If you follow along on the Website, you've already met the first two Year of the Farmer families connected to the Indiana State Fair. They were Valerie Duttlinger and her family from Gentryville, putting the spotlight on pork producers in Indiana, and Paul, Diane and Jeremy Russell, sheep producers who also raise and sell lamb to local markets, including restaurants.
Perhaps you're going to the fair today or this weekend, and will get a chance to meet them in person. Tell them where you first learned of the program!
It's all part of the Year of the Farmer program sponsored by Dow AgroSciences. Kenda Resler Friend, communication specialists for the Indiana home-grown company, says that this is a great way to honor Hoosier farm families and put a spotlight on agriculture at the same time.
Dale and Lisa Koester family, Wadesville
Hosting and featured during the day on Sunday, Aug. 9, will be Dale and Lisa Koester, Wadesville, Posey County. The spotlight again goes to southern Indiana, only this time to almost as far south as you can go.
The Koesters farm with Dale's brothers, Jim, Ray and Duane. Representing commodity growers, they also operate a diary. "Ray cares for the milking herd," Dale says. "We raise both yellow and white corn, and wheat and doublecrop soybeans.
"We sell straw to a local company to make erosion control blankets. June can be a challenging time of year, especially this year."
The straw going to the local company is baled as big round baled, Dale notes. The company uses thousands each year. The products they produce are rolled out on newly-formed grass waterways and other soil conservation practices to help hold soil in place until grass that is seeded can take off, develop roots and help control soil erosion when big rains come on its own.
Selling straw to a company for this purpose is another example of diversification in agriculture. Meet Dale and Lisa at the fair on Sunday, Aug. 9. Look for them for a live chat around 2:30 p.m. EDT in the Glass Barn.
See a full list of family farmers and links to their stories as they appear on the Indiana Prairie Farmer website: Indiana Soybean Alliance's Glass Barn will feature 'Year of the Farmer' hosts