It’s another busy day at the Indiana State Fair and fittingly on Farmers Day, Indiana Farm Bureau is heavily involved. Donations at their Old-Fashioned Pancake Breakfast will benefit the Indiana FFA Foundation. Then there are interactive activities all day long in the Farm Bureau building along with the annual Taste from Indiana Farms which continues Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
INFB 2nd Vice President Isabella Chism says this sampling event is great at connecting farmers and consumers.
“It’s so much fun just to be here and talk to the general public about where their food comes from and let them try some things that maybe they’ve never tried before. One of the things I’m looking at right now is lamb, and a lot of people are afraid to buy lamb because they’ve never had it. Here we give them a sample of lamb, it’s a small bite, and most of them are willing to taste it. So it’s a good experience to expose everyone who comes through to agriculture.”
Many Indiana commodity groups are represented, but if you’ve attended in previous years the samples will be different.
“We keep the commodities the same every year,” Chism told HAT, “but within that commodity as you know there’s several different things, like vegetables. This year we’ve got tomatoes. Red Gold has been gracious enough to donate tomatoes to us and so over there they’re sampling bruschetta. Then with dairy we have mac and cheese, so trying to get people to think about all the different things that dairy would go into. Pork has a display of other products made with different parts of a pig.”
Old 45 rpm records and gelatin are among the display items containing pig byproducts. Take the taste tour on the north side of the fairgrounds and it becomes clear, Indiana produces a large variety of products.
“We tend to get overwhelmed looking at California and Michigan and say they grow everything, but we grow a lot in Indiana. We might not be the #1 producer of apples for example, but we have a rich supply of apples and we show that in our fruit display sampling applesauce this year.”
The samples are free through Thursday at 5 PM in the Farm Bureau Building, which also offers free popcorn throughout the fair.