Indiana Milk pros ready for 500The dairy professionals who will deliver the milk for the 101st running the Indianapolis 500 have taken different paths to their race month representation of the American Dairy Association, Indiana. Joe Kelsay is the veteran milkman and the rookie this year is Kim Minich from LaPorte.
“My husband and I started in 2009 when we came back to join his family on the farm, and the farm has been there since 1909,” she said. “We milk about a thousand cows, three times a day.” On her change in lifestyle she said, “It’s been great. I really enjoy it and I can’t imagine doing anything else now that we’re there.”
Minich was recognized as the Indiana Dairy Producer’s ‘Outstanding Young Dairy Producer’ in 2015. Kelsay on the other hand has been at it for many years just south of Indianapolis.
“We have a 500-cow dairy in Johnson County, Indiana. We milk three times a day. We farm a couple thousand acres of corn, soybeans and wheat, and my brother and I are the 6th generation to be back on our farm. We also are open for farm tours to tell the story of agriculture to our neighbors.”
Kelsay and Minich have now begun the promotional tour ahead of the May 28th 500 mile race, and HAT peppered them with questions Tuesday from 2nd graders who are learning about the melding of Indiana’s racing and dairy cultures. Kim was asked by Esther how they’re chosen to give the milk at the race, and what happens if you have to go to the restroom at the end of the race? Would they wait for you?
“That is a great question Miss Esther!” she replied. “I’m the American Dairy Association of Indiana board, so they take turns. They called earlier this year to ask if I’d be interested and I said of course. As far as the bathroom break…”
For that answer and all of the Q&A, listen here to the questions from Mrs. Pfeiffer’s 2nd grade class at Cumberland Elementary in West Lafayette:Meet-the-2017-Indy-500-Milk-People1
They’re participating in the Cumberland 500 with the other 2nd grade classes, attempting to collectively read 500 books per class during the month of May. They’ll celebrate with a glass of milk when they cross that finish line.
This year Kelsay hands the drink of milk to the winning driver and Minich then hands milk to the winning team owner and winning chief mechanic. Last year’s Rookie, Kelsay was able to witness Alexander Rossi take his historic drink of milk as the winner of the 100th running of the Indianapolis 500.