So what does it mean to Indiana dairy farmers now that their year in the Indiana State Fair spotlight has begun? Paul Mills says it’s an honor that the focus is on dairy during the Year of Dairy Cows.
“It’s real good to be the focus this year,” he said. “All of the efforts that go into making nature’s most nearly perfect food are being displayed now along with the care that we give our animals clear through to the preparation of the food that people enjoy. It’s an honor to be represented at the state fair this year.”
Dairy farmers have the opportunity to talk one on one with fair-goers this year, and Mills says it’s a good chance to talk about the consistency of delivering products and their ability to meet challenges like this year’s crisis brought on by drought.
“I think that we’re going to show people that dairy farming will prevail even in dry weather and that cows can adapt to different feeds. We’re going to be trying new feeding opportunities. They’re going to have to be considered opportunities because there’s no choice in it this year, but we have to be flexible this year and I think we’re going to be showing people that we can survive what is sent our way.”
General Manager of Milk Promotion Services of Indiana, Deb Osza, says there are three messages they are promoting at the fair: milk is good for you, dairy cows are good for the economy, and dairy farmers take good care of their animals and the land. Osza explains some of the ways they’re reaching out with those messages.
“In the cattle barns, the west pavilion, we have exhibits that allow fairgoers to actually experience the comfortable beds that cows sleep on. We’ll have many food demonstrations in the DuPont Food Pavilion featuring dairy foods, and you’ll have an opportunity to learn about the nutrients in milk and dairy products, and also you’ll have an opportunity to win dairy products for an entire year when you come visit us at the DuPont Food Pavilion.”
And of course there is the popular dairy bar which serves some 60,000 milkshakes and 40,000 sandwiches each year. They’re prepared to serve even more of those this year.[audio:https://www.hoosieragtoday.com//wp-content/uploads//2012/08/Indiana-dairy-at-the-state-fair.mp3|titles=Indiana dairy at the state fair](pictured: Paul Mills sings the National Anthem at the Indiana Pork ham breakfast Friday; Indiana Soybean’s Hannah Brescher is excited about this year’s dairy theme; Mills at the DuPont Food Pavilion dairy display)