The Indiana State Fair’s Year of the Farmer is here. In recent years, other than the Coliseum celebration last year, an Indiana farm commodity has been featured in the fair theme. This year those who grow and produce the commodities are featured as the fair and the state honor Hoosier farmers.
“Thanks to Dow AgroSciences for helping to put it all together for us, and really it is a way to reflect and celebrate what the farmers do for us every single day by ending up being able to buy food in the grocery store or the restaurant and put it on our tables at home,” said Cindy Hoye, Indiana State Fair executive director. She explained that each day a different farmer or farm family will be featured at events around the fairgrounds and at the Glass Barn at 2:30 PM. Consumers will have a chance to interact with the farmer at that time.
“I’ve had a chance to interact with some of them,” Hoye said, “and they come from very small production, maybe a 10 acre farm, to 15,000 acres of corn and soybeans, so it’s a wide variety of unique urban farming to production farming. What’s really exciting now is to hear them talk about how excited they are to be honored and recognized and come to the fair.”
Hoye told HAT the Indiana State Fair board, commission and staff always want to improve the fair and facilities, and the most noticeable improvement this year is a new plaza area in front of Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
“I think that’s going to become a hub, a gathering place for people. The other thing we’ve done is to take what used to be the food pavilion and turn that into Indiana Tourism’s Harvest Pavilion. It will have can-struction, the Amaizing Maize exhibit that used to be at the state museum, seed survivor, and we’ve got a Lego farm which is a must see for people with small kids to old kids. In the Ag Hort building Purdue Extension has stepped up with new programming, new locations for stages and exhibits. I think people will find it really fun and attractive.”
And she is looking forward to the free stage this year where fairgoers will enjoy an even higher level of free entertainment. Upon entry to the fair visitors will receive that day’s schedule with a map, and the featured farmer of the day pictured on the front. The first featured farmer is swine farmer Valerie Duttlinger from Spencer County.
The other featured farmers are:
- Paul and Diane, Jeremy Russell—Sheep; Eaton, Delaware County; Saturday, August 8
- Dale and Lisa Koester—Corn, soybean and wheat; Wadesville, Posey County; Sunday, August 9
- Mike and Susan Shuter—Beef; Frankton, Madison County; Monday, August 10
- Phil Overdorf—Chicken, eggs and turkey; Tipton, Tipton County; Tuesday, August 11
- Jerry and Paige, Jason and Alison McClure— Apples, produce, wine; Peru, Miami County; Wednesday, August 12
- Maggie Goeglein Hanna—Urban farmer, Indianapolis, Marion County, Thursday, August 13
- David Lash—Corn and soybean; Mentone, Kosciusko County; Friday, August 14
- Dean and Anita Stumler—Pumpkin; Fredericksburg, Washington County; Saturday, August 15
- Luann Troxel—Dairy; Hanna, LaPorte County; Sunday, August 16
- Karlanea and Daryl Brown—Aquaculture; Fowler, Benton County; Monday, August 17
- Dan Wehr—Trees/hardwood; Jasper, Dubois County; Tuesday, August 18
- Doug Morrow—Corn and soybean; Marion, Grant County; Wednesday, August 19
- David, Mary, Adam, and Aaron Howell—Tomato; Middleton, Delaware County; Thursday, August 20
- Larry Wappel, Sr. ,Eric and Larry Wappel, Jr.—Mint; San Pierre, Starke County; Friday, August 21
- Cathy and Ashley Richards, Produce; Greenwood, Johnson County; Saturday, August 22
- Ed Bell—Strawberries and fruit; Hagerstown, Wayne County; Sunday, August 23