I grew up in Indiana. My childhood memories are filled with rows and rows of cornfields surrounding us everywhere we drove. And, when it wasn’t corn, it was soybeans. Although my parents grew up farming, they weren’t farmers by the time I entered the picture. We had a garden, that seemed huge to my young girl eyes, but I’m sure seemed like a vacation to my parents who grew up manually farming acres of fields.
Our little neighborhood was surrounded by farms in the small Indiana town where I grew up. On a bright summer day when the wind blew just the right way, we could smell the pig farm up the road. This was just … childhood for me.
As I grew, I found myself wanting to run from those roots–not completely understanding exactly what it meant to grow up in an agriculture state and the importance of “local” food. I told myself that I needed the “big city” (whatever that was in my young, innocent mind) and spent years moving around the country (starting with Washington, D.C.) searching for my place. However, as I aged, I realized that two areas–rural Indiana and rural Virginia where my parents grew up (both heavy farming areas)–were my “spots”…where I belong.
Now that I live in Indiana again, I fully appreciate the farming community–how hard they work, what they provide–not just for our area, but for the nation. I feel an overwhelming love and support for our nation’s farmers now because I understand.
I finally get it.
Our Food, Our Farmers: Nourishing Generations of Hoosiers
I was recently honored to be invited to Indiana’s Family of Farmer’s Legislative luncheon. It was a complete celebration of Indiana’s agriculture and what they do for everyone–a mix of Hoosier farmers, agriculture representatives, legislature and staff, and media.
Wow. What an honor.
One of my favorite parts of the entire day was meeting Duane Hill and his wife. Not only does Duane live in the house he was born in and farms his three-generation farm, but Duane also hands the milk to the Indianapolis 500 race winner!
As I spoke with Duane and his wife, their love of this state and the farming life came through loud and clear. I thanked them for their job, and even got a little teary as the magnitude of their job and what Duane represents (small farmers, trying to make it, who still love their job) hit me.
Indiana Food Trucks
DUDE, INDIANAPOLIS HAS FOOD TRUCKS. (I.KNOW.)
I was super excited to be able to interact with the food truck chefs and sample some of their amazing cuisine. If you ever see the Indianapolis food trucks out, STOP. You will not be disappointed. I’m serious. This ain’t your old school lunch “roach coach.” These are amazing chefs working out of trucks all over the city and surrounding areas. (Follow @IndyFoodTruck on Twitter! They tweet locations!)
I sampled delicious things that day, including a super spicy taco from Tacos Without Borders, who partnered up with Indiana Poultry Association. (Did you know that Indiana Pork farmers make enough pork to feed 25 million people each year?) I seriously dream about that taco still, so I’m going to hunt their food truck down again.
The entire afternoon was truly an experience of agriculture “from tractor to truck” and an important reminder of how the quality of food enjoyed in our area starts with the dedication of Indiana farmers.
Thank you, Indiana farmers!
This is a sponsored post from Indiana Family of Farmers. I am honored to work with them and excited about the opportunities they provide for the community. A special thank you to the amazing Cris Goode and all she does to work with the bloggers in our area to create a supportive online environment for us to partner with our state farming and agriculture.