Fall Fun on Indiana Farms: We’re Having Pork from a Real Pig?

This past weekend my family had the chance to venture south of the city and learn more about two Indiana farms up close. My city kids got to climb on tractors, learn about how crops are grown, pet a cow, and so much more.

Indiana Family of Farmers hosted a group of Indianapolis bloggers to show us what happens on farms across Indiana every single day, all over the state. 98% of Indiana farms are family owned, and it was fascinating to learn about two of them.

Both the Campbell Farm ( we got to see the actual Front Porch of Jen’s Front Porch) and Kelsay Farms are being run by sixth generation farmers. These farmers are not only farming the land, they’re raising what will be the seventh generation on their land. This blew my mind, because I’m a third generation American. That’s it. When my great grandfather was in line at Ellis Island, the Campbells and the Kelsays were exactly where they are today.

I loved letting the kids run around an explore the hay rolls, visit with the pigs and ride mini-pedal tractors. When I commented that I was excited to have pork for dinner as the delicious smell wafted through the air, my daughter said, “We’re having pork from a real pig?” Yes, it is good for my kids to run around and breathe the country air.


I also learned about how the Kelsays feed their dairy herd. LIz and Leah talked the kids through an activity that detailed what makes up feed for the cattle. Did you know that it’s not just corn? It’s actually a variety of things, including molasses, because cows like sweet things just like we do. Did you know that they have to mash up and mix up the feed because cows pick through their food, just like we do? Did you know that samples have to be taken so that the right balance of nutrients is in the feed? I HAD NO IDEA.

Thank you for a great night, Indiana Family of Farmers. Living in Indiana I drive by farms nearly every day, but rarely do I ever stop and look at them, never mind learn what happens in the fields or the barns.

Table Talk: The Year of Popcorn

In 1981, my family moved to Indiana. On the day my parents showed us the house that was to become our home, we made popcorn. My dad had been to the local popcorn festival and had purchased a brand new hot air popper. What I remember is that my parents didn’t know that hot air poppers didn’t come with a bowl, so we caught the popcorn in paper lunch bags. Well, we caught some of the popcorn. The rest was scattered around the kitchen.

Little did I know, popping popcorn was the perfect introduction to living in Indiana-Indiana is the nation’s second largest popcorn producer. Suddenly mottos like “There’s more than corn in Indiana”, make sense, right?

photo (45)The  Indiana State Fair is paying tribute to popcorn this year, and has declared it “The Year of Popcorn”. The word’s largest popcorn ball is on display. How big is the world’s largest popcorn ball? Well it’s 5,000 pounds and 9 feet tall, thank you for asking.

The Indiana State Fair run through August 18th, and there is so much to see and do, I’d plan for at least two days to see it all. In addition to the World’s Largest Popcorn ball, there is the brand new Glass Barn, which is an interactive experience bringing Indiana’s farms to the fair.

The DuPont Food Pavilion features many items produced by Indiana Family of Farmers farms, and there are food activities and presentations happening every day of the fair.

In addition, there’s the Indiana Family of Farmer’s Recipe Trail, which will take you through many of the Fair’s buildings and expo halls. For every person who completes the Recipe Trail, a pound of food will be donated to area food banks.

Happy State Fair Season!


I wrote this post as an Indiana Family of Farmers Table Talk Contributor. As always, opinions here are 100% my own. I love Indiana popcorn, I won’t lie. 

IFOF Table Talk

Connect with Indiana Family of Farmers all over the Internet: www.indianafamilyoffarmers.com     @FamilyofFarmers    On Facebook


3rd Annual Ag Essay Contest “Our Food, Our Farmers: Nourishing Generations of Hoosiers”

Do you remember essay contests from when you were in school? In grade school, I think we wrote essays in class for the DAR, the Rotary Club and other assorted civil clubs. It’s a right of passsage that hasn’t passed on- this is the third year for Indiana Family of Farmers Ag Essay Contest.

This year’s contest is sponsored by both Indiana Family of Farmers, as well as Indiana Humanities (as part of their two-year Spirit of Competition initiative). The theme is one that will make proud Hoosiers stand a little taller:  “Our Food, Our Farmers: Nourishing Generations of Hoosiers.” Students are asked to write a grade-level appropriate essay addressing the following:

Describe how Indiana farmers 1) nourish our families, 2) our animals, and 3) our earth (soil). Please provide an example from each of the three areas.

Students in any school in Indiana, grades 4-12 are eligible to participate. Grades 4-6 are to write less than 200, grades 7-9 are to write less than 400, and grades 10-12 less than 600 words.

For teachers (I know you’re reading), Indiana Family of Farmers and Indiana Humanities has already done the heavy lifting for you. They’ve lined up the essay writing process with Indiana Core Academic Standards, making your job a little easier.

Does your class or your individual child need a litte more motivation? Each grade level will have two award winners. In addition to an invitation to the Indiana State House for recognition on March 5, 2013 in celebration of National Ag Day, the first place winner of each group will recieve an Apple iPad, and the second place winner will recieve Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones. I kind of want to enter myself now…

The deadline is February 1, 2013, so it’s time to get researching Indiana’s rich agriclutural contributions. Encourage your children to enter, and email your child’s teacher the details on this exciting contest!

Complete details about the contest can be found on the Indiana Family of Farmers website, as well the Indiana Humanities website.

This post is sponsored by Indiana Family of Farmers and Indiana Humanities.