Jessica Stoscup, Ball State University Dietetic Intern.

Throughout the past four weeks I have gotten to experience many different things, from being on the radio to going to my first county fair there has never been a dull moment. One of the last opportunities I had was to visit the Indiana State Fair.

Arriving at the fair, we were just in time to see the unveiling of the 1500 pound cheese sculpture. There was a huge crowd eagerly waiting to see the completed work of art including Buttercup, the Indiana Dairy Council’s mascot, and Blue, the Indianapolis Colts mascot. Upon unveiling, cameras clicked galore!!  Everyone wanted a picture with the cheese depicting the Fuel Up to Play 60 school wellness program. After about an hour the crowd dispersed, Buttercup and Blue left, but that didn’t stop a constant flow of people coming into the Our Land Pavilion to see the display.  Everyone kept asking us where the cheese sculpture was and we ushered them around the corner.  Before leaving the dairy exhibit though, guests were thrilled to pick up dairy recipes, coloring pages, and the cheese shaped jar opener.  What seemed like hundreds, people said that they needed a new jar opener and the fact that is was shaped like Swiss cheese made it even better.  Many families and fair goers also had the opportunity to learn more about the Fuel Up to Play 60 program and many took the time to answer some quick questions on our quiz board about the program.

Ever try a CHOCOLATE PIG? I know I hadn’t!  The recipe was developed because the theme of the fair this year was, the Year of Pigs! This dish consisted of vanilla custard with chocolate sauce, toasted almonds, and yes, bacon bits.  When I was first handed the dish, I timidly poured a little bit of the bacon/almond mixture and took my first bite.  It was so good; the mixture of sweet, salty, and creamy filled my mouth.  I ended up pouring the rest of the bacon and almond mixture on.  For all you skeptics, you’ve got to try it!!!!

Later that evening, I got to ride on American Dairy Association of Indiana’s “dairy” float.  Joined by the Dairy Princess and two other Dairy Council employees, we road on the float, which included a barn and a cow riding a racecar through the fairgrounds. Along the parade route tons of people waved back, and some even yelled that they love milk and drink it everyday!  Elles Niessen, the new dairy princess, made this experience so much fun.  She taught me how to wave to crowds and calmed down any nerves I had. She’s always willing to talk to kids and was looking forward to working in the Dairy Bar. I can’t wait to see what she does during her reign this year and further on in life!

Thanks to everyone at the Dairy & Nutrition Council of Indiana who helped make my 4 week internship so memorable!

Legacy of a Dutch Indiana Dairy Princess

Hi, this is Elles Niessen, a junior at Indiana University in the nursing program and the 2010 Indiana Dairy Princess.  You’re probably wondering why a nursing student is your new Indiana Dairy Princess, but I have always lived on a farm.  I guess you can say that, “I was born and raised a dairy girl!” Born in 1990, in the Netherlands, my parents owned a dairy farm of 100 cows in Belgium, and when I was nine years old my family moved to Indiana to expand our farming business.  Now, we live in Lewisville, Indiana, with a herd of 2000 dairy cows and 1500 acres to farm.  Yes, I have had to haul manure, bottle feed calves, vaccinate cows and calves, bale hay and straw, and many more things on the dairy farm to help out!  However, I’m not complaining because farming has made me who I am today and that includes great work ethics.  But, in celebration of it being “What will be your legacy?” Month, I will share with you what I hope my legacy will be.

My legacy has started by being Indiana’s first Dutch Dairy Princess and a one of a kind type of girl.  It will continue by educating the public on where dairy farmers’ hearts truly stand, and in case you didn’t know, that’s by providing great animal care for their herds and producing a wholesome product for their community.  I will accomplish this task of educating consumers by using the campaign I have developed.  My “Dairy Go Green” campaign symbolizes three arrows resembling how dairy farmers have been and still are contributing to an evolving world headed towards a “Go Green” status.  I created my own logo for visual learners to represent each arrow in a dairy type of manner.  The first arrow stands for REDUCING the use of commercial fertilizer with natural manure, but dairy farmers are doing more than that.  They are also reducing all resources leading to a reduction in the carbon footprint which benefits the environment. The second arrow represents the REUSE of sand and water, benefiting the cows comfort levels.  The third arrow depicts RECYCLING bi-products from human food companies.  These products can be used for the dairy cows’ balanced and nutritious diet which a nutritionist analyzes monthly.  All of these factors of the “Dairy Go Green” campaign impact the cows’ diet, comfort levels, and animal care allowing them to produce high quality, fresh milk!

After leaving my mark with my “Dairy Go Green” campaign, I will continue my legacy by answering all consumer questions and being as helpful as I can in weakening myths and supporting facts.  In addition, I’ll work to clarify the truth in controversial dairy topics and build strong relationships with my community and the public.  I hope to be known for who I am and my talents by sharing my hands on personal experience.  If there is something I have not yet tried in the dairy industry, I’ll make every effort to do so in order that I can share that experience with others. For example, I had to try the fried butter at the Indiana State Fair!

Thank you to everyone who supports the dairy industry, and feel free to ask me any questions that you have in regards to what we do, how we do it, or why we do it!

Indiana’s Family of Farmers Invites You to the State Fair!

You may have met us at last year’s Indiana State Fair, where we, Indiana’s farmers, were identifying ourselves as members of the IN Crowd. However, we have decided that “Indiana’s Family of Farmers” better represents who we are and let’s you know exactly who you are hearing from. If you’d like to know more about us and keep in touch, visit us at on Facebook at For now, we want to be sure you know about all of the great things we are doing at this year’s great Indiana State Fair which runs until August 22!

Food for Thought Recipe Trail
Indiana’s Family of Farmers are hosting the Food for Thought Recipe Trail at the Indiana State Fair this year. You can collect recipe cards from all eight locations on the Recipe Trail around the Fairgrounds, (maps will be available), bring them to the final destination-the Food for Thought display at the FFA Pavilion and win a prize for just completing the trail (while supplies last). Then, register for the daily (whole ham giveaways) and grand prizes ($500 in free groceries (1) or sets of tickets (2) to see celebrity chefs, Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain live). For more specific information, visit Indiana Dairy’s Winners Drink Milk blog.


Culinary Opportunities
Be sure to check out the Dairy Bar, Pork Tents, and Beef Tents while you are at the Fair. These all feature products raised by Indiana farmers. Often, those same farmers will be serving the food in those tents too! Be sure to check out this year’s Signature Fair Food – the Garbage Burger – being served at all 3 of the Indiana Pork Tents!

Indiana Pork presents the Pig Art Gallery
Remember the cow statues in Chicago a few years ago? Indiana Pork and Sheridan-based JBS United are teaming up this year to present a gallery of Indiana pigs, artistically decorated to reflect unique themes in the Hoosier State. The gallery will also feature Harley, the official Indiana Pork pig who resides outside the Lt. Governor’s office at the Statehouse. They will be displayed in the Pioneer Our Land Pavilion.

ISDA Normandy Booth
Join Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) for family fun and information on how Indiana agriculture benefits every Hoosier, every day from the quality of your food, to the quality of your life, to ensuring a sustainable future for us all.

Wonder Trail sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau
Kids can travel the Wonder Trail around the fairgrounds to learn about agriculture and earn a prize at the end.

Indiana Wine Council Booth
There will be information on Indiana’s 48 wineries and our Signature Wine and Grape, Traminette, in the Ag/Hort Building.  Award winning wine from the Indy International Wine Competition will be on display and folks can learn about the new Indiana Winery Guide free IPhone app!

Follow Me Barn Tours
Tours, which are sponsored by Indiana Farm Bureau, will leave the Farm Bureau Building daily and will rotate between the swine, cattle, sheep, poultry and horse barns. Tours are free and offer a unique opportunity for the whole family. To find out more or to register in advance, visit

And much, much more!

Check us out on Facebook at and on Twitter at!

Fill’er Up at the Only Drive-Thru Offering Breakfast & Biofuels

Join the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) and detour over to the Indiana State Fair on Friday, Aug. 13 from 6–8 a.m. for the 15th Annual World’s Largest Drive-Thru Breakfast! With help from the Indiana Beef Council, the Indiana State Poultry Association, Milk Promotions Services of Indiana, and the Indiana Corn Marketing Council for just $3 you can receive a beef and egg burrito, coffee, juice or milk,  a fair ticket redeemable Monday, August 16 – Friday, August 20  and a gallon of E10, ethanol-blended fuel. E10 is compatible in any vehicle and is available to the first 400 cars compliments of CountryMark and Co-Alliance. Proceeds from the event go toward the 4-H Education Complex renovations on the Indiana State Fairgrounds. And in honor of the 2010 State Fair Year of Pigs, Governor Mitch Daniels is scheduled to pick up his breakfast on his motorcycle on his “hog” (aka Harley motorcycle) around 6:45 a.m. on his way to the State House.  

A few facts on the participating agriculture groups:


  • In Indiana, there are >19,000 premises registered for cattle production with a total 960,000 head of cattle.
  • Cattle production supports farm retail stores, pharmaceutical companies, equipment dealers and feed suppliers in almost every county in the state.
  • 29 cuts of beef labeled as lean by the USDA provide the #1 source for Protein, Zinc & Vitamin B12 in our diet.


  • Indiana’s poultry industry ranks 1st in the country for commercial duck production.
  • Indiana’s poultry industry ranks 2nd in the country for egg-type chicken hatching.
  • Indiana’s poultry industry ranks 3rd in the U.S. for egg layers (chickens that lay eggs) producing 6.4 billion eggs a year.
  • Indiana’s poultry industry ranks 6th in meat turkey production.
  • In 2008, Indiana’s poultry industry had a direct economic impact to our state’s economy of $1.3 trillion.


  • Indiana is ranked 2nd nationally in regular & low-fat ice cream production.
  • Milk offers a powerful package of calcium and 8 other essential nutrients for you & your family to enjoy for just pennies an ounce!
  • Milk & dairy products are among the most tested and regulated foods in the country.
  • In 2009, Indiana ranked 14th in milk production with 3.38 billion pounds of milk valued at $453.3 million.


  • Indiana is a national leader in renewable resources, including developing the next generation of ethanol.
  • Bioenergy is making a significant contribution to the Hoosier economy with current production in ethanol and its byproducts worth $1.3 billion at current prices.
  • There are now >130 E85 pumps dispensing 85% ethanol blended fuel throughout the state. To learn more about biofuels or to find out if your car is compatible with E85 visit

Win $500 in FREE Groceries at Indiana State Fair

Indiana’s Family of Farmers invites State Fairgoers to follow the Food for Thought Recipe Trail

Indianapolis — Indiana State Fair attendees are invited to follow the Food for Thought Recipe Trail presented by Indiana’s Family of Famers–and win! Collect recipe cards from all eight locations on the Recipe Trail around the Fair grounds, (maps will be available), bring them to the final destination—the Food for Thought display at the FFA Pavilion and win a prize for just completing the trail (while supplies last). Then, register for the daily and grand prizes.

In honor of the Year of Pigs theme at this year’s State Fair, the Recipe Trail will ham it up with daily ham giveaways. In addition, folks can register for three grand prizes of $500 in free groceries or sets of tickets to see celebrity chefs, Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain live at Clowes Memorial Hall on Sept. 30. Grand prizes will be awarded at the end of the State Fair.

Recipe card locations:

  1. Indiana Beef Council – Pioneer Our Land Pavilion
  2. Indiana Pork Producers – Pioneer Our Land Pavilion
  3. Indiana State Poultry Association –Pioneer Our Land Pavilion
  4. Milk Promotion Services of Indiana – Pioneer Our Land Pavilion
  5. Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) – Normandy Barn
  6. Indiana Farm Bureau – Farm Bureau Building
  7. Indiana Corn Marketing Council/ Indiana Soybean Alliance – Biofuels Mobile Learning Center
  8. Indiana Humanities Council’s Food for Thought Exhibit – FFA Pavilion


“Food impacts all of our lives every day. The partnership with the Indiana Humanities Council for the Food for Thought display has allowed us to be part of new conversations and events,” said Joe Kelsay, Indiana agriculture director for the Indiana State Department of Agriculture. “This has been a tremendous opportunity to share the perspective of Indiana farmers with consumers, talk directly through their personal experience and connect the dots between farms and the food that is grown in Indiana.”

The Food for Thought recipe cards will feature a recipe highlighting Indiana’s commodities such as pork, beef, poultry and dairy along with an Indiana wine pairing. On the flip side of the cards, State Fairgoers will meet a featured Indiana farmer and read a personal food story from their family.

“By taking our Food for Thought exhibit on the road to cities all over Indiana, we’ve engaged in great conversations with Hoosiers about the importance of food and agriculture to our state.” said Keira Amstutz, Indiana Humanities Council president and CEO. “We look forward to continuing the conversation with State Fairgoers about food culture, regional must-eats, family traditions and of course, Indiana’s Family of Farmers.”

Learn more about other Food for Thought events, recipes and additional information at

Indiana’s Family of Farmers was formed in 2009. Its purpose is to bring awareness to consumers on how Indiana agriculture benefits every Hoosier, every day-from the quality of their food, to the quality of their life, to ensuring a sustainable future for all of us. The participating Indiana’s Family of Farmers groups include the Indiana State Department of Agriculture, Indiana Soybean Alliance, Indiana Pork Producers, Indiana Beef Council, Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, Indiana Sheep Association, Indiana Corn Marketing Council, Indiana State Poultry Association, Indiana Horse Council, Indiana Wine Grape Council and Indiana Farm Bureau.

Chocolate Pigs Starring at the Indiana State Fair!

It’s hard to believe that today, August 6th, begins the Year of Pigs at the 2010 Great Indiana State Fair! From corn on the cob to corn dogs, elephant ears to chocolate pigs the fair offers everyone a day of fun, enjoyment, and a bit of nostalgia. Not to mention there is always that one new piece of excitement!

For the die-hard Dairy Bar diners you have enjoyed the Moose Tracks hand dipped ice cream, been amazed by the gooey elasticity of Indiana made Gouda grilled cheese sandwich, and this year — you’ll be raving over the chocolate pig.  Yes, as our tribute to the Year of Pigs the Dairy Bar has developed a custard dessert that is topped with crispy smoked bacon bits, crunchy roasted almonds, and rich chocolate syrup!  This custard dessert has something for everyone. It will excite all of your taste buds, and is for all ages.  Just ask for the Chocolate Pig and a great deal for $2.50!

There are other great nutritious food choices at the fair: roasted corn on the cob dipped in another dairy favorite, butter; Red Gold Tomato juice; Indiana Pork’s award winning Garbage Burger; and a Hoosier favorite from the Beef Cattleman’s Association, the ribeye steak sandwich.

However, I would be remised as a Dairy Bar fan if I didn’t tell you that the American Dairy Association of Indiana provides the best family meal value on the premise!  A 12-ounce glass of deliciously ice cold milk is only 50 cents!  Creamy and low-fat cottage cheese is also only 50 cents a serving.  Grilled cheese (everyone’s favorite) be it on white, wheat, or rye is a mere $2.50 each, and they are a healthy and tasty treat!  From fried mozzarella sticks with marinara, cups of yogurt, apple slices, milk shakes that require a spoon, and the best premium hand-dipped ice cream in six luscious flavors– there really is no place like the Dairy Bar during the Indiana State Fair! Can you think of an easier and tastier way to enjoy your 3-Every-Day of Dairy? I bet not!

See you at the Fair!

A Fairy in a Dairy: Real Experiences of an Indiana Dairy Princess


Audrie Koester, 2009 Indiana Dairy Princess

Written by Audrie Koester about her experiences as the 2009 Indiana Dairy Princess and how they related to Lucy Nolan’s book, “A Fairy in a Dairy.” 

On a windy October morning, I drove to the Kelsey Dairy Farm in anticipation of the arrival of the ‘Fairy in the Dairy.’  Little girls dressed in their own fairy costumes poured outof vans and cars ready to explore the farm.  The girls piled onto straw bales and listened while I read “A Fairy in a Dairy” by Lucy Nolan.  In the story, Pixie, the farmer’s favorite cow, is secretly a dairy godmother saving the town from a terrible toothpick factory.  She leaves brie in bathtubs and mozzarella in mailboxes along with other dairy treats to help the town realize how special it is.  After the story, each girl received her own magic wand and a surprise guest appeared.  Pixie in her tutu and all was ready to lead the line of girls in through the barns.   Pixie also saved the day by teaching the girls, mothers, and fathers the importance of getting 3-A-Day. 

Through the past year, I have felt just like Pixie saving Buttermilk Hollow.  Only this time, I was saving tired and thirsty Indy 500 Mini Marathon runners from exhaustion.   Along with the ladies from Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, we passed out 10,000 chugs of Prairie Farms Chocolate milk.  I could not seem to open the packs of bottles fast enough.  As soon as the runners eyes saw what was in our hands, their tired faces turned into bright smiles.   Many knew the importance of refueling with chocolate milk, but I was happy to share my knowledge with anyone who had a chocolate milk question.

Later in May we traveled back to the heart of Indiana.  Decorated in cow spots and checkered flags, the Indianapolis Rookie Luncheon drew a crowd to award the Fastest Rookie of the Year for the Indianapolis 500.  The driver seated at my table, Takuma Sato, was eager to learn about dairy farming and how to milk a cow.  After the luncheon, our group traveled to Gasoline Alley.  Acting like Pixie, it was our job surprise the pit crews with cheese baskets and bring the joy of dairy to the drivers.  We could tell each driver was hoping to end the race with an ice cold glass of milk.

In the beginning of July, my mom and I headed back to Indy for dairy promotion.  Exhausted from the heat and a long work week, Indianapolis workers peaked out windows overlooking the downtown circle not expecting to see Buttercup and ice cream sundaes.  The Ice Cream Social on the Circle was drawing a crowd, and many loosened their ties to get a taste of the sweet treat.  Buttercup and I smiled as children with chocolate smeared faces came to give us a hug.  Ice cream was the perfect way to cool down from the work week and spend time with family.

Traveling 3,350 miles across Indiana has been an experience I will never forget.  I would like to thank everyone at MPSI and my mother for taking care of me along the way.  Although my journey ended last week as I passed the tiara to the 2010 Indiana Dairy Princess, Elles Niessen, I hope to find more unique ways to keep the ‘Fairy in the Dairy’ alive.

Audrie Koester